Wednesday, December 28, 2011

What a Difference a Year Makes

Last year on December 26th and 27th, we were dealing with the Blizzard of 2010.  The city was at a standstill.  Couldn't make it to work because the trains weren't running.  Despite the fact that the city was snowed in, the CEO and his cohort decided that we should forfeit a vacation day because we didn't make it to work.  Talk about Scrooge!!!

Yesterday was stormy as well...gale force winds and heavy rain.  If it had been colder, it probably would have been worse than last year's storm.  Of course, Scrooge already made his appearance on Friday when he announced that they didn't want to allow staff to leave early.  They prefer to pay us to play computer games than let us spend some extra time preparing for the holiday....

But,  it wouldn't  be Christmas without a visit from Scrooge, would it? Sadly, there are more and more people who act like Scrooge during the holidays and fail to embrace and enjoy the season of Christmas--disagreeable, mean, greedy, and uncooperative. The current economic climate is such that it might not be all that surprising to see that many people are becoming a Scrooge of sorts this Christmas.  And who can blame them.  So many are losing their jobs and the replacement jobs are just not there.  How can one possibly feel the Christmas spirit?

As an example, I'll use my agency....and this is happening all over the country.  Five years ago we got Christmas bonuses....$50 Barnes & Noble gift cards.  Four years ago we got movie tickets.  We also had a wonderful Christmas party each year. We felt appreciated. Then, the year came when the Christmas party was gone as well, but the evening dinner cruise still continues.  They say that all of us are invited.  But, how is that possible when we have to only the higher ups get to enjoy it.  The clients had a Christmas party as well, and they actually got some nice gifts.  

That is gone as well, now.  The CEO and his cohort say they are losing money, but how can that be?  They're consolidating all of us into one building.  Not only do we no longer have offices, but are accommodating more clients than ever in a space half the size of what we had.  Let's see...there is our program, the Manhattan Apartment Program, our Reception Center Shelter, our detox, our medical office, Human Resources, and a brand new 200 bed men's shelter sharing the same building. That's seven rents they are saving.

Our CEO has a salary of $292,000.  His cohort is probably not far behind.  Guess it pays to run a non-profit agency, doesn't it?  We get a 3 per cent raise and our health insurance goes up 4 per cent.  Bye, bye raise.  The clients get nothing.  Hot meals are gone.  Soup and sandwich are the daily menu.  Yes, Scrooge is alive and well in New York City...and, he is not just one person.  There are many of them who are pocketing high salaries to the detriment of their staff and clients.  That's the difference between the haves and the have nots.  Is it any wonder why the Christmas spirit is disappearing?

But, of course, Christmas was never meant to be about money. In my own opinion, Christmas is meant to bring families together. It is a day to let go of everything negative.   There should be good food and praise music. People should gives gifts from the heart. The rich should give to the poor. No one should be alone. Christmas is about love, peace, and joy on earth. When and how did we forget? And, how do we find it again?

Thanks for letting me last rant of 2011.


  1. And you know that in the end it will the boss that suffers. When you don't value your employees they don't tend to work as hard, nor do they have loyalty towards the company. These higher ups will find that out the hard way when the economy improves and jobs are available. Then there will be many jobs to fill after the employees work elsewhere. I worked for a wonderful company that really valued the people, and it paid off. Turnover was very very low. And people really worked hard because they felt valued and part of the team. Too bad more companies didn't realize that it really does pay to appreciate your employees.

  2. I'll second Aine's comment.
    Hope you had a nice Christmas, Mary.

  3. I hear you. A few years ago I worked for what started out as a good company, but then management changed, long-term emplyees no longer felt appreciated, the only raises were for those in head office, cut-backs etc. and many good employees left. The CEO admitted a few years later that he realized (too late) that they'd made a lot of mistakes and lost experience and knowledge that couldn't be replaced (or bought) when people left. People are a company's finest resource.

  4. Meant to say, hope you had a good christmas with your family (forget about nasty scrooge).LOL!

  5. I heard today that the Ski Resorts here have over 100 inches less snow than this time last year. And yes, everyone is doing less and less...will be interesting to see what this new year brings. But WTH, gotta keep smiling:)

  6. I was fortunate enough to be one of the " lucky ones." My employers gave me a weeks pay for my bonus and took all employees and spouses out for a evening Christmas dinner or dinner and show. :0)
    No longer do they do this and my ex co-workers and the new, get nadda,:0(
    When I worked I had the feeling that if I won the lottery, I WOULD STILL STAY AT MY JOB.
    NOW.....if things were as they are now...I WONDER.
    You get more with HONEY than you do with VINEGAR!

    So sad for all of you involved and no end in sight. sighhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

  7. One of the reasons we avoid giving to not-for-profit so-called *charities.* With their professional fund raisers and CEO's and etc.

    We like things like Salvation Army, local EOC (food bank) and The Little Sisters of the Poor, and The Sisters of St. Joseph. The last 2, we have a family history with.

    Prefer to give money, where we KNOW what it is going for.

    Ding-dang Scrooges! Real ones, I mean. 'Cause I do a lot of "Bahhh-humbugging" myself, but I'm not always a Scrooge. :-)

    And forgot last year's blizzard! How easily we forget, hu? Glad all our wind didn't take out our power yesterday. I always live-in-fear-of-power-outages, this time of year. Wind or ice. Brrrrrrrrrrrrr...

    "People are so worried about what they eat
    between Christmas and the New Year,
    but they really should be worried about what they eat
    between the New Year and Christmas."

  8. Happy New Year wishes Mary.

    hugs Sharon