Recent Posts

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Work-Ethic vs the Cell Phone and Computer; stealing and lying

The same report from marketing research firms Nielsen and NM Incite also found that 51 percent of US adults between 25 and 34 use social networking in the office -- more than any other age group. From France 24

Work, fine, but social networking, no...............
When I was working, either full or part-time, the educational institutions had rules on social networking. Of course, cell phones had to be turned off in the classrooms and lecture halls. My colleagues and I did our social networking on our breaks, not in class time, or office time.

What has happened is that the Millennials have lost the work-ethic. No offence, but my generation knows how to work. And, it is one reason why we learn how to pray.

There is a connection. One must be disciplined to do things at the appropriate time. I am concerned about this statistic. What is wrong here is called stealing and lying, both.

Stealing is taking time for personal things for which one is being paid a salary for work.

Lying is pretending one is doing work instead of social networking.

These could become serious sins. As we say in the States, or did, "Time is money." 

Some Millennials do not have a work ethic, and this has led to poor services in many countries. I have had to wait in shops in Europe for young people to get off their cell phones, who should have been waiting on me. Happened yesterday. Why should people, including ancient ones older than myself, wait in a line while the young man behind the counter is on his phone? I shall not go back to that shop, period.

Why are they allowed to do this? This happened in a large store recently as well, when a young woman was on her phone. I had to wait. In fact, this happened three times in three weeks. So, once a week, in my very limited shopping, which is at most three times a week or food or personal items, I met this problem here in Dublin. Statistic: let me say conservatively 2 x 3 weeks shopping trips = 6; and 3 incidences of waiting for someone to get off the phone. Not good. And, these were personal calls. 

This constitutes bad manners, bad service. Two were young women and one was a young man. Two were not Irish, so this is not an anti-Irish comment. 

I think some Millennials do not know the difference between work and leisure time.

Prayer is a discipline. One cannot pray and text, or read email. One must create time for reading Scripture and meditating.

This is a huge problem for many under 40. 

Their souls are in danger of being so bound to electronics that they cannot pray and listen to God.

 Apologies for odd box on this post. Is not in the draft nor the seems to be a comment box glitch. 


Flambeaux said...

I'm not sure I agree. I work in a software company. We're expected to be around for a certain period of time every day, even if there is, in fact, nothing to do.

Further, my employer actively encourages use of social networking sites in the hopes that it will increase visibility of our products and services.

All the jobs I've had since I entered the white collar work force have been like this. There isn't enough work to fill the expected 8-10 hours a day we must work to earn our keep. But we're expected to around and put in "face time" or risk being cut loose.

If we had a saner, more traditionally Mediterranean culture here in the State, it might be different. But, since I'm expected to be here whether or not there is something for me to do, and I am forbidden from reading books at my desk or doing something otherwise productive, I can either twiddle my thumbs or read blogs.

Does it prevent "young people" from developing habits of prayer? Probably. But, even for that, it's not the electronic devices or the access, per se, that is the problem. It's that they've never received anything resembling decent instruction on the matter.

Supertradmum said...

Flambeaux, I do not know where you live, but where I come from, if there was not enough work, people got laid off. The Midwest in education and state government is very competitive and there is no thumb twiddling. Staff numbers are kept low on purpose and most people have too much work to do.

Jobs which demand high service orientation for customers should not allow cell phones. Customers should not have to wait for personal phones calls to be ended by staff.

If young people want to find out about prayer, there are millions of places they can look. If they are not interested, it is their fault. We have to start taking responsibility for our own prayer lives as young adults and stop blaming the local priests or mom and dad. The sign of maturity is taking responsibility for one's own life and not blaming others.

Flambeaux said...

I've always worked in the private sector. Even when running lean there's tons of down time or tons of busy work. And, especially with busy work, if you wait 10 minutes, the priorities will be changed by the idiots above.

It's just the nature of work in both financial services and software. *shrug*

Even when I worked in theater there was tons of downtime although the paychecks were worse and the job satisfaction equally dismal.

I don't disagree about cell phones among check-out clerks but that's why I shop online for just about everything. I avoid stores and commercial human interaction at all costs.

I don't disagree that we have to take responsibility for ourselves. But if you don't know a thing or a resource exists, you don't go looking for it. At least, I don't. And I don't know many people who do.

I've always had to know something exists to bother trying to find it. Most of the people I know who are my age and younger (mid-30s) don't know there are resources on improving one's prayer life. So they don't look for them. They're always surprised when I share something with them that is helpful.

So I do what I can.

Supertradmum said...

