This is one of my favorite topics! No really, not so much about any given job but I am fascinated by the sweep of history and how we are inside and cannot see what will be so clear in perhaps thirty years’ time.
So, the pandemic isn’t over, exactly, but life is moving on… except it ain’t. The one per cent laid off all their workers over a year ago and now seriously expect them to report back to that crappy job for $9 an hour and be ever so grateful it’s still there.
But the mindless drones have been off for a year and they discovered something very important: LIFE. Mothers have spent time with their children and Dads have discovered they are not defined by their job title. One third of all women who lost jobs during Covid don’t plan to return to the work force at all.
In the US, they referred to last month at Striketober. Not only are people not reporting back, many who do are quitting. Unions are quickly becoming powerful again and many are going on strike.
The one percent are confused. Obviously, these are great jobs and they believe people who don’t jump to grab one are just lazy. So they ordered their Lacky Governors to cut unemployment and that Socialist $300 a week from the Federal Government. That will force these lazy people back!
Except it didn’t; according to CNN, several states still offering subsidies have more people going back to work than the states which have cut support. Yeah, you read that right.
“Rome didn’t fall as much as it rotted from the inside out. The rich were never quite rich enough and the system was gamed for the benefit of the few at the top. Western civilization has some benefits Rome never had: for one thing we have the example of what happened to Rome. There seems to be some vague understanding that the men at the top are parasitic and slowly killing civilization, Roman style.”
I have predicted elsewhere that we will look on this period as pivotal in history.
We are experiencing the beginning of the end for our current economic model; it’s just we can’t see it, yet. This will take years. Before the virus came, I wrote: “… if we are talking about the Adam Smith style of capitalism, with stock markets and the proletariat, the collapse has already started. It started slowly in the 1970s, when profits and productivity were decoupled from worker pay. It took thirty years of flat wages and rising cost of living to really bite, but it is being felt now.”
People are unhappy with their lives and have discovered there must be more than blind consumerism. They will not take the first job that comes along. They will cut back… and stay home with the kids, unaware of the vast sweep of history they are creating.
The far left and the far right fight for the same cause: a fair deal. But finding the way is difficult and dark and the one percent throw stones on the path. Lies, rumors, and setting people against each other distract from the real cause. Of course, all games must end.
Back in 1996, at 22, I was working as a junior account executive in a big international advertising agency called D’Arcy – or DMB&B which was its acronym. I was still a student at the Moscow State, department of journalism, and decided to try it at a big American agency. Everybody was saying back in the day that advertising was the future – and money – which was even more important to me.
True, this was a very good school of advertising: we had international accounts such as Mars and Coca Cola. I personally worked as an account manager on Fanta and Galina Blanca brands – both were tough issues for various reasons. We had those arrogant expats running the agency (who were trying to hide their arrogance before us, the aborigines), we had training, and our working language in exchanging faxes with the clients was English – even if those clients were Russians.
There were down sides, of course. First, D’Arcy was known as a very good advertising school but they paid less than other big agencies. So, no money. I was making a miserable $500 per month there working like a horse plus numerous stresses as my bonuses. Thus, there’s been ‘brain drain’ all of the time.
Second, it was really a tough job. I’ve had my Seven-ups that I hate as I go to sleep late at night. Then the work itself, starting at nine. Lots of stuff going on: lots of responsibility, not so much authority. I felt like being a cog in a machine. Sometimes I was feeling like the March Hare. Never wanted to be either of them.
Finally, being an account manager just wasn’t what I really wanted to do in life: too much paperwork, too many bureaucratic regulations. Full of envy, I’d been taking glances at the creative department where I could see local semi gods: copywriters and art directors. Being a copywriter in an international agency was my dream back then: remember, I was from the dept of journalism. It was weird that I didn’t make it to the creative dept; was too timid then, probably.
Well, 16 months later I decided it was time to go; one year there counted for three to me. I quit the job in favour of a smaller Russian agency with down-to-earth domestic clients. Well, my salary skyrocketed; it almost tripled. There was less work to do, too. In fact, this is not the right term. I’d say, I had nothing to do there at all, by D’Arcy standards.
So, going back there: I still think about that job as something alien that happened to me in my life.
Take this job and shove it!
Just now, British employers are finding out that if they didn’t treat their workers well during the pandemic, many of those employees are simply leaving, and finding work elsewhere.
The pandemic had a drastic effect on just about everyone. When you lose the ability to travel, and the ability to be with your family and friends, (all pleasurable things that often conceal dissatisfaction with working life), it’s no surprise that key decisions about whether to quit your job are being made all the time. After all, people have lost almost a year of their normal lives, with maybe more to come, but the one thing they can control is their method of earning money. The jobs are out there.
A recent study has established that a massive 40 per cent of U.K. workers are genuinely considering resigning from their current post. Are British companies ready for “The Great Resignation”? Many are still coming to terms with how Brexit is adversely affecting them, let alone trying to recover from the harmful effects of the pandemic. Many will not be prepared.
Stories are emerging that businesses are going back on their word allowing people to continue to work from home, and unless that flexibility is sustained, top talent will simply go elsewhere, as will rank-and-file workers. Businesses need to learn about the new culture that has emerged post-lockdown, and how it will work in what is now a hybrid world. Of course, some do, and they will not be adversely affected by The Great Resignation. The others? God help them.
As I said earlier, the jobs are out there, ready for any dissatisfied employee to try and better themselves. In the U.K., job vacancies this summer soared to over one million – that’s never happened before. Here, as in many places around the globe, it’s now an employee’s market.
So, for business both big and small, it’s “retention” that is going to be the magic word. Give the employees a sense of belonging, make them feel worthy, and let them work in a way which is both productive for them, and for the company.
Otherwise, it’s a case of: “Stick your job where the sun don’t shine…..” Indeed, the workers are revolting!