Don’t Disobey the Dictionary! : Oh Fair New Mexico

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by Karen Fayeth

Don’t Disobey the Dictionary!

by at 12:37pm

January 26, 2012    9 Comments

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bal·ance  [bal-uhns] noun, verb, -anced, -anc·ing.

1. a state of equilibrium or equipoise; equal distribution of weight, amount, etc.

2. something used to produce equilibrium; counterpoise. Source: Dictionary.com

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and

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Work–life balance is a broad concept including proper prioritizing between “work” (career and ambition) on the one hand and “life” (Health, pleasure, leisure, family and spiritual development) on the other. Source: Wikipedia

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So if balance means equal distribution, then work-life balance would imply that the two, work and life were equally distributed in my life.

Like so:




If I read our HR website correctly, for every hour I toil in Cubelandia, I get one hour of frolicking.

Work eight hours on one side. Play eight hours on the other. Sleep eight more. There’s a nice day. Right?

However.

As companies compete harder in the market place and my own employer is viciously cutting costs, and since people are, by far, the highest expense on any company’s financials, our employee numbers are shrinking. We are now called a “lean” staff. Or “right sized”. Or “efficient”.

Then work-life balance looks a lot more like this:




Rude.

So, who wants to volunteer to go tell my executive team? I see all their (luxury) cars in the lot, so they’re here today. C’mon!

Let’s march up to the boob painting floor and let them know they are directly in conflict with the generally accepted definition of the word balance!

C’mon, ye mighty defenders of the lexicon!

C’mon you slayers of sintax and abohorrers of “corporate speak”!

Come with me now!

Follow me!

Here I go!

Anyone?

Hello? Bueller?

*sigh*

Back to work.



Today’s Theme Thursday is: balance

Graphics by Stephen Stacey and used royalty free from stock.xchng.


Comments

9 Responses to “Don’t Disobey the Dictionary!”

  1. Avelino says:

    Sounds like your firm is catching up with what a lot of employers were doing this recession: the quickest way to boost your bottom line was to reduce payroll. The easiest way to increase productivity is to push workers harder:

    http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2011/03/05/number-of-the-week-workers-not-benefiting-from-productivity-gains/

    • Karen Fayeth says:

      Avelino – Exactly. While we’re not having layoffs (which is good) we’re also not always hiring replacements. Many of these headcounts just quietly go away. I recently need to hire a replacement for a crucial role and had to tap dance my way up to the office of the CEO to get that approved. It took MONTHS.

      And then the question was “well if your team has been managing this for two months while you were trying to justify the hire, why can’t you just absorb this work?”

      Absorb. Feh.

  2. Ur bro says:

    My act of rebellion? I turned in my blackberry. Amazing how much balance is achieved without it.

    • Karen Fayeth says:

      Big Bro – If I turned in my phone, my manager would return it to me quickly then staple gun it to my hand.

      I do have a good friend who recently told me that his company expects that employees will not answer emails at night. Another company in the valley actually turns off email during out of work hours. I think that’s an amazing and a necessary fix. I wish my employers would consider it.

      • Ur bro says:

        Oh I have a phone… Here is how the conversation went:

        Me: here is my blackberry I want to give it back

        It guy: what’s wrong with I?

        me: nothing, I just don’t want it. Give me the same phone you would give a new grad.

        It guy: huh? I can’t do that you’re a manager

        Me: sure you can, just do it

        It guy: does your boss know you are doing this?

        Me: does this look like a face that cares? Just give me a regular phone.

        It guy: ok, I hope you know what you are doing..

  3. Chica,

    Where there is turmoil there is opportunity.

    Emanuel: “Never let a serious crisis go to waste.”

    Moya: “Don’t let things happen to you, you make them happen.”

    Regards,
    El Jefe Viejo

    • Karen Fayeth says:

      Viejo – I’ll keep all that in mind when it’s 2:30am and a Vice President from our India facility is shouting at me about his cell phone coverage. (that actually happened and happens)

      • Chica,

        I forgot the MOST IMPORTANT rule.
        Make sure you’re on the winning side. That should be easy to guess.

        The answer to a fool is to perform a victory dance in front of him.

        ie:
        “I got you the latest phone type because I know what the connection situation is there. We consider that your ability to communicate is paramount.”

        Then tell the winning sides’ minions about what you did. (stressing the time difference between you and ‘numb nuts’)

        They’ll laugh. Soon many more jokes about his abilities will surface.

        Regards,
        El Viejo

  4. Mrsupole says:

    I saw a story on the news about how companies have laid off so many workers then expect the other workers to take up the slack. Guess what the other workers are taking up the slack and the companies have no plans whatsoever to rehire the old workers back because they have no need to. And they do not care that the current workers are overworked and underpaid, are so tired when they get home that they have no time for family, are so sick of their jobs that they want to quit. Nope, the companies have no need to rehire and the ones who took up the slack have made sure that there is no need. The ones still working have no choice because they know they could be the next ones on the chopping block. They are in a Catch 22 situation, damned if they do and damned if they don’t.

    I think the workers of today need to get their life back and start falling a little behind in their jobs and go take some days off with a doctors orders that they are under too much stress. Just about everyone I know who is working in today’s workforce is complaining about stress. I say everyone needs to unite and realize that companies only get away with what the workers let them get away with. Oh heck I think I am sounding like a freaking union person. Which I think there are a lot of things wrong with unions but a good union could accomplish a lot. (Just that the power of unions have gone to the leaders and they are no better than the companies) Anyway, something is going to have to give pretty soon to bring the balance of the workers and their lives back again.

    Even though I am bored as hell to not be working anymore, I think maybe it is a good thing that I am not. But it would have been nice to be getting a few years of unemployment checks for doing nothing.

    All I can say is that I feel for you and I hope your balance comes back as soon as possible. And I no understand the people in India when they talking to me on the phone. (said in Indian accent, not Native American Indian [because that would be my normal talk]). Did I tell you about my ancestors from this land?

    Okay, stopping my tirade for now. Happy TT, hope you like the new theme I just posted, it is perfect for a tirade.

    God bless.