Friday, July 10, 2009

The Second Coming of Tess McGill

Or, there are barracudas in the typing pool.

In other words, capitalism is a two-way street. (Given the definition, voluntary cooperation to mutual advantage, that should be a no-brainer.)

If your employer screws you over, you screw him in the ass.

At a time when so many companies are laying off workers, slashing wages and benefits, and instituting furloughs, it's not surprising that some employees feel no obligation to be nice when they head out the door, says David Kaplan, management professor for Saint Louis University. "It's understandable," he adds, "because they feel the employer has violated the psychological contract with employees, and they don't feel they owe them anything."

Well, not just the psychological contract (there's such a thing as an oral contract), and they don't.

"If your employer has cut your salary and benefits to where your family is struggling financially, do you owe your employer that two weeks' notice when you leave?"

No, you don't. Your employer has decided that, as the ship is sinking, it's every man for himself, so you don't have to ask before you bail out.

Whether it's giving notice, training your replacement or abiding by noncompete agreements you may have signed, these post-employment niceties that were expected once upon a time are not a given in today's workplace.

"I think it's a function of the economy," says Lewis Maltby, president of the National Workrights Institute. "If your employer has been treating you well, morally you should give as much notice as you can. On the other hand, if your boss is screwing you, you don't want to be nice.

"It's a dog fight out there. No one is playing nice anymore. This is more ethics than law."

Indeed, you're not legally obligated to give notice, unless you have a detailed employment contract that says you have to.

Stick it to the man!

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