May 14, 2012

I suppose some people still don’t understand social websites.

I was reading an article about a lady in Edmonton, Alberta, who was fired from her position at Canada Post.  After 31 years service, and probably close to retirement, she was frustrated enough with her job to start posting derogatory comments about her work environment and management on Facebook (Canada Post mail sorter who went postal on Facebook loses job).

Assuming that she may have obtained her position at 20 years of age, that would make her at least 50ish years old.  And yet, she still has not grown up.  Yes, and I think that anyone who doesn’t agree, is probably asleep on the job, everyone has a day or two where you just want to see the job end.  Yes, there are some businesses that have a better working environment than others.  Yes, there are some bad managers out there, but there are just as many good ones.  Yes, we all get tired after a while.

As a younger person, perhaps just getting into the workforce, one may be a little more hot-headed.  Frustration level is high, because, well, as younger people, we know everything.  Older people are just not ‘… with the times…’. Younger people tend to flip jobs more often than older people.  One reason could be above, but also, it is more difficult to begin a new job at an older age.  I don’t deny that.

This woman’s problem didn’t just happen overnight.  The problems had to have been building up over time.  Now, I am by no means a prophet or career counselor, but there are other ways to handle situations.

I’ve heard for many, MANY years, that Canada Post is not the most wonderful place to work.  As I’m sure, the more Facebook and other social websites emerge, email, electronic and Internet banking, and various other ways our lives have become easier to communicate with people, has hurt Canada Post and other postal systems around the world.  Less people spending money on the postal systems to send parcels and letters, and more people using the Internet and courier service providers.

So, the question is, why do so many people want to work with an organization that, more than likely one day, be non-existent?  Canada and the United States are on the verge of eliminating the one-cent piece (penny) – how long will it be before Canada Post is gone?

As we get older, and as we rise in ranks in our organizations, there are fewer ‘management’ positions than ‘worker’ positions.  The pyramid effect – ‘… the higher, the fewer…’.  It doesn’t take a genius to figure that out.  Why else would there be one boss, a few managers, and a plethora of workers in a business?  ‘The higher, the fewer.’

At some point, either due to experience or education or lack of wanting something more of yourself, we may not be the manager or boss of the organization we work for.  How do we convince younger people that not everyone will be a manager at some point in their working life?

At some point, our manager may be younger than ourselves.  Yes, it is hard to accept that someone half our age could possibly be more qualified to occupy a management position than ourselves.  I’ve been through it!  I’m sure we all have.

At some point, and I’m not quite sure how old I was, I ‘changed the lightbulb.’  The little 5-watter was burnt out, and I replaced it with a new, energy-saving, 13-watter.  I could have used a 9-watt, but opted to go beyond.  It took less of my energy to power, and brightened things a little more.

To put it another way, I woke up.  I realized that it takes a while for most people to advance upwards.  The world (or work) doesn’t owe me a living.  I have to create that living myself.  I have to prove that I am worth the investment of my managers.  I have to prove that I am knowledgeable, reliable, punctual – basically, able to perform in a position of management.

This opened up something else inside me.  I became worthy of myself.  No longer was I so pre-occupied by the rantings and jealousies and bitchiness of my fellow co-workers.  My group of friends at work changed to those who were more optimistic, pleasant…  I decided rather than fight the system, work with or within the system.

Then I changed the 13-watter to a 15-watter.  That was the point when I realized, and no negativeness intended, but I realized that there was no further future in what I was doing.  Yes, I could go up in level, but never be able to move to other classifications.  The best I could hope for, was a steady paycheck.  A steady job.  Set holidays.  But I needed more of my life.

With the 15-watter fully in place and glowing brightly, I knew that I had more potential.  Rather than someone else dictating my life, I changed my life.  I decided to make the decisions.  So, here I am today.  I’m not sure if there is a higher wattage bulb out there, but for now, my bulb is glowing brightly.

As for the woman mentioned above, it seems to me, her 5-watt bulb has just burnt out.  Unfortunately for her, it is a bit late in life, but, as I’ve learned over my life, it is never too late.  Pick up the pieces woman, you’re request to overturn the dismissal was denied.  Change your lightbulb, and move on.  Watch, in future, what you post and to whom you are posting it to.  Not everyone on your friend list in Facebook is your friend!

That’s it, that’s all… for now!


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