“US companies became leaner, meaner, and hungrier”, reports the Wall Street Journal, on April 9, 2012, quoting a spokesperson for Wells Fargo Bank. Companies are indeed “lean”. Are they producing less? No. Wall street is up and has reported strong profit and earnings for over a year. The trick is that more is being done with less. That is, you are working harder for your employer than ever before. The Wells Fargo flack is right on target. Profit is king and there is no room for those who are not willing to work “off the clock”, to “volunteer” or, heaven forbid, for those who are sick or who want to start a family. Companies demand loyalty from you but are they loyal to you? Most of the time the answer is no. Management serves itself and the Board and ultimately, the shareholder. You are always “at will” in the mind of the company. In other words, you are instantly dispensable. Recently, companies have become more brazen about firing anyone and everyone who might affect profit or image. Wells Fargo is right on the money, companies are much, much “meaner” than ever before.
There is a great story about Rupert Murdoch’s purchase of a magazine called New York, a journal known for the quality of the journalists which included Tom Wolfe, Ken Auletta and others. During the takeover, the journalists banded together and decided to put their foot down. They would threaten to quit unless Murdoch honored the tradition of excellence at the magazine. One day, they gathered at Murdoch’s lawyers’ superb office and made their case. The lawyer listened, thanked them politely and said. “You just don’t get it. You’re the furniture” and fired them all. That was some time ago but Murdoch pointed the way forward and companies will not let things like statutes and the law get in their way. If they are caught, no big deal. Its a cost of doing business. We would urge you not to go gently but to stand up for your rights. We can help you do just that when you stand alone against the lean, mean, hungry employer who wants to cull you from the pack or who has already done so.