Fame, fortune, and success can be achieved in many different ways. For most, these goals are achieved by hiring out their talents and skills to others who pay them for their loyalty and services. Some decide to go into business for themselves in order to create their own empire. Now I’m definitely not the small business type, but I can certainly say without a shadow of a doubt that I HATE working for other people. I am forced to be independent, not because I necessarily want to, but because I truly HATE people telling me what to do and what they feel my talents are worth. Because of this, I have put together an ongoing list of all the reasons I stick a middle-finger up to 9 to 5 employment.
1. Desired Trait – “Self Starter”:
Now, if you’re fresh out of college or high school, and you’re just entering the workforce, you’ll encounter several job positions that specify that they’re looking for “self-starters”, and you might say to yourself “that description sounds a lot like me,” and so, you apply.
Let me tell you right now – it’s a trap.
Any job that specifies that it’s looking for a “self-starter” is basically telling you that there will be little to no real support or training available upon your hire. That’s not to say there won’t be some sort of “orientation” or initial training, but if you’re looking for an in-house mentor to coach you on your tasks instead of micromanaging you on things you were never told – you better look for another occupation.
Most job listings that specify “self-starter” as a qualification are typically contract or commission based employment, usually somewhere within the spectrum of sales or soliciting, which can wear down an employee after a short amount of time. However, even if your cup of crappy watered down break-room coffee (assuming it’s a job with free coffee available to its workers) doesn’t do the trick of lifting your energy, spirit, or morale – remember, you were hired on the assumption that you could function with the quality trait listed at the top.
2. Desired Trait – “Flexible” (aka Flexible Scheduling):
I. Hate. Flexible. Scheduling.
It seems like a great idea at first – “you’ll never have the same work schedule you did as the week before, which means you’ll have the opportunity to explore something new and different every week because you’ll have free time throughout the week” – sounds freaking fantastic! Yeah, what most employers don’t tell you is that flexible scheduling was created by Satan himself to keep you away from your friends, family, and sanity.
When an employer hires someone with a “flexible schedule”, it’s typically under the assumption that you are available to work, live, breathe, and shit your position of employment at all times of the week – early morning, midafternoon, or late into the evening. Most of the time employers that hire flexible workers will have them work long irregular hours that eliminate any chance for proper and/or consistent rest.
Remember, you were hired to a job that expects its’ employees to be flexible at all times, even on your day off. Yes, if you find yourself with a full day off of work, do yourself a favor, and turn off your phone. Jobs such as these have a high probability of calling their employees in for things that can’t wait until the next day. So if you recognize your job’s number on the caller I.D. – just let it go to voicemail.
It would be wise for you to follow this advice because your day off may be just that – A DAY OFF. Singular. One. Uno. Solo.
If you thought all jobs gave their employees at least two days or more off in a row, you are sadly mistaken. There are only 7 days in a work week, most people only work 5 days per week; assuming that you were given 2 days off in a row, that would mean you would work the same scheduled days every week – no, no, no… We can’t have that, this is a flexible schedule! If you happen to see more than one day off on your schedule, chances are you’re in for a very long work week following your return.
3. Requesting Time Off:
Now, requesting time off (also known as RTO) is available in many forms with just about every type of employer, it’s the document that lets the company know that you have plans for the future. Seems simple enough, you fill out a form specifying which dates you’re looking to request off and you submit it for approval. Because you’re a responsible adult, and assuming you knew about these plans well in advanced, you submit an RTO form a few months in advance as a curtesy to your employer in order to increase your chances of receiving that time over other candidates if the dates overlap.
Sounds pretty straightforward… oh, I forgot, you decided to work for a company that requires you to be flexible – well then there’s some other shit I need to let you know.
When you’re employed in a “flexible” position, you don’t get the luxury of making plans, no matter how well planned or important. If your employer feels as though your plans will have to change and you’ll be needed at work, they will reject your RTO form, and won’t tell you until a few days before the first requested date.
