Friday, 4 April 2014

Work ethic

Today is about venting.

I am so frustrated with the general (lack of) work ethic today.  Somehow we have created a culture that glorifies laziness, and rewarded getting the most with the least amount of effort.

James runs a business.  It's a moving company geared to seniors and retirement residences. We have trucks and employees and ten years experience.  And we can't seem to get a steady workforce.  And it boggles my mind.

An employee starts as a mover. It is a physically demanding job, much like farming would have been decades ago.  But the rewards of physical labour are great: strength, vigour, good use of the body, and a healthy tiredness at the end of the day.  I spent the last two weeks chipping away at the four foot tall ice block on our deck.  I wielded the ice chipper, broke off a big block of ice and the hefted that 50 pound block over the deck fence onto the ground.  I have never felt better.  And yet, so few people see the benefits of physical labour any longer.

We pay well above minimum wage.  We are sympathetic to home and family responsibilities. There is latitude with booking days off.  James and his brother are kind bosses, who themselves work hard, and create a pleasant and friendly atmosphere in which to work.

If someone just needed daily work at a decent wage, it's there.  But there is so much room for growth.  Anyone with a business mind or good client relations have a number of positions to which they could climb.  There is room for growth, expansion, franchising, and relocation.  We have an entire division in another city that is in need of someone to run it.  For someone with ideas, ambition, potential, it's a gold mine.  While experience in our industry must be gained first, there isn't an endless waiting and guessing period, hoping not to be passed over for a promotion.

I heard CBC radio proclaim the puzzling news that unemployment and job creation are both on the rise.  The analyst said they haven't seen this before...unemployment rising while companies are saying they can't find workers.  This speaks to the same thing I have witnessed in our company.  All we are looking for are honest, hard working people.  But working hard is being shunned by our society more and more.  The sense of entitlement we are being raised on is poisoning the job market. Technology has given us work-saving devices (dishwasher) and time-waiting devices (television), both which feed a society that is becoming increasingly lazy.

And while I vent and complain, it also helps me to hold up a mirror to my own life, and to the ways in which I am raising my children. I hope to spend my days working hard, and learning to value how that work benefits me physically, emotionally and mentally.  And I hope I can successfully convey the importance of hard arms work to my children instead of smoothing the road to laziness for them.

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