Monday, July 14, 2008

Spinning Around

One of the perks of my current employment situation is that my office is located at the client’s premises which incidentally is the same office that I have been working at the past 12 years. As such, I am still very much in contact with the friends that I have known from the first day I stated working in the office. We are a varied bunch and would usually meet up for morning break to catch up with each other’s news without fail for the past 12 years. It’s frightening to think now of how long we have had that ritual going on and the realization that it was not going to be so forever.

That realization came to me when I realized that one my “breakfast club” members was retiring at the end of the week after working for 35 years with the company. She was here when the company first started operations and had gone through all the company’s ups and down periods. It was mind boggling for me not only because she has been working at the same place for as long as I have been alive but that the company was not even doing anything to mark the retirement of one of her pioneer employees in Malaysia. I did ask her if she felt that she deserved better given the years of service that she provided to the company but at this point she was already looking forward to her retirement to care much about it.

Looking back, I do feel a little sad seeing how far things have fallen for my former company. In the past, they really appreciated their staff and knew how to keep them happy to ensure a productive work force. While it was no longer the company that I work with, I can’t help but to feel some allegiance to them given that they were the one who gave me my first permanent job. To see the changes though the years up close was definitely disconcerting but in a way those changes were also happening in other MNC companies globally. Gone were the days that employees were rewarded for the years of service that they provide to the company. More and more, those who have been with the company for longer than 5 years were seen as part of an increasing resource overhead. Even when they are clearly contributing, these employees were seen as those who were stuck in a rut and were not dynamic enough to move forward. Considering to move forward meant replacing an even more deeply entrenched upper management, it quickly became a no win situation for the employee.

These recent events made me think of my own employment history which while technically I have been with 3 different companies since I first started working in 1996, I am still working for the same group of people. There are days that I can’t help but feel that they have taken my loyalty to my employee for granted with me always being the “go to guy” on site when something needs to be done. While I’m sure that the fact that they know that they could depend on me spoke volumes of how they perceived me in the organization but I could not help but wonder if it might limit me as to how far I would be able to progress up the organization chart. As it is now, my benefits package is no longer competitive to get another job with my current level of expertise and I don’t have the necessary skill sets to be in the level that commensurate with my current salary range.

Still .. things could have been worse. I could be out of a job and have other things to worry about other than feeling being stuck in a rut job-wise.

No comments: