Free?

adult background beach blue

Photo by Lukas on Pexels.com

…O’re the land of the free and home of the brave.

That’s the last line of the national anthem. You know, “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The one that apparently some find offensive, but that’s a topic for another day.

Anyway, I think we have seen rather clearly that “home of the brave” is not really the country we live in any longer. That is likely a subjective statement. I mean, there are lots of brave people out there still, but there seems to be far more people who would rather not rise to a challenge and would rather make things easy and comfortable.

With that ease, comes the previous line.

“Land of the free.”

That line refers to the rights and freedoms we have as citizens of the United States. Freedom from government control and abuse. That is something to be celebrated and protected.

BUT, the land of the free apparently has taken on a different meaning to an astoundingly large group of people (yes, Dems, I am looking at you…).

Now, it seems, land of the free means giving stuff away to those who don’t deserve it. Moreover, giving it away to people who aren’t even citizens of the country. We have already seen in California that the governor & legislature wants to give away $75 million in stimulus money to illegal immigrants in the state, not to mention health services and education and other benefits they already have been giving away. Lawsuits over this giveaway are in the process, but in the meantime those who don’t deserve taxpayer money are getting it for free.

Washington now wants to follow the same path, only Seattle wants $100 million. Not only does the state turn a blind eye to those who are here illegally, but now it wants to reward them too.

It makes no sense.

There are lots of things that I am willing to pay taxes for, even with the fact that there is a huge amount of waste and inefficiency in government. But what I am not willing to do is to pay taxes to give to people who aren’t supposed to be here in the first place. I wouldn’t go to another country and expect that I get a handout, regardless of whether I am working or not. I’ll earn my money, thanks. I certainly wouldn’t expect to get money after breaking the law to get there and stay there. How does that make sense?

Government should be small and responsive. When it isn’t, there is a problem. There’s been a problem here for a long time and the prospects for it getting worse are frightening.

 

Takers

human hand screengrab

Photo by Wallace Chuck on Pexels.com

I could be wrong, but I think there are really two types of people in this world.

I believe all people fall into two categories: givers and takers.

Which are you? Which do you surround yourself with? Or, maybe better put, which do you attract?

Sometimes it takes a hard evaluation of the people around you to realize where they fall, but also where you fall. I don’t believe that you can only be one, as I believe it is possible to be both.

Ultimately, I have heard (and maybe I believe this) that we should be givers first and always. That can be translated many different ways, but a quick run down will suffice – time, money, compassion, empathy, knowledge, listening, etc.

A taker, on the other hand, is someone who takes and takes and takes and quite literally could probably suck the very last breath out of you if you let them. They are the kind of people who are in constant need of everything – money, possessions, time, attentions, etc.

Honestly I try to be both. I don’t like taking, but I don’t have a problem doing so either. I don’t like giving, but it does have a limit. As such, I try to find a balance between the two and, if I am entirely honest, I like the people in my life to have a pretty good balance the the give and take as well.

Unfortunately, I must attract a lot of takers. There are several people who I can’t seem to let go of….or, can’t get rid of…they cling. They take. They need. They ALWAYS need. Thus, they always WANT and always TAKE.

It’s exhausting. Give. Give, and give some more. I am tired. I am spent.

I don’t want to do it anymore.

Retention

questions answers signage

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Got an interesting email the other day. It came from the “home office,” which is really the organization that oversees the “division” I work in, but that is really totally separate from the regular organization. Basically, the money (think paychecks, benefits, budgets) flows through the “home office” but we could be totally independent organization if it weren’t arranged this way.

Anyway, the email was a company survey talking about the S.M.A.R.T. goals (there’s a buzz word for you) of the organization and they wanted feedback on the goal to “improve employee recruitment, retention, and engagement.” The survey had the general multiple choice questions about workplace climate and job satisfaction, etc. Pretty standard stuff.

But then there was an open section for Comments…and this is the place where you can enter anything you want. The survey is supposedly anonymous, but I don’t really care either way as I like to have my voice heard (thus, the blog and the reason you read – LOL).

So, one issue that I have talked about often on here is the commute to work. I have a great job and I enjoy it and the people I work with but, seriously, the worst part is the commute. Given that I am required to go to the office at least several times a week is rather annoying when the job literally could be done from anywhere in the world. Literally. As long as there is a decent internet connection, that is.

Anyway, I said what was on my mind. I pasted my response below.

“As part of the ‘improve employee recruitment, retention, and engagement’ goal, one of the things that needs to be addressed is the telecommuting policies and opportunities.

As an organization that looks for people with specialized skills or training, the recruitment pool is fairly narrow. Since the ESD covers a rather large area of service, your candidate pool could be rather large as well but factors such as location and commute times have a negative impact, both on current employees and potential ones.

Obviously, moving and obtaining reasonable housing for a job isn’t much of an option these days, but the technology exists to allow for people in remote locations to provide and complete the same (or better) functions they would at the office without having to be there. This would, in most cases, increase the number of people who could apply for a job but also would increase the satisfaction of current employees since many of them have between a 20-50 minute (one way) commute on good days.

People stay at jobs for more reasons that just work place atmosphere and pay. There are factors outside of the job that also play into their satisfaction and if those aren’t addressed, no matter the benefits the job offers, they will always consider other opportunities, even if it means taking a pay or benefit cut, so that it makes their life outside of work better.

Technology today can aide in much of those issues, if it is used for the benefit of employee and employer. The need for an office, a building, diminishes as technology improves and a central location is “business as usual” thinking. Allowing employees to work from remote locations obviously has an immediate overhead implication, in that it lowers it significantly. No big spaces to maintain, heat, clean, insure, etc. Are funds better spend on a physical location or on serving students directly? The answer is easy, but it takes out-of-the-box thinking to make it work.”

Do you think anyone will listen? Do you think it will matter? Moreover, if you were the boss in charge of employee retention and engagement, would it make a difference to you?