2011-08-19

Our Sense of Entitlement

I keep hearing over and over again how the poor, the young, anyone who isn't rich and white have a sense of entitlement and want what others work for. I get what is being said to an extent. If you get a degree and go into a company expecting be middle management the first day, that isn't going to happen. I also understand why there is this entitlement.

I've been told since a little girl that if I work and study hard, the hard work will pay off in the end. However, corporate America told me a different story. Corporate America taught me that if you work hard and go above and beyond the effort there is no guarantee of employment at all, because your job can be done quicker and cheaper by someone in another country. The hope that I could work hard and move up in the company was diminished when I was told that there was a salary cap at my job grade, that I couldn't afford to be promoted because I was "too good" at my job.

It's expected that we now need a Master's Degree to get a job that was considered entry level, such as secretary (I've actually seen job ads with this requirement). I think that wanting that level of education for a job that pays $24,000/year is a bit over the top. Maybe I'm unreasonable?

The truth of the matter is though, in my parent's generation and previous generations, this might have been true. You could work one place for thirty years and see raises and maybe even promotions if you did indeed work hard and go above and beyond. That doesn't seem to be the case any more.

We don't ever question the entitlement of upper management hiring friends and family to make huge business decisions that affect employment of the "little people". We don't fire the friends and family when those decisions go bad, we fire the "little people".

So what should be the expectations of anyone in the job force? Should the expectation be that we must learn to work for ourselves and leave corporate America alone? I'm starting to think that is the case. Between the failure of trickle down economics and bailouts, I'm not quite sure why the hell anyone of us believed working for a company was a wise idea. Corporate America doesn't care. I'm not quite sure why anyone ever thought they did.

My expectations are low. Maybe it's because right now I'm a stay at home mom who is contemplating on finishing up my master's degree, but realizing that maybe it isn't worth it, if they only thing it's going to get me is a job that pays $24,000/year with no insurance and an expectation of working 80 hours a week and being on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

I'm not planning on going back to work for another three and a half years, but I'm trying to determine what my game plan will be with the "new economy" (which is a misnomer, our economy has been jacked for at least 30 years now). I'm fortunate to have the time to even make a game plan considering how things are going.

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