Breaking Out Of Prison! Who’s With Me?
For about 20+ years, I have been in “Corporate Prison” and I am breaking out. The pivotal moment came recently when I realized that the company I work for really doesn’t care about its employees despite their testament that they do. Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t been in a bubble all these years thinking Corporate America was ethical, it is just that sometimes you forget when you’re busy in the day to day routine of showing up and clocking in.
Currently I’m a “full-timer”, but there are other employees that are part-time. Their hours were being cut back due to “not enough hours in the budget”, however, management was holding group interviews & orientations for new employees. Doesn’t make sense does it? Well, it didn’t to me either, until further investigation. Apparently, it costs less money to give new employees hours at a “lesser rate” than it does to give more hours to already established employees who have a higher hourly rate. Are you kidding me right now?! So no consideration is given to those established employees who are getting 5 hours less a week? That’s about $100-$180 less a month to these people who have rent to pay, food to buy, etc. That light bulb moment had me disgusted and ill.
Long Time Coming
This isn’t the first instance where I’ve seen or experienced this type of situation. There have been many a different circumstance or situation that pretty much pointed to the same writing on the wall – employees take a back seat to the bottom line despite the ever prevalent expectation of their unfailing loyalty and dedication to said company. So basically, be loyal and give blood, sweat & tears until tomorrow morning when we give you a cardboard box to put your personal belongings in while security escorts you like a felon.
Those of us who currently aren’t filling our cardboard boxes with personal items while being watched like a hawk, are still toiling away at jobs we don’t like because it’s a necessary evil if you want to survive and you know, eat (and buy ebooks and card-making supplies). We get up every day, go through our routine of getting ready for work and traveling to companies that we think have our backs with “paid vacations”, 401ks, and whatever else they’ve deemed as perks for working for them. But when we are waylaid for reason beyond our control like traffic, transit issues, sick child or lost keys, why are our stomachs tied in knots because of what we might face when we finally walk through the office doors? Why are we suddenly children headed to the principal’s office to try and explain the infraction? I don’t know about you, but I hate that feeling, always have. Although I have no control over the transit system when decide to go express, bypassing my stop, I feel guilty as though I’ve done something wrong.
I remember when my children were young and they got sick, the utter turmoil I felt because I was torn between calling out from my job to stay with my kid. Why should i have felt that way, if my company had my back and valued their employees?
A Look Back
For the past 20 years I have wanted to branch out on my own. But for many reason all boiling down to fear I have not despite my talents, skills & sparkling personality. I have continued to follow the status quo, do what was expected despite being miserable and suck just it up.
I had an “Aha” moment earlier. All my jobs have been based on survival. Every job has been out of necessity for one reason or another. Never have I pursued employment because it was a company I believed in, or because it was a dream job I was pursuing. I fell into them all out of a basic need – survival. And eventually for different reasons ranging from downsizing/layoffs, attendance issues and even a crazed bipolar owner, I got voted of the island. This in turn had me taking whatever was available so I could survive once again continuing this dreaded cycle.
This is how I find myself in my current situation. My job is a survival job. I found it after a year of not working.
Due to a personal situation that happened, I had to leave Virginia, a place I called home for almost 20 years, and move back in with my mother with nothing more than a suitcase and some boxes (of books & card-making supplies!) and starting all over again.
It’s been about 2 years now since this happened and it’s been about a little over a year since finding my survival job, my necessity, and my prison. And what have I learned? That I am still a square peg trying to fit in a round hole; that I am still a prisoner in someone else’s world who dictates when I wake, when I eat and when I can leave my cell. And for what? Am I getting anything out of it except a paycheck? No. Am I growing as a person because of it? No. Are the company’s values in line with my own? Not that I can see.
Alcatraz – Alive & Well And Disguised As Corporate America
So I’ve decided that “square one” doesn’t have to mean I have failed. I can allow it to mean that I am just taking my first step to a better, richer and more fulfilling life. And for that to happen I have to create my “escape plan”.
I am committed to creating the life that I want and that committed may take some time. But with careful planning, courage, good humor and a desire to do what it right, help others – escaping should be in the bag.