Saturday, September 06, 2008

Interesting Bus Ride

I'ts 5:30 on Saturday morning, and yes I am up. Sleeping is not my best thing these days, and besides, during the week I am usually on the metro bus on my way to the subway station at this time of the morning, so I am use to being up at this time.

I had an interesting discussion on the commuter bus last night. I take the commuter bus home (after the "incident" on the metro bus). The commuter bus is so different than the metro bus. It seems like all of these people have been riding the bus together for years. I tend to sit near the front and all of these people are carrying on discussions with the bus driver and laughing. For the last few nights the discussion has settled on politics and sports. I don't chime in of course. I am just to introverted for that. I do listen, and sometimes smile to myself at some of the things being said. I generally read or sometimes just enjoy the ride. The beginning of the ride is through a great section of WDC. After all of these years I still enjoy seeing the famous buildings and all of the various architectures.

Last night a woman sat down next to me and she was one of these people who seems to be very friendly and a chatter. She started talking about this and that, and then she launched into a big discussion about her job. I think she is a bit younger than I am, but her situation is fairly similar. We started talking about what we wish a place of employment would be. Here are some of the points we both touched on.

1. Fairness, fairness, fairness

2. Opportunities for advancement. Why do employers continue to go outside to hire people instead of looking closely at the employees that are already there.

3. Managers who have taken some sort of management courses. Just because someone is credentialed in their field, and good at what they do, does not mean they should be managing staff.

4.If you do not have the credentials, you shouldn't be in the GS-12 category, or the equivalent for non-government jobs.

5.This is one of my peeves. I know that when I started my current position, I wasn't treated that great by some of my co-workers. Where I work is sort of strange anyway because it's not just the library, we are co-located with another department. And I will never work in a place that is set up like that again. Anyway, everyone has problems, but is it too much to ask for people to try to treat new hires respectfully. Try and remember when you where new and how that felt. Good manners and common decency are all that's needed. Good grief! I thought, like I always do, that I was being treated terribly because I'm a black female. I still feel I am being limited to certain things because of that, but that's another post. I don't even think that had a lot to do with it. The last new hire, who is actually more credentialed than any of these people, but she took a non-professional position. Quite a few people do that just to get in the government, and then I guess they think they will be able to move around. Not so easy to do that. Anyway, they treat her like crap. They watch her like a hawk, and it's ridiculous. This woman is always on time, and she works hard. She has been befriended by someone on the library staff so at least she has someone to talk to and go to lunch with. I want to ask all of the hawks that watch her, what the hell do you think she's going to do? Is she in prison? The only thing that she and her library friend do is go across the street and get coffee every once in a blue moon. The hypocrisy of this is that the rest of the staff does what they want to do so I don't know why they are treating her this way. I hope she doesn't put up with this nonsense for too long. I'm amazed she has lasted this long with what she has to go through on a daily basis. I could go on and on even more than I have already, about this, but I'll stop FOR NOW. We are all hypocrites to some degree, and at times I just sit back and laugh at these folks, but the situation that this woman is so blatantly unfair, it's sad.

6. Employees who are making a boatload of money, should do a boatload of work.

7. Employees who have set a pattern of not doing their work, not meeting deadlines,etc., etc. should be fired. I'm sorry, but that's fair. It is very demoralizing and dispiriting for the employees who do everything that they are supposed to do and more, but are treated the same as the malingerers.

That's all we came up with. If I see her again, and we continue our discussion I'll post more. What's your idea of a great workplace?

I just thought of this. The female bus chatter-I didn't even exchange names with her.

Even though I went to Catholic schools I am not Catholic or any religion for that matter. I just love what the following quote has to say.

"Because each human person has inherent dignity independent of his or her economic value, work is designed to benefit the person, not the other way around...In this era of economic globalization, it is all the more important to remember that people should always take priority over profit. Workers, in the Catholic social tradition, have essential human rights: to a just and living wage that will support workers' families, to organize and bargain collectively through trade unions, to safe and to humane working conditions, and to leisure time to spend with their friends and families. Employees have a responsibility to hold up their end of the bargain, but so too must employers take an active role in protecting these essential rights." (p. 27.)" A Nation for All: How the Catholic Vision of the Common Good Can Save America from the Politics of Division, by Chris Korzen and Alexia Kelley

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