Social Question

SQUEEKY2's avatar

How come for the most part, companies and corporations want their employees to think of them as family, but in turn to them those same employees will never be more than numbers on their bottom line?

Asked by SQUEEKY2 (19407points) December 8th, 2015

Is that even remotely fair?
Why should I have that family attitude towards them when they see me as nothing more than a number?

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24 Answers

kritiper's avatar

It’s a scam of sorts, They want you to be nice to them but that doesn’t mean “turn around is fair play!”

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@kritiper I want to know how have they kept this scam going so well through the years?

filmfann's avatar

They want you to work hard for them, and make them a priority.

My company did this, then after retiring, the now refer to me as a former employee, rather than retiree.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

I know they want a die for your company attitude ,but when it comes to them, oh sorry it’s just business type thing don’t take it personally .(BARF)

Zaku's avatar

I like the foreign comment on that video: “I’m more and more convinced as time passes that America is just this huge reality TV show for the rest of the planet to laugh at.” Maybe that is the explanation…

johnpowell's avatar

For example. Employment at will.

At-will employment is a term used in U.S. labor law for contractual relationships in which an employee can be dismissed by an employer for any reason (that is, without having to establish “just cause” for termination), and without warning.

They can sack you for any reason at any time. At a movie theater I was a at-will employee so it isn’t just real jobs.

But when you want to quit for any reason and walk off your reference turns to shit. This is why I fight for unions.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Totally agree ^^^ @johnpowell , but thanks mostly to conservative Governments yours and mine a lot of unions have been totally defanged, so big business can run mostly unchecked in todays world.

kritiper's avatar

@SQUEEKY2 THAT is the $64,000 question!

jca's avatar

I work for the government and we are backed by a union. In a way, the employer is like family as many employees look after each other and are good friends outside of work. As far as the employer goes, they’d lay you off in a heartbeat if it weren’t for politicians who are on our side.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

The union I belong to has done nothing except roll over yet still collect my dues. My coworkers are as much my family as my actual family. I fully trust them. I do not trust HR or management. HR is overrun with social justice warriors and management is chock full o politicians. Both put public safety at risk by following ideology, vanity, insecurity and not reality. Somehow we still get the work done and keep people safe while they sleep at night even if I can’t. I work for a microcosm of society on the whole.

jca's avatar

We like to say that the employer doesn’t give you your sick days, vacation days, personal days, etc. because they’re feeling generous. They give them to you because we fought for them and they’re in your contract. We also remind people that we are all the union. The union is not just the officers, it’s everyone. If the members do nothing to strengthen the union, it’s going to be weak.

JLeslie's avatar

Relationships at work usually hold a lot of significance for a lot of people. Many people are with coworkers more than their own families during waking hours. Managers can be like mentors. Coworkers know about our lives. We are quasi dependent on our employers, because they pay us money to take care of ourselves and family. For these reasons saying work is like family isn’t a far leap.

In some countries they do treat employees like family. I remember years ago during the economic downturn one of the Japanese companies that has a plant here in America (I don’t remember which one) instead of laying off employees continued to pay their employees and had them work in the community cleaning up parks, building and beautifying. I don’t know how long they did it, and possibly it wasn’t as many hours as before, but when production was down they didn’t dump their employees off the bat. They used to donate money into the community anyway, I think this was a creative way to continue to help the community.

msh's avatar

•First it was; “You’re a company-person!”
•Then it morphed into; “Our company runs on true friendships.”
•Next; ” Everyone working here is on a team. We are all team players.”
•Latest; ” You are an important member of our family. You have family members here who care about you.”

The last category usually has pulled straws ahead of time to decide which one of them has to cry. It denotes true caring feelings for their empl- oops- family. Rules state that it has to be a guy -crying from his deep emotions.

At the end of the day, we all go home.
They, however, are paid much better while there.
Love what you do. If you enjoy that, you stand a much better chace of keeping a straight face while they figure out what to call everyone during the next important company meeting.

Cruiser's avatar

When I first started as a salesman at this company, it really felt like I was part of a family largely in part to the atmosphere my boss fostered here. He was a mentor to all employees even customers and vendors were made to feel part of this ‘family’. Then as the years went by things would happen and little by little that family atmosphere eroded. He would confide in me how deeply this affected him because he truly gave a lot to all of us and was rarely thanked in return. When it became my turn to take over the company he warned me to be very careful with being too trusting of ANYONE…employees, vendors and customers alike.

2 months after buying the company with 2 partners in tow, my General Manager, the person I groomed to be my right hand man left a note in the mailbox telling me he quit. HS! That cut deep. Rebounded from that when I hired a great replacement and things were better than ever. 2 years down the road without any heads up, he tells me he is moving the CA to be closer to his daughter. We worked it out that he could telecommute but now I did not have that extra body to help out in the office. The real kicker though came when this past summer I my partner, the one person I trusted the most, who was like a little brother to me, I found out was stealing from the company and not just a little it was a LOT! On top of that I also found out my secretary who is a very minority partner participated in a few cash deals with this other partner behind my back. My world, my “family” world imploded. Those words my old boss told me finally reared their ugly head…“don’t trust anyone”! I could not have been more devastated.

I am struggling to do my very best to not let those 2 A-holes ruin my desire and ability to lead the rest of this company to where they feel appreciated and at the same time being acutely aware anyone of them at anytime could do something stupid.

I have my real family and never ever had anything remotely close to the shit that has gone down in my 20 years here at this company. My family would not quit on me, my family would not move away and leave me in a lurch and most definitely my family would not steal from me. So I now have a real problem with people trying to use the word “family” to characterize work place relationships.

