Friday, January 8, 2010

Left Leaning Capitalists?

My career, repairing cars and trucks, I have often thought was as close to pure capitalism as was possible. If I stand around, not actually working on something, I do not get paid, for I am paid 100% by commission. If I race through a job, and I don't actually fix what I was supposed to fix, I work on it for free the next time (want to fix the Health Care system? Make Doctors work under the same rules - didn't fix it the first time? Fix it for free, now...). The incentive is for me to work quickly, efficiently, and mistake free. Only the "strong" can survive.

So, it surprises me to no end that one of my fellow mechanics can be a left winger. I don't understand how you can work in a pure capitalist system; thrive in it, even, and still vote for the likes of Barack Obama. I see it as supporting a "game plan" that assures your own job loss.

Case in point, the guy that works in the stall next to mine, knows that I listen to right leaning talk radio all day. I try to keep my noise level low enough so as not to annoy my neighbors. Not so with my left leaning compadre. He has decided to listen to NPR loud enough so that everyone can hear it; of course, this is par for the course for this "gentleman." If he sneezes, he is sure to sneeze loud enough for all in the shop to enjoy...

I'm bringing this up because I have a question; if an employer has an employee that is actively working against the best interest of the company, is that just cause for termination? If you employed someone that stood for something that was going to reduce your profitability, possibly even drive you out of business, would you let that person remain in your employ? I don't think this person is in danger of losing his job, because he is productive, so this is purely a hypothetical question. I'm just curious, though.

1 comment:

Nick Rowe said...

They are hypocrites to the core. They thrive under a system they purport to hate.

It's funny. This is the fourth time I've heard a similar story in two days.

The gist is that there is a coworker who is generally annoying and disruptive. The reason for their behavior is their own insecurity and self-hatred. They crave a negative response as self-justification for their feelings.

If you unwisely say something or do something, then you have validated their beliefs. They will cast YOU as the intolerant transgressor in typical passive-aggressive fashion. If they can prove it, they can get you fired. Don't fall into that trap.

If you do or say nothing, they will simply continue what they are doing and either wait for a negative response or enjoy your pain.

So what's the solution? Aside from the use of cyanide or a sniper rifle, you must adopt a covert operation. Typically, other coworkers feel exactly the same way about them as you. Start by bringing that person up in casual (private) conversations. Try to illicit negative comments by others without being or appearing to be the initiator. As the backbiting continues, make sure you keep stoking the flames to keep them burning. If it dies down, throw another log on the fire.

Do this passively by asking open-ended questions without accusations. Let others vent.

The linchpin of this operation is to let the person who actually controls the victim's fate get wind of the growing animosity toward this person. The discussion should involve words like "team" and "cohesion" and "environment" and "productivity." Let every discussion lead to the conclusion that that person's behavior is affecting the bottom line of the company. Money talks.

To be more specific, say things like, "I can't hear myself think while I'm doing my work." Don't say why. Then someone else will say, "Yeah, Jose is playing his radio way too loud." Then you say, "I don't want to complain, but it's really distracting. I mean, I play my radio too but I keep the volume on 3. His is on 7."

(You have to quantify things otherwise Jose will say, "Well, Pundit plays his radio too!")

Then you strike back with cold, hard numbers from the volume dial to the manager. NEVER confront that person directly with accusations. If the subject of content comes up, state calmly to your manager that you're not bothered by WHAT he's playing but HOW LOUD he's playing it and of course relate it back to work.

The danger is that the manager will just ban all radios. That's when you have to passively attack the manager: "I respect your decision, Boss, but listening to the radio helps us enjoy our work. There's no need to go to an extreme. We just want some mutual courtesy and respect by keeping the volume at reasonable levels. I keep mine low, but some people don't. Why should I be punished? Don't I get my work done well and on time?"

Over time, this strategy works. Either you will get the guy fired or he'll quit. Don't feel guilty about him losing his job; he deserves it. He's got extended unemployment benefits to tide him over. Besides, they deserve the cyanide.

Complain without complaining.
Accuse without accusing.
Attack without attacking.
Engage without engaging.

It's a form of workplace insurgency. Ambush the sucker!