Flambeaux, because I am in the baby boom generation and there were always so many of us, jobs were competitive. Also, we are much more independent about finding out things-the good old pioneer spirit still lives in us. If we want to find out something, we do it. Part of it has been necessity. I am sorry that your generation is more passive, although I think the younger ones coming up are less so, from my experience as a teacher.

New Sister said...

I've always understood [heard studies cite] that those who surf the internet during work are more productive -- thus companies/managers are generally OK w/ it. DOD policy is explicitly permits it - at "reasonable" levels.

Supertradmum said...

New Sister, I do not know one company in the States that is ok with surfing the net on work time. The colleges I worked for did not allow the students to do that in the computer rooms, as it took time away from serious use, such as on line assignments and research papers. That was in 2010. As to service industries, when customers are waiting for a person to stop doing personal networking, I cannot imagine a manager condoning that behaviour. Waiting for a young lady to stop talking on her cell phone about where she is going for lunch so you can purchase something at the counter is ludicrous.

Anonymous said...

This blog makes a very valid point – when someone in the service industry doesn't "serve" because they're chatting or texting, then you wonder if their boss is aware of it.

My daughter, 30 yrs, works in accounting, would jeopardize her employment by texting or making private calls. There are people waiting for her position.

My private industry job is demanding – programming & customer relations & mgmt. Someone with less drive or less work ethic wouldn't make it in this position. They doubtless wouldn't have completed the degrees it took to get here either.

Matthew Roth said...

I agree to a point; where I disagree, Flambeaux and New Sister have pretty much said it all.

Chris said...

There is a broader point to be made with respect to discipline and doing things at the proper time, and it has nothing to do with work ethic of employees. As it turns out, many modern employers, especially those in the private sector, demand a lot more work than they actually stipulate in the common 40-hour employment agreement. In the US, the average hours worked per week in the private sector is actually 41.8, not 40, and there are many private sector employers wherein employees work a lot more hours than this. Fifty and occasionally sixty or more are not uncommon without an employer ever changing the language in the 40-hours-per-week employee agreement. Thus, there is another cause of improper discipline in the modern economy: namely employers getting far more employee time than they actually pay for. Seen in this light, it’s the employers and not the employees who are lying and stealing.

Nevertheless, I do not believe that employers are lying or stealing, nor do I believe it of their employees. Rather, a new grand bargain has been struck in which employees are permitted to engage in personal activities during work time so long as employers are allowed to require work activities during personal time. It is not theft by employees or employers. Rather, it is a trade-off, and in the US private sector at least, it is a trade-off in which the employers tend to come out ahead. The reason is that the driving factor in determining how much time is spent at work is whether or not the required work is complete in the allotted time. Finish early, and employers don’t care how you spend your office hours, so long as the work quality is sufficient. Don’t finish on time, and employers tend not to care even if the work quality is outstanding for the simple reason that it is not done. And so employees soldier on, putting in more and more hours until the work is complete.

Since it is rare, moreover, that work comes in a steady stream and even rarer that all employees have the same amount of work to do at the same time, lulls emerge, even when someone is working both long and hard. Sometimes an individual’s activities really do depend on someone else moving tio the next milestone, and perhaps that particular milestone is a bit more challenging than originally anticipated. And if you are the dependent party, eventually you wait. You can spend some time working on other things or manage your time in other ways. But sometimes the simplest thing is to take care of an errand or two (which can now be done online) and then stay late for a few days when the other person has reached the milestone on which you now depend.

Thus, the question in many cases is not one of lying or stealing but merely of discipline, meaning that the proper time be set firmly for the proper activity. There are fewer boundaries in modern life. Personal time and work time really do get blurred, and neither employee nor employer is wholly responsible for it. Usually, the primary motivating factor is the keen desire to compete, not so much to win as to avoid loss and (eventually) bankruptcy, job loss and so forth. There are forces beyond our control at work. And the bargain that gets struck is one in which the firm distinction between work and leisure is lost.

The loss of this firm distinction is a nasty malaise present in modern life. I think it contributes to familial break-down, among other things, because families lose the discipline of doing things at their proper time when even one family member has to stay over time at the office. Instant messaging, email, and personal cell phones are deployed by family members till at work in order to help compensate for this loss, but the real loss is the loss of face time, the necessary person-to-person interaction that is required for human relationships to thrive.

It is a bad consequence, but it is not due to theft or dishonesty on the part of either employer or employee.

Heritage Foundation article with statistics about hours worked per week in the US:

Supertradmum said...

I do not want to wait in line at the pharmacy while the young lady discusses on her cell where she and her mates are going for lunch.
Or listen to love talk while waiting in a famously named department store at a til. Nor, as a teacher did I do surfing on office time and ......still brought my work home daily.