Quote of the Week

"One cool judgment is worth a thousand hasty councils."
- Woodrow Wilson

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Jealous? Of what, doing something? Anyone can do that.

A few months ago I left my position at a small defense manufacturer to return to working for a medium size medical device manufacturer. Something I probably should have done years ago, but I kept hoping that the ownership of the defense manufacturer would wake up and realize how poorly they were allowing their investment to be ran.

I started wondering if my previous employer was serious when they told me "if you ever want to come back, we'll have a position for you." Long story short, I went back to where I most likely should not have left I the first place. Now I'm happy again, working at a profitable company that has its act together. But I'm still left shaking my head at something that keeps happening of late.

I keep getting messages from former coworkers congratulating me on leaving. They tell me I'm "lucky" and they wish they could "get out" of the company that is creeping closer and closer to shutting down. It's a weird thing. They make it sound like there's a barbed wire topped fence around the place with armed guards keeping them in the prison they are forced to work at.

But there is no fence. There are no guards. They are keeping themselves in the prison of their work and I don't understand why. The overall moral at the company has been lower than any place I've worked for years now. It is an at will employer. No one is bound to the company or a slave to a union with contracts or the threat of losing their pension. They can walk away at any time.

Most people who remain at this company hate their job, have no convenience in the leadership and are smart enough to see the company's health is on life support. They know the company can not compete with its competition; they know the equipment is worn out, obsolete and there are no plans or money for replacing it. They know the banks forced the owners to sell off the only division of the company that has been profitable in the last four or five years to pay down their debt. They know all these things, but do not know how to leave.

The only explanation I have for this is it's just human nature to fear change and to stick with what's familiar to you, "the devil you know" type of logic. It truly bums me out when I see smart, skilled people who should be happy doing what they do for a living, settle for being a prisoner in a self made work house based on fear of the unknown.

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