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On payday, everybody's even

Back in the ‘90s, I worked with a very smart inventory control manager. His name was George. We were part of a team tasked with consolidating and moving two assembly operations, in two states into a new facility in a third location. We spent many hours conversing about specific processes and business in general.


Of all the conversations we had, one stands out. George and I were talking one afternoon. I was lamenting the fact that my “ogre manger” (aren’t they all, except you, of course) had denied a request for earned time off … don’t even remember the specifics. I went on to whine about all the time I’d put in lately, all the long hours, the weekends and all the extras I did on a daily basis. Didn’t he owe me? Shouldn’t he give me what I wanted? I do so much. I’ve done so much. He owes me. Yes, yes he does owe me.


A half-smile / half-smirk came across George’s face as he leaned back in his chair, pyramiding his hands, using the point of the pyramid to rub his goatee for emphasis, and said, “Dawn, my dear, on payday everybody’s even.”


Once I got over the urge to hit him, I started to understand what he meant. There is no  huge tally sheet in human resources to see who’s in the plus and minus column for “favors and little extras” this month. You’re there to do a job. Your employer pays you for the job you perform.


How you choose to carry out job functions (within reasonable parameters, of course) or how many hours it takes is of no consequence to the employer. As long as you’re providing expected results, you’ll receive your paycheck. That’s it. Put any other expectation on an employment relationship and you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. Families do favors for each other. Successful businesses make tough decisions to protect the bottom line. George is right, on payday, everybody’s even.


Now what does all this have to do with the job search process? I’ll tell you … in my next post.





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  1. […] It seems most of the questions stem from a belief work is a necessary inconvenience and a business should acquiesce to the whims of each and every employee. Making everyone happy, all the time, dooms a business to failure. That’s not to say everyone should be miserable or sometimes special things can’t happen, but overall, you were hired to do a job. You agreed. You draw a paycheck because of that agreement and on payday, everybody’s even. […]

  2. […] overall, you were hired to do a job. You agreed. You draw a paycheck because of that agreement and on payday, everybody’s even. Bottom line, they call it work for a reason – it’s not always fun. As long as assignments […]

  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by JacPoindexter, Dawn Bugni. Dawn Bugni said: Digging deep into my archives today. Enjoy: "On payday, everbody's even" […]

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