"I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing." ~ Dame Agatha Christie

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Seniority Versus Complacency

Interesting discussion at work the past several days--should seniority on the job outrank productivity when bidding on shifts?

I've only had my present job just shy of four years (yikes--has it already been that long since Hurricane Katrina? I guess so--she devastated the Gulf Coast August 29, 2005). There are many people who have come and gone in that length of time; telephone customer service is not often a "job of choice" and subjecting yourself to possible daily verbal abuse is not for everyone.

When I was first hired, we had no shift bids and "prime" shifts were earned pretty much by seniority; if someone left, the next person in line received that shift if desired. That policy changed this year and we have just experienced our second bid process.

I try to ensure high productivity--since I am privileged to be able to work from home, I feel a distinct obligation to maintain my numbers; luckily, I am self-motivated enough to maintain that amount of discipline (at least where my employment is concerned; we all know my crafting life and my housework suffer often--see prior posts LOL).

My paycheck is not my only work-related blessing; I have no need for "office-quality" clothing nor do I spend hours commuting on public transportation (or worse horrors yet--money spent to buy/maintain an automobile). If high productivity ensures these blessings continue, I will do my best to maintain that productivity.

So, even though there are people in my department who have been there longer, I was blessed last bid to receive one of the two most-desired shifts. Although I lost a shift differential then, I gained all my evenings to run errands, go to the library for research, have dinner with friends--in short, have a great life after work.

Once I saw how enjoyable and productive my evenings could be, I vowed to maintain this shift. As of today's announcement, I have succeeded until the next bid. (A short pause here while I reach around and pat myself on the back LOL).

My senior colleagues have not been so lucky and I have heard through the grapevine that some in the office feel that we should honor seniority over productivity.

Past jobs (including one for local government) taught me that as a person "ages" in their job, they become complacent and lackadaisical in their work habits. Once past probation (and certainly once tenured), many employees in many companies believe they are secure in their positions simply because they've been there so long.

If this economic climate (coupled with my Katrina experience) has taught me anything, it has taught me that sitting on my laurels will give me nothing but a sore a**. Thankfully, I can learn from the experiences of others--while I appreciate my seniority as it shows stability in the job, I will count on my productivity to help me advance.

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