and became "Human Resources". Same staff, same job, just a different name. But what a difference a name makes! Notice: instead of being called "personnel" we are now called "resources". We are looked upon as not fundamentally different than a desk or a computer and we are treated accordingly. I understand that a company needs to make a profit and so sometimes people have to suffer, but there is no appreciation that management's decisions and policies can have a human cost.
We have become disposable cogs in a wheel. One buys the best cog he can at the lowest price and then just junks the cog when it no longer meets the need. But we are more than just interchangeable, disposable parts of a machine. Every company has what I refer to as "folklore" which are all of those important details about how the company works, who really does what, who is reliable, who the customers are, what are their particular quirks that never is, that cannot be, documented, but is passed on from employee to employee. The folklore accounts for a large part of how the company functions and succeeds. It is learned nowhere but on the job. When the bottom line for a quarter is improved by dumping a large percentage of your staff, you loose a lot of folklore and the company ultimately suffers. Cogs do not know any folklore.
But you can get any cog that you want. It can have every feature that you can think of. The job requirements I have been seeing for years are just like that -- they want every conceivable skill. Only thing they don't understand is that cogs can be built any way you want, but people just don't work that way. I look at the list of requirements and wonder if anyone could have acquired that many skills in just one lifetime. And they are full of the latest buzz-word technologies in areas that are distinct specialties. I'm a software developer, a database applications programmer, but they also often ask, for example, for things like SQL server admin skills or networking experience. You can just take a person to a machine shop and weld on another widget.
My answer: I left the 9-5 world and cut out on my own. Only problem is that I'm a geek and marketing and sales (of me) is something I've got no experience with and since it is so unnatural for me, it is hard to do. It is not the same as looking for a job. But it is better than being treated like an inanimate object. If more of us would strike out on our own, I think it would change the picture. Only those who really have the skills and drive would survive, the ranks would thin, and we would finally be able to demand what we are worth.
It's been a long rant, but it has taken me 37 years of programming experience to write it.
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