The Great Resignation

As workers continue to quit their jobs en masse and places of business struggle to stay open, the real reason for this mass exodus keep getting ignored. Dubbed the Great Resignation by media outlets, employees have finally reached their breaking point and Covid was the tipping point that has turned the workforce upside down. Do people no longer want to work anymore and that is the reason for this upheaval in employment? Some want you to think that is the reason, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

The Great Resignation paints employees as entitled and spoiled. Wanting it all without doing very much at all. Sure, there are some that rather do the minimum and get the max in return, but that is a small percentile of the workforce. What does it say about us as a country that people who got unemployment or stimulus checks earned more than they would actually working? Doesn’t that seem like a red flag? This American dream of working hard and making something out of ourselves is bullshit. Has been and always will be. The workforce is manipulated to be slave labor for the rich and wealthy while they kick back and enjoy the luxuries of life while the workers push themselves to the breaking point of mental sanity just to try to make ends meet working numerous jobs just to scrape by. Sounds like the American dream to me.

Covid-19

While Covid ravished and decimated people’s lives, finances and health it exposed a great fraud. That fraud being that workers need to be tied to their desk for 8 hours a day for 5 days a week to be productive. The reality is that there are very few jobs where people are actually “working” 8 hours a day. Remote work became the go to option and you know what, people realized that they didn’t need to be in the office to be productive. People could be half way across the country and still be as productive there than in an office.

Depending on who you listen to, Covid strains seems to be less potent and not as many people are suffering severe illnesses or death. That has sent a bat signal to companies that it’s time to reopen offices and have their cash cows back in the office pushing paper and keystrokes. Problem is people know they don’t need to be in the office to go back. So why would they want to go back into the office for? Free pizza Fridays? No thanks. While there are some people who would welcome a hybrid approach where they spend some time in the office and some time at home and there are some businesses that welcome this, but the majority rather have their workers lined up in cubicles like cows ready to get sucked dry for their resources.

People have realized that companies need them more than they need them and are willing to quit or change jobs so they can stay permanently remote. What is so appealing about working in a windowless cubicle devoid of light, life or anything else? Working remote provides people the opportunity to work outside or at home with all the conveniences they need.

I think people are more productive with in an environment they feel comfortable in that in a drab cubicle listening to their cube mate cut their nails or talk on the phone complaining on the phone about their love life or lack of one.

Work/Life Balance

This is always a big one with people, but it ends up never being a balance whatsoever. In this digital age where people can be connected 24/7, companies exploit this to their benefit and detriment to workers. An 8 hour work day is a thing of the past when your boss can text you at 9pm asking for a meeting recap or email you at 3am telling you they changed the 10am meeting to 8am. Here is the thing companies expect you to be available to them 24/7 but do you think they pay for that type of availability? Of course not. They want you to be a team player. The only one getting played is the worker.

Everyone has a different schedule in life. Some kids go to school later, some earlier. Problem is everyone has to be in the office at the same time. Want to go to a doctor’s appointment, forget about going during your 30 minute lunch break. You would have to take a sick day or use PTO just o got to the doctors because we all know going to the doctors is almost a half a day event between all the waiting, exams, testing etc.

Mental health is another factor that often gets overlooked in the work/life balance frame. Employees are beyond stressed with unrealistic goals and deadlines that they’re burning themselves out at such high rates. Being chained to a cubicle all day isn’t healthy at all but the workforce labor needs to make the money so the wealthy can keep up with their extravagant lifestyles.

People are so scared to take vacations or use their earned PTO. They’re afraid if they use their PTO that when they get back they might not have job, get passed over for a promotion or viewed not a a team player. So they’re constantly working, burning themselves out for what? To look like a team player. Too bad that team player mentality is only for the workers because once you become expendable or cuts are needed the team doesn’t need you anymore. Companies should encourage their employees to use their PTO. Those breaks are needed to help them relieve stress and enjoy life. I mean why wait till your 65 to start to travel.

Speaking of PTO and holidays when did 5 or 10 days of PTO become acceptable? Employers want to have their workers slave away for 98% of the year and think they’re doing them a solid by giving them a week off for PTO? Remember when there were more than 5 holidays observed in a year? Rights and freedoms of the workers are being stripped away so they can become basically robots for the majority of their lives making money for other people. Then when 65 hits they retire, but they don’t know who they are because all they’ve ever know is working for someone else. Finding hobbies and activities outside of work will help them discover who they are and hopefully they realize there is more to life and who they are besides being employee number 3454543534.

