A New Work Ethic
Describe how typical the attitudes that Sheehy reports appear to be in work environments you have experienced.
I worked as a merchandise manager at Bloomingdales where the average age of the sales associates where 18 to 25 years old. At that time many of the employees regarded the work as something to do until they found real jobs, or until they graduated from college. For many of the It failed to meet the economic and professional standards a college graduates envisioned their college education would, or should afford them. Consistent with Sheehy’s observations, task like sweeping, vacuuming or wiping down glass table were more popular than waiting on customers and ...view middle of the document...
Younger employees are bombarded with stories of billionaires made in a few years after launching a Microsoft, Google, E-Bay or FaceBook, placing more focus on the conceptualization on the next big idea than building a strong resume with increasing responsibility.
However, it is not just the American work ethic that has changed. Business has changed too. My mother and father believe that working 20-plus years into a company would ensure a comfortable retirement through a company sponsored pensions. Company sponsored plans have all but disappeared as did employee’s long-term dedication to one company. Social Security is also in jeopardy of evaporating.
The next generation of American workers are nervous about the future and is looking to move up or out within two to three years of landing a job. They have watched business reflatten the world with globalization, creating anxiety, because they are now competing with overseas peers. They have also experienced American pillars in business like the Big 3 automakers and all the major banks crumble and need bailouts. Employees are looking for the next big idea to ensure their very own futures. The attitude of today’s workers seem to be a “get it now” while it’s there attitude.
Explain whether it is more reasonable to expect workers, especially in a capitalist society, to be more devoted to their jobs, more concerned with quality and customer service, than Sheehy’s coworkers were.
At its base, capitalism provides individuals with opportunities of raising their income by recognizing and rewarding hard work. Whether it is a company pursuing and winning a larger market share, or an employee gaining a promotional footing by streamlining a process that directly impacts a company’s bottom line; capitalism allows each to reap the full benefit of their efforts. That is missed by Sheehy’s coworkers. Their attitudes regarding customer service, management and work as a whole under minds capitalism’s core values.
It is more reasonable for employees to be more dedicated to their work, customer service and quality in order to establish the skills and gain the recognition that will eventually build the resume and land them the corporate jobs they desire. It is missed by them because the core values of capitalism are not taught as the keys to success.
Explain the reasoning behind employee theft.
Theft in the department store where I worked was rampant. They regarded it as “getting one over on the man.” The man was the big organization that was exploiting their youth by paying them low wages and working them long hours. So as a result of that many of the associates commented theft in the store. The store had a policy of allowing employees to purchase merchandise on items that was out of season. On items that the employees highly coveted, products were hidden or placed in less visible areas to reduce the likelihood that they would be sold. The employees did not see the act of hiding the merchandise in the...