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Tuesday, January 6, 2009


Yes, today is my first day back to the normal pattern of work. Like a lot of folks, I have this "love-hate" relationship with work.

On one hand, I am paid very well, so I can't complain about that. Now the terms "well" is relative, as I am sure that there are others within the company (and outside of the company) that are paid more. Would I like to earn more? Sure, who wouldn't, but I am paid enough to cover my bills and put some aside, and while there are plenty of extras I would love, I have the essentials. What's more, I work in a generally good environment: my co-workers are professionals, I have access to cool things like a cafeteria (all the fried food you want) and a gym (very, very cool). I also get to do some traveling for work, which is both a plus and a minus. Lastly, and most importantly, what we do at work is important; when I worked for a department store, my hard work meant that someone walked away with a sweater and the owners made a, when I work hard and do a good job, somewhere down-stream maybe someone can live a decent life in retirement.

On the other hand, while the pay is good, like most of corporate America there are gross discrepancies in pay scales. For example, I earn a bonus every year, which is a good thing. The bad thing? General rule of thumb is that the bonus doubles for each level you climb. Now given what I earn in a bonus, my boss, for example, is earning a hell of a lot at double mine. What's more, my organization is incredibly political, which I think is almost to be expected given the money and egos involved. There are spots of insanity though...for example, I trained a VP last Wednesday and he was a really decent guy. We also currently have a company-wide problem with one of the senior leaders running amok like a Viking through 1200 England, and there doesn't seem to be any will on the part of the rest of the company's leaders to do anything about it.

Yes, there are problems, but one thing I have learned over the years is this: in business, it's all about cycles. The good times never last forever, but neither do the bad times either. What's more, bad leaders seem even more susceptible to gravity than others: as fast as they climb, they eventually reach a point where gravity catches up with them and they fall even faster.

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