Sunday, January 13, 2013

I am not a Resource, I am a Human Being

This being a paraphrase from the late sixties British series, The Prisoner, the iconic "I am not a number, I am a Human Being." I spent more time than I wanted serving my employer this past year, culminating in a late July confrontation with my supervisor. I've never done that before with an employer. I'm under no illusions about being irreplaceable - but I have the unique position of being the person to contact when things go wrong. (Having the answers is another story)

This past six months have been spent trying to move to a new position and barring that, finding a new employer that appreciates my services. Coming home at night (or sometimes the next morning) I lost most of my motivation to post for the most part. And Iowa has been quiet on gun issues until the last couple of weeks. Along with challenging technology on the home front and a serious family issue  that drew attention away from all else, I've fallen out of grace regarding blogging etiquette.

I'd like to share my philosophy of the employer/employee relationship.

I hate the term "Human Resources" - People are not resources.
Resources are products used in production like coal, steel, or power resources like electricity. When we think of employees as nothing more as units of production, employers may look at not much beyond productivity levels. The old "What have you done for me lately" syndrome. For example, in the middle of a project, getting pulled into a second project, and then being asked if I have the first one done. (That resulted in a bit of a conflict)

I view employment as a partnership.
Yes, there is a subordinate relationship, but it is a group of people focused on a common goal. Hierarchical leadership is necessary to achieve goals with the key of having that leader keep a "follow me" quality. The best leaders I've worked for were those who focused on getting resources to their team members for them to do their jobs. All partnerships require communication. All partnerships require a balance which relates to the next thought.

The law of Reciprocity will be obeyed.
When hard work is rewarded, people respond. When an employer neglects this law, the employer/employee relationship is not in balance. As in all relationships, when a side is taking and the other is giving, there is an imbalance that must be corrected. If not, irreconcilable differences ensue and a mental "divorce" takes root. Soon a separation is the only answer.

And a separation was completed at the beginning of the new year as I've moved to a new part of the organization.

I've got the same demands as before and in some cases, more. But in less than a week, acts of reciprocity has already taken place with the new supervisor. The old supervisor has made demands from both me and the new super since the transfer, but maybe that would calm down.

There are dark clouds on the horizon with idiots in the statehouse in Des Moines demanding a full semi-auto ban along with confiscations. I'm getting tired of talking heads on the idiot box yammering the familiar, "I'm support the Second Amendment, but...". Just fill in the blank with magazine limits, treating semi-autos in the same category as full-auto, and the eye rolling, "No one needs an assault weapon to hunt deer." (SKS rifles are considered "assault weapons" by many but are used by hunters in Wisconsin).

We've got our work cut out for us and it's time for me to get back on the blog and keep you aware of what's going on here in Iowa.

That is, if any of my former loyal readers are still around. I hope you all understand.


Jim said...

This one is still around, and damned happy to hear from you.

I suppose it's an appropriate time to spout one of those aphorisms about keeping a chin up and working through crap. But you know you have my -- and many others' -- good will without all that.

It would be fun to hear the latest on Camp Stranded if you fel like writing about it.

Austin Wedding Photographer said...

Excellent post. Thanks for sharing this!

strandediniowa said...

Thanks for sticking around, Jim.

Camp Stranded hasn't panned out exactly how we planned. The lack of rain didn't help the hay or the trees, but on the positive side, I lost 18 lbs working down there during the summer.

Maybe 2013 will be a better year for us.

Chaplain Tim said...

I'm still around. I hadn't moved your blog into the "Dead" folder yet, in hopes that you would be back.
I fully understand your troubles- similar are occurring on my homefront. I hope you at least have a wife that will give support and comfort.
Welcome back!

strandediniowa said...

Thanks, Chaplain. I think there are a lot of families in the same boat and I hope you have calmer seas soon.

The Mrs. hasn't moved me to the "Dead folder"... yet.

Ben said...

Good to have you back Stranded! It's a whole new year, let's hope it's a better one.