We’re All Contractors Now

With the increase in contract employees and part time employment skirting (unsuccessfully, soon) the healthcare mandate, there’s a lot of carrot dangling for being a Salaried Employee.

Yet the employees seem to suffer the same symptoms described here.

For example, employees here get Unlimited Vacation Time. (Capitalized for emphasis!) Except your vacation time factors into your overall performance. The dynamic of earning a week of vacation and spending it cathartically replaced by the gift of vacation time which you spend guiltily and warily after your manger’s eyebrow raises imperceptibly at the word “week.” You’ll keep your cell on you, right?

Meanwhile hourly employees who work too much overtime are gifted the status of employee with the asterisk that hours are not expected to diminish though the salaried pay will most assuredly fall short. But don’t worry, because you’ve got the big “E” now.

Congrats on the same hours with less pay plus minimal federally mandated benefits. (Not to mention that Unlimited Vacation time.)

I’m a capitalist, and a firm believer that if you want someone to make you successful, make your success into their success. Stock options, useful overtime projects, or bonuses (which must all be entirely optional) give a view into which employees are willing to do the work, and capable of doing good work. Fear and micromanagement only net workers who do the absolute least work to get the absolute least you’re willing to pay.

I have always held that hard work is a virtue, but is it virtuous to work hard to produce fruit that rots on the vine?

Is it virtuous to work for a company which nods politely at your process improvements and continues doing things with low efficiency and high urgency?

Is it virtuous to lend consideration to where The Company will be 10 years down the road while it thinks of you in contract increments, average turnover estimates, or as a candidate for outsourcing and the upcoming layoffs?

That wasn’t rhetorical.

I really do want to know the answer.

Because it is one of motivation and interests. Until I find that answer, I will continue working the tasks assigned to me and trying to find better ways of doing them, but knowing my first priority is personal professional development which helps myself first and my employer second.

Interesting problems with creative solutions look as good on my resume as process documentation and implementations in-line with the corporate direction. I’m happy to admit doing good work helps me and my employer, but can’t forget it is still a business transaction, not a honorable expression of masochism.

The days of working a 9 to 5 for 30 years and retiring with a pension and a gold watch are over in most fields. Maybe all. We’re all contractors now.

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We’re All Contractors Now

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