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Sun Nov 25, 2012, 04:50 PM

How Corporate America Is Turning Into A Cult And Why It's Harming The American Employee - HuffPo

How Corporate America Is Turning Into a Cult and Why It's Harming the American Employee
Ruth Whippman - HuffPo
Posted: 11/24/2012 6:24 pm

I used to work for a large organization. One afternoon, all the staff in my department were herded into a giant conference room, and informed that due to budget cuts within the year over half of us present would lose our jobs. Fresh from a leadership course at the University of Corporate Doublethink, our bushy-tailed manager "reframed" the concept for us. "Don't see this as a negative" he advised. "We like to see this as us empowering you to take on new opportunities."

Over the last decade or so, a growing disconnect has developed between the bizarre and almost cult-like rhetoric and practices that companies use with their staff, and the increasingly grim reality of being an employee in modern day Corporate America.

For example, anyone stumbling upon the Walmart careers website might be forgiven for thinking that Google had malfunctioned and directed them instead to the Scientologists, whose recruitment site features a collection of testimonials virtually indistinguishable in their tone of robotic devotion.

Over at "Walmart People," Lois Givens, Personnel Manager at store number 992 assures us: "If you live your whole entire life according to the Walmart culture and three basic beliefs, life becomes a lot easier." Shana Bailey, Director of Store Operations emotes: "To this day, I continue to grow and learn, and the Walmart family is always there for me every step of the way," while Patricia Graham of the Distribution Centers adds: " Walmart is my Life (capitalization her own). When I think about it, it's amazing how many aspects of my life are touched and made better by Walmart."


And...

But while loyalty to an employer and pride in one's work can be important planks of self esteem, the increasing merge of self and company is a cultural shift that poisonously favors the employer over the employee. The more the relationship is characterized by unswerving devotion rather than genuine bargaining power, the more employers are able to encourage staff to work harder and longer, and the more they are able to suppress any meaningful dissent.

It's a strategy that's working. For all this cultish rhetoric, the power balance between employer and worker has not been loaded further in the employer's favor since the second world war. Executive pay and profits have skyrocketed while wages have stagnated and vast numbers of blue-collar workers are living below the poverty line, dependent on food stamps and government assistance just to get by. These two facts are not unrelated -- a JPMorgan economist calculated that the majority of increased corporate profits between 2000 and 2007 were the result of "reductions in wages and benefits."

Despite all this talk of "empowerment" American workers have now lost any real bargaining power they once had with their employers to change these conditions. Union representation, with its promise of better wages and benefits for workers, has reached a record low. The Walmart workers' strike comes after decades of methodical discouraging of union membership by their employers. They are not the only ones. Among others, Starbucks ("we're called partners because it's not just a job, it's our passion") lost in Federal Court after being accused of illegal union busting efforts and firing baristas for union activities.

White collar workers are affected by this trend too...


More: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ruth-whippman/how-corporate-america-is-_b_2171040.html?utm_hp_ref=business


10 replies, 2023 views

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Reply How Corporate America Is Turning Into A Cult And Why It's Harming The American Employee - HuffPo (Original post)
WillyT Nov 2012 OP
HiPointDem Nov 2012 #1
OneGrassRoot Nov 2012 #2
flamingdem Nov 2012 #3
WillyT Nov 2012 #6
OneGrassRoot Nov 2012 #7
WillyT Nov 2012 #8
DonCoquixote Nov 2012 #4
daggahead Nov 2012 #5
blackspade Nov 2012 #9
tilsammans Nov 2012 #10

Response to WillyT (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 05:21 PM

1. kr

 

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 05:26 PM

2. That is so damn creepy. :( K&R n/t

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Response to OneGrassRoot (Reply #2)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 05:55 PM

3. Once again, the hippies were right

.. don't trust the man!

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Response to OneGrassRoot (Reply #2)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 08:19 PM

6. I Know... I Couldn't Do It...

Had a supervisor years back who told everybody, "There's no "I" in "Team".

We started cracking up when somebody muttered under their breath, "Yeah, but there is one in "Bite Me".






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Response to WillyT (Reply #6)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:04 PM

7. Ha!

Nice.



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Response to OneGrassRoot (Reply #7)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:17 PM

8. LOL !!!


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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 06:21 PM

4. Whenever you hear the words "corporate culture"

Think CULT.

Actually, there is not much difference between corporations and religions; both take subjective ideas and treat them like hard objects, and both have a disrespect for any culture they cannot control.

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 06:58 PM

5. It sickens me when ...

... Corporation minions manipulate language to avoid being perceived as the assholes they were told to be.

"Right-sizing" or the new "flexible workforce" means firing people and hiring part-time workers.

"Staffing model" refers to sending jobs to India or China.

I am in the belly of the beast, so to speak. In the IT consulting industry, cost-savings (aka cheap labor) is key to many negotiations. For the company I work for, it can make or break a deal. It is sad that this is what it comes down to.

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 11:36 PM

9. This was definately my experience.

I was 'voluntarily' terminated after 10 years at my last job because my family situation was making it extremely difficult to travel.
There was plenty of local work and I was willing to drum up more, but I was told it was a matter of 'fairness' even though I had years of seniority over most of the staff at my level in the organization.
I asked my managers what my options were and was told:"you can quit of you can go back to traveling full time when and wherever we tell you."
When I asked if I could move to a different job like several other of my co-workers, I was told: "No."
Then I was told not to look at it as a negative, but as a chance to grow at a new job.

SO, I told the spineless turds to shove it and joined a small woman owed business run by several folks they had kanned years before.
And went back to grad school.

The shitty thing that they do is frame things in such a way, that it is like they are doing you a favor by cutting you off from a steady paycheck, healthcare, and friends that you have worked for for years to build up.
I still can't believe that I stayed so long, but they really hold you over a barrel with the benefits.

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 11:11 AM

10. So true, sad to say . . .

K and R!

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