Money

The biggest factor in the Great Resignation is money or lack thereof. Funny how the minimum wage hasn’t gone up in years, but the cost of goods and living has skyrocketed. The bullshit excuse of if we pay our people more then we have to raise our prices is no longer warranted when you pay CEO millions and millions and your company reaps millions in profits for their shareholders. Just say you’re cheap and you want to hoard all the monetary wealth to yourselves instead of paying people what they’re worth.

Companies downsize and then expect workers to pick up the slack and do the job of three people while paying them the salary of barely a person. Companies want their workers to buy into this notion that they’re a family and that they all have to pick up the slack blah blah blah. Family members screw over other family members all the time so I guess companies are like families when they screw over their workers.

You read these job descriptions and they want someone with 15 years experience, a masters degree and offer $30k to start plus benefits. What the hell would possess someone to think with all those extraordinary requirements that $30k was a fair starting salary? Greed is what possess someone to do that. They don’t want to pay people what they’re worth and prey on the fact that there are people so desperate for work that they’ll stoop that low to take the job. Only to be burdened with unrealistic demands for the salary they’re being paid for.

Have you seen a sign at fast food places saying that they’re short staffed because people quit or don’t want to work? They quit because they’re tired of all the bullshit they have to endure daily from their bosses and customers alike and know that the paltry pay isn’t worth it. At the beginning of the Pandemic we were lauding these essential workers for stocking shelves, preparing food etc. and now we’re treating them like the ungrateful assholes people truly are. Yelling at them because it’s taking longer than 2 minutes to get their burger or if they’re favorite pumpkin spice yogurt was out of stock. Just because people are paid minimum wage doesn’t mean they’re minimum type people. Some of the lower paying workers are going to school and restaurant and retail are the only jobs available to fit their schedules. We need to stop treating people based on their wages because some of these higher paying workers and managers have the personality of someone with minimum type of respect they have for others.

Management

Management is another huge factor in the exodus during the Great Resignation. Employees are fed up with the horrid conditions and treatment from management. Management isn’t treating their workers like people but as property that they can do or say as they please because they’re above them on a rigged corporate ladder. From being denied requested PTO days to finding out that their manager installed spyware on their computer to see if they were truly working while remote; people have had enough.

Managers and higher ups are supposed to be their to lift, empower and get the best out of their people. Instead they use their perceived scintilla of power they think they have to make their workers miserable. Berating them at meetings, blaming them for mistakes and micromanaging them at every twist and turn, managers have become enemy number 1 for workers. No one wants to work for an asshole, but there seems to be an abundance of them in higher up positions in companies and businesses.

While the notion that in companies that everyone is equal, it’s truly not. There is one set of rules for workers, but those rules don’t apply to management. They get all the perks and rewards without doing any of the heavy lifting. They get to sit upon this fake throne of power instructing workers on when they can come and go, what they can and can’t do and lord knows what else. They feel like since they’re in a “power” position that they can dictate the lives of their workers. Calling and texting off hours and expecting the employee to respond right away. Making people work overtime for non-emergency reasons and basically making employees lives all about work.

There are types of managers who get off on control. Controlling their workers every move. Suffocating them with their ruthlessness that they break like having Stockholm Syndrome. People can’t grow as an employee or as a person under these types of people and they rather quit than have to deal with these assholes.

Granted now all management are self absorbed wannabe dictators, but the majority are. That is just the truth. The managers that care about people, help them to succeed and nurture and grow the skills of their workers are few and far between. They’re like mythical unicorns you hear about in fairy tales. Those are the type of managers that people want to work for. The ones that show empathy and understanding. The ones that will say it’s ok to come in a little late because little Timmy had to stay home from school because he was sick and you had to find someone to watch him and not say if you come in late you have to stay late to make up the time. Life happens, it’s just nice to have a manager who understands.

I’m sure there are plenty of other reasons for the Great Resignation; these are just some of the few that come to mind. The Great Resignation was a long time coming. Workers have had enough and Covid was that tipping point that sent everyone over the edge. Not until working conditions, pay and other benefits have been addressed and rectified, people will continue to leave the workforce in droves and droves. Other countries have figured this out, why not the United States? Could it be that capitalism is nothing more than greed by the wealthy and powerful? Whatever the reasons may be, people have finally had enough and businesses will continue to lose workers and money until employers start treating employees with the respect and the pay they deserve.

Photo by Alex Kotliarskyi on Unsplash

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