by, 01-28-2012 at 02:42 PM (866 Views)
When I was a new hire, under the union contract, I looked at the challenges put to me in a very simple way: this is total war, and there is no way in hell that I will be defeated. I will walk as many miles as it takes to get to work, I will put up with all the crap during work, and I will destroy myself physically to accomplish what is needed. And, when it is all done, I will make "them" marvel at how good I am at my job.
Now that I am expected to supervise a variety of individuals, how do I actually explain this philosophy to them? And, even if I could find a way of articulating it, would it make any difference?
At this point, I would like to highlight the two types of managerial people I have come into contact with, with respect to how they relate to the people they manage/supervise.
I am a person named Mike: I had the money to pay for my college education, graduated with a major/minor (or several), and was hired by UPS; I draw up plans as to how many routes can be run, based on numbers fed to me by disembodied people I've never met, never will meet, and have never set foot in operations (and, to be fair, neither have I). I have no concept of how hard Operations is stressed (be it full-time managers, part-time supervisors, or the hourly workers who destroy themselves everyday) to meet the goals they/I set.
On the otherhand ...
I am a person named Jim: I took the part-time loader job because I had to, not because it was my dream job; because I bled myself dry everyday and showed some aptitude, I was moved into management; now, I am expected to bleed the same people I worked with before into producing extreme production numbers - the nature of which requires the sacrifice of safety, the very thing which this company claims to pride itself on internally. This, to me, illustrates the beginning of selling ones soul.
So, maybe this is what I can say to those I supervise: I tore myself to pieces, and you should to - a sweet future of balancing your own morality and draining the morality of those you used to call friends could be yours. Or, I suppose I could just threaten them with verbal warnings, warning letters, and the like.
On a more political note, this is the society we have created as Americans. Before you tell me about all this happy-go-lucky crap about how we create so many jobs, or some other such nonsense, let me say something more: I am on the frontline of the average worker and corporate America; unless you are standing next to me, you probably don't know anything about that which I speak of.
On an even more political note, I, for my own financial well-being, am being forced to sell out those whom I supervise on a weekly basis. "How?", you may ask. If you have to ask that question, then you obviously aren't standing next to me.