Thursday, December 18, 2008

Work Beef

One of the toughest aspect of my life in the last few years has been my workplace. I've said before that I am self employed but I actually have an arrangement that isn't too common (that I know of).

I "outsource" my hiring, advertising, training of staff, the entire administration process. What that means is that I am able to walk into work where a printout of my day is ready for me, work, then go home. The administrative team take care of everything. There is the occasional error but mostly runs well. My overhead runs at 35%.

Here is my beef.

I don't feel that the staff hired are treated very well nor paid enough for the amount of work they do. I feel that the very "male, corporate model of business" is becoming "harsh" and is moving away from the "humane".

In their effort to maximize rental income, there is now a problem with parking availability. I feel there is a optimal size for certain businesses and that when you cannot adequately house everyone, then you've gotten too big.

Maybe I don't think big enough? Maybe I'm too idealistic?

I have a problem with work schedules that keep changing. I wouldn't want it and I don't know how people can plan anything when every week is different. I feel bad for my staff! They have lives outside of work!

Because I pay for an all inclusive service, I feel I only have a say. I've voiced my opinions seemingly to no avail. Last year, I went as far as getting pre-approved for a mortgage to buy my own office.

Opening my own office wasn't something I had wanted to do because of the time and energy it would take. But,I am willing to take it on if it would mean that I would be able to provide better working conditions for others, even if my overhead increases (I calculated it to be around 42 - 48%).

In the end, after many hours of meetings and negotiations, I heard their side. I voiced my side. I needed to know if the direction of the business was in line with my business. I feel it is a human rights issue.

I will not trample on the rights and work conditions of people in order to run my business. I do not feel good about that. They were adamant that our philosophies are online.

In my quest to live a fulfilling life (what I blog about!), I want others to do the same. I feel that the money I pay for my administration service ought to allow my staff to live better too. It is not different from wanting to buying fair trade.

This year, I have seen some improvement. Only time will tell if it is sustained and enough.

Like with any relationship, I know the signs of when it is time to cut loses and go.


  1. I know how it feels to be an employee and feel exploited by your employer. Good for you for not sacraficing your staff for the bottom line!

  2. Thanks Money -- My being somewhat of a control freak (and having a decent amount of freedom in my life) has meant that when I see others "controlled" in a difficult way, I find it very hard to take.

    We'll see where this journey ends up!