“But wait, that’s your fault for not following up on your request,” – you’re absolutely right, you should follow up periodically on any time-sensitive request you submit to your employer – however, don’t be surprised if your supervisor gives you the runaround until days before the first requested date when they “just can’t do it – sorry”.
RTO forms with employers with set schedules can be just as frustrating. Because you have a set schedule, it’s safe to say that everyone else in the company within your position has a set schedule as well, meaning that your boss will have to find one of your co-workers to come in on their days off to cover your work in your absence (assuming there isn’t someone on-call that works swing shifts). This generally means that you will be expected to cover someone else’s shift on your days off in order to get the schedule back in order…
Moral of the story, if you have a job – don’t plan shit.
4. Open Door Policy and Chain of Command:
After working at your new job for a few months, you begin to notice that your supervisor isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer, and it seems that all of your opinions and concerns, when presented to the supervisor, are falling on deaf ears and laid wayside. So you decide to be the self-starter they hired you to be and go directly to your supervisors’ manager to see if your concerns will be heard – after all, you were told there’s an “open door policy” when you were hired. However, upon voicing your concerns to the department manager you are then instructed to bring up your concerns with your supervisor.
“But my supervisor is a dumb ass.”
“Well you still have to follow the chain of command.”
Congratulations, you have just stumbled onto one of the biggest contradictions in the workplace – the Open Door Policy adjacent to the Chain of Command. In order to fully understand why these two policies should never belong in the same workplace at the same time, one would have to know what each means. A true “Open Door Policy” implies that every employee has a right to approach and voice their opinions and concerns to any superior in the workplace if they feel it would be more effective to do so. On the other hand, when you’re expected to follow “Chain of command”, you’re expected to only voice your opinions and concerns to your immediate superior who will then relay that information to their superior if it is beyond their ability to resolve – and so on.
The problem with Chain of Command is that more than likely, if it’s a suggestion that would benefit the company, your superior will take most (if not all) the credit for its conception. Or, if it’s concern that would inevitably reflect poorly on your supervisor as a leader – it’ll never be mentioned again and you may find yourself in muddy waters.
This is why the Open Door Policy is so appealing, as an employee, you will be directly held accountable for everything you suggest. Companies with true Open Door Policies are great to work for because they truly listen to the concerns and opinions of all their employees. Just make sure that if you find a company that truly offers this policy make sure you don’t give them any reason to begin implementing a chain of command because you didn’t know you should have asked the lead custodian to consider switching the urinal scent from lavender to ocean breeze instead of the CFO.
5. Desired Trait – “People Oriented”:
You were on Indeed and you read that listing for a customer service job and said, “I’m not good at servicing customers, that’s too much stress. “ But then you saw the listing right underneath that said “looking for someone who is people oriented,” and your dumbass said, “I’m people oriented! People love me! Let me apply”.
Now most people know that customer service jobs are difficult because it requires you to deal directly with the customer; and anyone that has ever worked a customer service job can tell you that not every customer is pleasant to serve. Because of this, most people, unless really pressed for work, tend to avoid jobs listed under customer service. As a result, those in hunt for employment have begun to see a desired employment trait show up more and more on job listings – “People Oriented”.
Now, it’s safe to say that every job is “people oriented”: zoo keepers have to deal with visitors, people that work independently still have bosses, and self-employment still require customers – every job deals with people. So why would a job require someone that is “people oriented”. Well, it’s really just a fancy way of saying you’ll be their bitch. Whether you’ll be on the phone taking bullshit as their bitch, face to face taking bullshit as their bitch, or opening emails full of piles of wet bullshit as their bitch, “people oriented” means that you will be dealing directly with people – all people – of all backgrounds – and all temperaments.
“People oriented” equals “customer service” point blank; and I would be wary of any company utilizes these deceptive semantics in order to con you into becoming their bitch whip.