Just be “available” because that’s what I want!

Just be “available” because that’s what I want!

You know, like an emergency surgeon who must be on-call in case s/he needs to drive to the ER for an emergency surgery at 2am. Or a soldier who needs to be prepared for a mission at any and all times and must remain at heightened awareness 24/7.

Except you’re not a soldier in combat or an ER surgeon dealing with literal life and death. Nay, nay. You’re a recruiter in Corpo America and this guy thinks you oughta be available, dammit.

Remember Inigo Montoya? “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

So according to this poster, who I wonder is perhaps just trying to stir the pot and make clickbait for attention, you don’t have to be actively working, but you really oughta have yer phone on after hours because that’s what he thinks it takes to be successful in business.

There’s an intersection of so many things here:

➡️ The expectation that work should bleed over into your own personal time and you must not be very committed or a very good employee if you don’t want to take a call at 7pm.

➡️ Family care and childcare should not even enter into the discussion. You need to be fully bought in to the mission of your job at the expense of all else. The marketing departments will only cry, “Why won’t someone please think of the children?!” when it’s convenient for them.

➡️ A lot of companies also promote the notion of work/life balance or unlimited PTO but when you actually try to use those benefits, you realize it’s more smoke and mirrors than anything else. I remember trying to leave a Christmas party early one year and I was told explicitly by the Susie Creamcheese coordinating said party, “Well, I mean, it won’t go unnoticed if you leave early. The owners will see that you ducked out and you’ll hear about it later, believe me.”

➡️ Refusing to log off and truly decompress = good. Logging off and focusing on other things = bad.

➡️ Some companies value obedience and control more than anything else, even more than they value money at times. Sit down, hush up, and get in that cube! Or sit down, keep that cell phone on 24/7, and answer whenever I call, regardless of how trivial the subject matter might be.

➡️ I’ve been in staffing & recruiting for over a decade. Genuine emergencies happen very rarely. What constitutes a genuine emergency IMO? Things like a worker getting hurt on the job, someone passing away, a crime taking place on the job site, etc. But scrambling to answer a non-emergency phone call when you’re trying to eat dinner with your kids? Nope, not an emergency.

➡️ I’m a proponent of free will. If someone wants to be available a lot because that’s what they are choosing to do – perhaps they own and operate their own business, for example – cool beans. Cultivating an expectation that all W2 employees should be as committed to a company as the CEO and/or founders = not cool beans. Get real.

 

 

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