24 Aug Quiet Quitting, AI Firings, etc.
Completely by coincidence and I’m sure in no way related, we also find this:
In the Benzinga report, we read:
“Meta Platforms Inc., formerly known as Facebook, in June told its employees that it planned to not only reduce its hiring target, but it was going to ‘turn up the heat’ on employees via stricter performance management with the intention of weeding out underperforming employees.
If turning up the heat wasn’t enough, the Mark Zuckerberg-led company fired 60 employees at random using an algorithm, Business Insider reported.
What Happened: The contractors work with Facebook through Accenture Plc, which provides contracted employees to Facebook for various hourly tasks.
When an employee asked how the layoffs were chosen, the Accenture representatives said ‘an algorithm’ helped to choose people at random, according to the report.”
At random? Well, maybe, maybe not. Who knows.
You ever hear of the PIP – the performance improvement plan? A lot of times that comes out when somebody either legitimately is not trying – they’re just showing up, they’re not trying to produce anything, or some person is struggling and the manager really wants to get rid of them without having a big fooforah about it. So you get pulled to the side and put on a PIP. You’re either going to meet these absurdly high sales goals or there’s the door and then after the period of time passes, whether it’s a 30 day plan, 60 day or 90 day, you get pulled into a conference room and told, ‘Hey, listen, I’m really sorry. You know, we tried to work with you by giving you a goal that not even Jesus Himself could meet, and you just didn’t do it. So we’re gonna have to let you go. But no hard feelings, right?’ These things happen. And one of the things that concerns me about Meta being on major news outlets for this, ‘Hey, then there’s the door if you want to use it,’ other companies may follow suit. I hope that I am wrong on that. I really do. But it concerns me that it could be opening the door wider for other companies to do the same thing.
-Saturday Broadcast 6 https://www.buzzsprout.com/1125110/10930026 , published on July 9, 2022
From Engadget reporting on the same event:
“The reasons for the cuts are unclear as workers were not given an explanation for the changes. According to Insider, workers were informed of the news during a hastily scheduled video call during which nameless Accenture representatives told the contractors they had been selected ‘at random’ via an algorithm.”
The good old-fashioned abrupt video call. 😒 Yucko.
“But, ‘quiet quitting is a really bad idea,’ says O’Leary, an investor and star of ABC’s ‘Shark Tank.’ And that’s true for multiple reasons, he says.
First: Employers value hungry, keen workers. ‘People that go beyond to try to solve problems for the organization, their teams, their managers, their bosses, those are the ones that succeed in life,’ O’Leary says.
O’Leary himself says he looks to hire people who are willing to put in ’25 hours a day, eight days a week.’ If you’re shutting off your laptop at 5 p.m. and going home, ‘you’re not working for me,’ he says.”
😆 Yeah, I mean . . . I’m not gonna work insane hours for anyone other than myself and that’s if I am choosing to do so of my own free will or I must do it out of necessity because that’s what the crisis demands. These business owners who think all W2 employees should love their business as much as they do and sacrifice life itself for it are an effing head-trip, man.
“Second: O’Leary says you need a strong financial base to afford choosing how you want to structure your life and days. Limiting the hours you work per day, he says, is not conducive to the kind of success that brings that freedom — especially early in life.
‘There’s no question about it, personal happiness is something that is a balance between work and life,’ O’Leary says, adding: ‘It has nothing to do with nine-to-five. There is no balance in the pursuit of personal freedom. It is all out, pedal to the metal.'”
-From the same CNC article above
If nothing else, this gives us insight into the workings of Corpo America. And I have warned before that I personally would be very careful with trying to quiet quit in a recession or any type of economic downturn.
Moreover, I would tell you, if you’re listening to somebody who’s a commentator on YouTube, or some self-professed influencer, that’s telling you, ‘Just game the system. Just sit back and do basically nothing and laugh about how funny it is.’ I would be careful with that. I would be so careful with that because that influencer, that YouTuber, is not going to show up and bail you out. If you get fired and you can’t find another job quickly, they’re not going to show up and help you. They don’t give a sh*t about you. Let’s be real, hashtag real talk. They don’t care.
-Quiet Quitting, Part 2 https://www.buzzsprout.com/1125110/10776383
But I have a theory here. I think that people are interested in ways to game the system. And if we do go into a deep recession, or something maybe as bad as what we saw in 2008 the “global financial crisis,” if we have an event like that again, I feel like people whose game plan to survive revolves around gaming the system and quiet quitting– showing up butt-in-seat at the Digital Panopticon and trying to calculate the absolute bare minimum to not get fired– those people are playing a really dangerous game.
I’ve spoken publicly before that, in order to survive the Great Recession of 2008-2010, I made a conscious decision to become indispensable at the job that I had. I felt like “OK, even if I am the last one standing, I’m going to make sure that I know how to do as much as possible, and they need me way worse than they don’t need me. Even if everybody else in this joint gets a pink slip, I’ll be the last one standing. I want to do everything I can to ride it out. I don’t want to be on the job market, I don’t want to be one of the people crying on TV because they can’t afford groceries. I want to do whatever it is I have to do to survive and to stay in this job.”
-“Gaming the System is Not a Recession Survival Plan,” https://www.patreon.com/saracausey
Points to ponder . . .
➡️ If a flesh-and-blood human boss doesn’t bust you for staring at the wall during work hours, will AI be used to do it?
➡️ Are these events truly random or are they random wink-wink?
➡️ If you have a couple of bad days at work where you sort of phone it in, is AI gonna tattle on you?
➡️ IMO, there’s a big difference between putting on a happy face at work and acting like Susie Creamcheese versus making yourself integral to the operation. I think some folks are counting on a positive attitude and their extroverted willingness to roll out the Welcome Wagon to save them in a recession. I personally wouldn’t bet the farm on that. The top producer who bills $1mil for the company but who’s kinda grouchy is more likely to make it than Happy McSmileson who’s always upbeat but bills $100K for the company. I mean, even some of these firms that prize obedience are not gonna throw away that additional $900K in an economic downturn.
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