JLeslie's avatar

@Cruiser Wow. How awful to have someone in the company stealing. In retail we are taught that about half of theft is committed by people who work inside the organization. It’s not that half the employees steal, it’s that the small percentage who do steal, steal big. I have had coworkers caught stealing not only from the company, but from coworkers. I realize since you are the owner, stealing from the company is directly stealing from you.

I unfortunately have examples of family members stealing. No one in my nuclear family, but people by marriage. None of it has directly affected my pocketbook, but I find the behavior so shocking in a family, especially when there is no drug abuse.

I still choose to trust people, but there is some risk. I will say always sign your checks yourself, and watch your accounts regularly.

Cruiser's avatar

@JLeslie It does suck. The part that is really odd to me is my partner does not think he did anything wrong by taken product out the back door and re-selling it on the street for cash. He thinks because he was part owner it was his materials he could do what he wanted with. He was making great money and when the loan is paid off in 10 years he would have been set for life. Just mind boggling.

JLeslie's avatar

@Cruiser I’ve learned over the years people have varying definitions of honestly. I think maybe this is indirectly a part of that.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Corporations have always recognized the p r difficulties inherent in the ruthless actualities behind their existence. Thus the need for fuzzy warm disguises. Sort of like encasing a rattlesnake in cozy fur. And it’s always the outfits built on a foundation of throwaway employees who stridently strive to plant the image of their workforce as “family”. As you watch those commercials for McDonald’s & KFC, those bright wholesome always smiling folks serving up the gruel exude an air of pampered existence usually reserved for show quality champion livestock. You just know that right outside camera range lies a work environment as cozy as your grandma’s kitchen. In fact the glow of happiness derived from the lucky good fortune in working at the place is reflected from the care free faces of “family ” members one and all. The slick pitch leaves you with the feeling that you must be missing out if you too can’t toil in Mcdonald’s parlour of caring contentment to be nourished with love and appreciation.

msh's avatar

@Cruiser I wondered as you had mentioned briefly about some trouble at work or less than sludge employees in a couple of responses in the past. I’m sorry that happened. From what the last owner said, it sounds like he had dealt with what you are seeing happen now. Had you thought of ‘the next step’ already?
Your partner knows better, that’s why he is pushing his defense of ‘his portion’ to the forefront so vehemently. Cornered people will try to con their way out of it, any way they can. Can you find a legal way to dump bozo?( OMG, I just sited Bozo The Clown.) A business lawyer would have the experience. Until then, cameras or figure how to use different alarms or lock systems, if possible. Find a way to be around him for awile several times a day, or frequent checks, unobtrusively. If you can, get the theft on record ( police?)somehow. Can you give him too much to do? Ask lawyer.
Deals on the side are also inexcusable. Try going through a temp agency to find a new secretary/ office manager. You can find someone who excellent, and really needs the work. If the agency handles their people well, and their temps are bonded,and boom- fixed! (That lttle extra shows forethought on their part) all the better!
You were inexcusably betrayed by these people. As said in The Godfather: ” It’s not personal, Sonny, it’s strictly business.” (Aw man, I actually just quoted the GF.)There are people who get greedy and they believe themselves smart enough to pull it off until they are ready to stop. Smart? And want? Well, they want ice water in…stop it. No quote. Sorry.
Family uses family sometimes. I agree with @JLeslie on family! Family responsibilities? I can’t get this one figured out yet, myself. So no quote here, either.
Those were a couple suggestions, if I may?
Here’s a couplea facts.
– If you don’t get out away from this for awile everyday, you will get sick enough to change everything. Exercise, read, get something out and away from any stewing you are doing there also. Health problems last and last and last. IF you live past the onset.
You will think better also. I’d say to get on your double bicycle of yours, with your wife, but snow, sleet and hail this time of year makes steering a bitch. Find something, bud. Burn off some of this.
– Have the knowledge that not every person is an jerk. Or lies. Your boss found you! You’re the person with the traits that he was looking for. Have you thought of perhaps taking more people-time? The people- if there are others, need some management re-assurances and agknowledgement that things are or soon will be on the upswing again. Recognition and reassurance are priceless when things feel wobbly, just as you feel.
Take your wife to dinner at her favorite place. She’s suffering with you.
These two people aren’t everyone. Hard not to think, but it’s true. It’s a matter of finding them first. Sounds like the right- hand person may have too much on their plate. (Aside from moving to be near family.) they can’t handle it. How about two? Or reshifting duties to see if someone who works one position all the time, gets to try, or feel what other parts of the business are all about. Interchanged. Untapped abilities? Understanding of repercussions of the importance of all in their interactions with other departments changes when this happens.
I’ve worked in a lot of different jobs that were on my ‘to-do and to-try in life time’ list. These are just some thoughts and/or experiences that came into my mind. (and yes, it did hurt.)
Hang in there.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Companies are out to make money. That’s the bottom line, and a fine line it is!

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@Dutchess_III I totally agree but why try and come across all warm and cuddly at first?

Cruiser's avatar

@msh Thanks for your concern. Bozo is lucky he is not yet in jail for grand larceny and tax evasion right now. I fired him that next day I caught him. Now it is in the attorneys hands to ‘negotiate’ a deal to buy his shares of the company. It is painful to think I would have to pay him even a dollar after what he did. I wish it was strictly business and could do a scene right out of the Godfather…but it is also very personal for me in a very big way.

The good part is everything at work is to very much my surprise better than ever without him around. Yes it is a new normal here but as I said a better one.

msh's avatar

“You are better man than I Gunga Din”!
Wow. See, I would’ve taken much longer to overcome the desire to knee-cap him.
Still in Godfather- mode. Sorry. (Let the lawyers do it!)
Things sound better! You hit the ground running. Now working so hard and feeling like you’re getting nowhere, are over. Good for you!
You can make anything happen there now. I’m so glad.
Go ahead! Take X-Mas Day off! You’ve earned it! :)

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