So I like to speak with people about their lives.
Today at breakfast, there was a gentlemen working the egg bar making omelettes for people.
Recognizing him, I said "You've been here a number of years?"
He responds, "Yeah, but I want to leave here!"
I was sort of taken aback at his bluntness, and inquired further, "Why, is everything okay?"
He goes, "Not really. They'll only give me work 6 to 7 hours a day, and I can't make a living on 32 hours a week!"
I asked innocently, "Do you have a second job or something?"
He says, "No, this is it," and proceeded to make the next person's omelette.
Feeling sort of shitty bad for him...
Another lady who works the tables says to us: "I won't be seeing you."
I ask, "Why--are you off the next few days?"
She says, "No, I don't come back until next Saturday--I only work the weekends here, and somewhere else on weekdays."
Wondering about this, I say: "So you work 7 days a week?"
She answers, "Yes, year-round!"
After we said goodbye until next time, I looked at my wife grimacing that this women has to work 7 days a week, 365 days a year, just to earn a basic living.
I'll tell you the system is broken.
Shareholders and corporate chieftains squeeze profits and earnings per share out of their companies while the workers can barely get by.
The workers are not part of the companies they labor for--they are merely hired hands who will be replaced in a moment by another minimum wage worker if they but open their mouths to protest one word.
Slavery did not end in building the Great Pyramids of Egypt or in the plantations of the South--the average worker is still just a slave.
Employee engagement and development and "Human Capital" are terms organizations use to make themselves and their workers believe that there is real caring and unity going on.
But we know the truth by how people are treated with harshness, disrespect, disdain, and even abuse--sexual and otherwise!
Yeah, are you really valued or are you a wage slave showered with empty platitudes of unity and caring.
Real leadership is genuine compassion, empathy, and helping people both inside and outside the organization--not just a guise, disguise, mask for making just another dollar cracking the whip on the backs of the underclass.
All people are important.
All people deserve a living wage.
All people are entitled to work with dignity and respect.
All people need to be apart of a system that is fair and equitable.
Care for your brothers and sisters for one day you will be called before them in the court of Heaven and they will speak the final truth to power. ;-)
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)