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Shocking News!
Published on June 24, 2013 by Sara Foss

Apparently most Americans hate their jobs, according to a recent Gallup poll. 

This shouldn't come as a surprise, really, but Timothy Egan delves into the reasons why over at the New York Times. These reasons include increased productivity and stagnating wages, but also cretinous bosses. If you can believe it, people don't like working for people who are dumber/more venal than they are. The Egan piece does include this terrific Homer Simpson quote: "Lisa, if you don't like your job, you don't strike. You just go in every day and do it really half-assed. That's the American way."

Here's another good piece on the Gallup poll over at Gin and Tacos. This writer correctly notes that mentally checking out of a job where your work isn't valued and you never get a raise is actually a fairly rational thing to do.

"Business schools have spent 30 years churning out people who believe in motivation by intimidation – work hard or else we will fire you, replace you, move to Mexico, and so on. And yes, an employer certainly has a right to expect employees to fulfill their obligations. This is where we see the large gap between fulfilling the requirements of a job – i.e., doing the bare minimum – and doing a good job. 'Work hard and you will get promoted / get a raise' is the natural response, but in many of our workplaces I think we discover fairly quickly that the raises aren't coming no matter how hard we work (or they come, but with a truckload of additional burdens that vastly outweigh them).

That's the end result about all of this 'Woe is us' from the owner and manager classes – we're constantly told that we can't be paid more ('We just can't afford it! We're barely breaking even!') but we're not expected to react strategically. The rational thing to do, if you know you can't profit from working harder, is to figure out the minimum amount of work you can do under the terms of your employment." 

 

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