A few days ago, one of my former colleagues posted an abbreviated tale of staffing woes on his FaceBook account. Specifically, it recounted how a new hire for his company had gone for lunch and never came back. That garnered more than a few commiserations from his fellow FaceBook friends, most of which were supported by similar incidents. One FaceBooker, however, went so far as to remark that “it could never happen in YVR [Vancouver].”
Well, I bit my tongue when I read that comment, as I have been privy to at least three such incidents at various workplaces in that sainted city, and could definitely beg to differ. Going AWOL professionally seems to be going hand in hand with the increasing lack of basic human courtesies and the popular digital “conveniences” of this age–one that sees staff being laid off or fired by the impersonal venues of email or a Skype call.
The door does swing both ways. How can you, as an employer, expect your employees to adhere to a basic, unwritten code of conduct and work ethic (never mind one that’s legislated or enshrined in writing) that ostensibly respects both parties when you can’t set an example of it yourself in the first place by, as an example, promising them what you ultimately can’t and/or won’t deliver? You can have hundreds or even thousands of industry accolades to your credit, but you certainly won’t have my respect or admiration.
Is your word golden? I’d like to think that mine is. I’d expect myself to uphold my words–because that is how my deeds will be judged by, and my conscience will deliver a generous dose of guilt if I don’t. To not do so means that I would be lying to both my audience and myself. Nothing sours me more to an individual or an organization as an empty promise or one that is fulfilled in a severely delayed and academic manner. But still, in the end, principles, a sense of duty, and personal honour must count for something, even if the other party lacks these. I’ll take the high road, thank you. Your thoughts?