I read an article in the paper yesterday. The header was “A Toxic Work World“. As I skimmed the first few paragraphs, it appeared that the article was going to talk about how the workplace has become extremely stressful for EVERYONE, not just this segment or that group. The first few paragraphs talked about how everyone, no matter where they are on the socioeconomic spectrum, works well over 8 hours a day, often without overtime pay. There is talk that stress is an epidemic. The people best suited for survival in such a “toxic work world” are those who are young, healthy, wealthy and not responsible for caring for any other family members who can’t care for themselves.
I thought “YES! Here is an article that describes me, my friends, my coworkers, and just about everyone I know. Maybe there will also be a suggested solution.” Not so much, unfortunately. The article did state that the working day model in this country is built on an out-dated social structure. As I understood it, we need to change how we structure “going to work”. The article also stated that the upper management and executives to whom these results and suggestions were made had no interest in that report. They wanted to hear something that said keep the status quo but throw some sympathetic-sounding amelioration program into place.
I was annoyed by that article. Very annoyed. At that moment I devised the Ahuva-presidential-campaign-platform. I offer it to any candidate. 🙂
Let’s start with the premise of “less”. CEO’s, presidents, and other high-flyers can take a pay cut. I’m not talking about the perquisites. Those are what put the “fun” in being “on top”. I mean basic salary. How much? I don’t know – 5%? Because your perks undoubtedly cost way more than 5%. Take that 5% and HIRE MORE PEOPLE. Gee. If we had more people doing the work that needed to be done, wouldn’t that actually solve a lot of other problems too? Think about it. Stop hoarding the money at the top in salaries and in dividends to investors, and hire more people. The great 99% more people. Yes – I’m personally willing to make less in my investments if it meant more people got to work, got to have income, got to have health coverage, got to have self-esteem, got to work fewer hours so they could be with family.
Let’s earn less income individually. (Been there, done that, know I can do it again.) HIRE MORE PEOPLE. Having more people in the workforce will do a LOT to reduce toxicity. People could go home at the end of the “official” work day. People wouldn’t have to come in an hour early to get work done. Sure, the downside will be a lot more people all trying to cross that wretched 8 lane double-decker bridge at rush hour, but maybe – another “radical” thought – maybe we could also stagger work hours.
I have nothing against CEOs. I have nothing against money. Truth be told, I’m very appreciative of money. *smile* But I am getting very tired of a work environment where people routinely work an hour past the end-of-day, where everyone is harried and exhausted because their workload is so extreme. I’m tired of a work environment where dollars are “being saved” at the expense of human health and happiness. I know – “if you don’t like it quit and get another job”. Hellooooooo. It’s not about not liking one’s work. It’s about wanting more to life than just work. It’s about being able to savor and enjoy the work being done because it’s not always rush-crisis-hysteria-rush.
There is probably some “ism” that states my proposal more clearly. Maybe there ISN’T such an ‘ism’. It seems so simple to me. Earn less. Heal the world. Heal YOUR workforce. Earn MORE.
/me smiles and steps off the soap box
Update: I don’t know how long this link will last, but someone posted to Facebook about the CEO of a company pulling in a $21 Million salary, while outsourcing 600 jobs to Mexico. Surely she could take $1 M of that and hire a a dozen employees????