Monday, August 27, 2012


Marion Pellicano Ambrose
More for less, that's what everyone wants. Whether it's more gallons of gas per dollar, more ounces of product in a container for  less of a price, or more skymiles per purchase, we all want more for less. That's OK. There's nothing wrong with wanting value for our hard earned money.

It's also OK for an employer to want value for the salary they pay. This means, no facebook, cellphone, crossword puzzles,or online shopping when an employee is supposed to be working. This is only reasonable. The employer, in turn should provide the following:
An employee should have a totally free rest break of 20 minutes if they are working 6 hours. For an 8 hour day, a half hour lunch break should be given.
The requirements are:*the break must be in one block*it cannot be taken off one end of the working day - it must be   somewhere in the middle*you are allowed to spend it away from the place on your employer's premises where you work *your employer can say when the break must be taken, as long as it meets these conditions
Obviously, there are exceptions to this. Each workers' individual contract should outline his or her rights and benefits.

An employer cannot expect employees to work "on their own time" unless this is stipulated in their contract. Phone conferences during vacations, checking and answering business calls, email and voicemail, etc is becoming more and more "expected" by employers. Because of the economy, they feel they can ask what they want and if the employee complains they're told "You should be grateful to even have a job." What does this say about our country? I find it very discouraging.

It's not just big business. It's schools systems bleeding teachers dry, even young students, working to help pay for school , are victims of this kind of thinking. I know a boy who was hired to work 20 hours a week while he went to college full time. His boss increased his hours a few hours here, a few hours there, and now he's working full time with no benefits, no health benefits , no sick days and no vacation.  He had to drop 2 classes to keep up because he couldn't afford to lose the job to pay for rent and tuition.

Why can't workers just do their absolute best during their working hours and bosses value and respect them and give them the pay and benefits they deserve? Every day I worked as a teacher and assistant principal, I tried to put in 110%. Some days I was more successful than others, but the effort and dedication was there. At times, I was fortunate enough to have a boss that recognized my efforts and treated me fairly and with respect. Other times, I was neither appreciated , nor given the respect I was due. I can tell you that I always tried hard, but inevitably I gave that much more to the boss who respected me. It's only human nature!

A friend of mine is a dentist. He's an amazing individual. He not only values and respects his employees, he provides opportunities for professional development at his expense. He's taken his staff (and spouses) on cruises, done team building fun activities with them, and takes them out to lunch or dinner every so often. I'm sure he does even more that I'm not aware of. His staff adore him and it shows in the quality of their work, their dedication, the atmosphere in the office, and the kind an patient treatment of the clients. The man is a genius. He found a way to have a totally loyal and super productive staff while having fun! I also have to point out, that the staff  is made up of hard working, professional individuals who would give an honest day's work even without the perks. The extras just keep morale and positive energy high!

Well, I'm done preaching. I'll get down off my soap box now. I just had to speak up for some people I know on both sides of the time clock - bosses and employees.
Have a great week, and always, give it your best!


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