07 Jun You Believed a Lie
Subtitled: I’m sorry that you did, but you believed a freaking lie.
Sub-subtitled: Corpo America don’t care.
You remember that Tim McGraw song, “Highway Don’t Care.” Yeah. Neither do the fat cats and the corporate CEOs. I’m sorry, but they don’t care.
As I said back in January: I have warned you repeated to avoid naivete and normalcy bias. Just because a company publicly touted a WFH/WFA policy and said, “Oh yeah. We’ll never change those rules,” doesn’t make it true forever.
If a CEO or executive told everyone in the past that the company prized remote work THAT DOES NOT MEAN THEY WILL FEEL THAT WAY FOREVER!
As the preppers like to say: if you don’t hold it, you don’t own it. If you are a W2 employee who does not own the company, you don’t make the rules. The executive team at these companies do not answer to the general public. They answer to the investors, the board of directors, and the shareholders, but not to you and me. If it boils down to honoring a petition or turning a profit, WTH do you think they’re gonna do?
–https://causeyconsultingllc.com/2023/02/23/imo-a-petition-will-not-stop-whats-coming/ published on February 23, 2023. I was also vindicated on my prediction because a petition did not stop what was coming.
“Employees of Farmers Group reportedly raged on an internal staff social media platform about Raul Vargas’ decision last month after many people had made substantial lifestyle decisions—including to homeschool kids or look after elderly relatives—based on the assumption that coming into the office would remain voluntary.” –https://www.thedailybeast.com/farmers-group-ceo-faces-workers-fury-after-reversing-remote-work-policy
Imma say it again: if you don’t hold it, you don’t own it. If you don’t own the company, you do not make the decision of RTO vs WFH. You flat out do not. And it doesn’t matter if someone promised that the company would be remote-friendly forever. They. Can. Change. Their. Mind. If someone picked up and moved away based on a promise made by Corpo America – which doesn’t amount to a hill of beans – that person believed a lie. I’m tired of pussyfooting around. Let’s call a thing a thing here. The promises of Corpo America are full of hot air and nonsense. WAKE UP.
“‘This is seemingly a power move that is frankly disgusting,’ one worker reportedly wrote.”
➡️ Corpo America don’t care.
“‘I sold my house and moved closer to my grandkids,” another said.”
➡️ Corpo America don’t care.
“‘So sad that I made a huge financial decision based on a lie.'”
➡️ I’m sad for you because Corpo America don’t care.
“Vargas reportedly emailed staff to say he believed in-office work was important for ‘collaboration, creativity and innovation.’ A spokeswoman for the company said around 60 percent of the company’s 22,000-strong U.S. workforce would be affected, and that workers had been afforded three months to make necessary changes before the new policy goes into effect in September.” -this quote and those above from The Daily Beast, Ibid.
Collaboration, creativity, and innovation. 😆 Riiiiiight.
In other words: you got the summer months to make your provisions because as of September, you’re comin’ back. In a best case scenario, maybe they delay it due to the backlash à la General Motors, but I’d be willing to bet they won’t entirely reverse it. Walk it back or delay it a bit for optics, but then go full throttle once the dissidents have been purged.
“‘We are regularly evaluating and adapting our ways of working to align with business needs. To that end, the decision to embrace virtual work at the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020 was one that made sense at the time, and adopting a hybrid approach in September 2023 is what makes sense for our organization now,’ the company said.” –https://nypost.com/2023/06/06/farmers-insurance-workers-blast-return-to-office-mandate/
Say it with me: if you don’t hold it, you don’t own it. Leadership gets to make these decisions and then mandate them to the serfs. Yes, the serfs can leave but allow me to caution you: there’s no way in hell we have a 3.7% unemployment rate. There’s no way in hell we have 2 legit open jobs for every 1 unemployed person. So when the dissidents either quit or get conveniently laid-off, where are they gonna go? Most likely to an in-person or hybrid role closer to where they live now and that’ll be after spending some time unemployed. Wait and see. Is this a pessimistic prediction? Yes, it is. a) If you want sunshine and roses, go somewhere else. b) Crony Capitalism is f**king working class people and I’m tired of pretending it’s not. *said as Arthur Fleck*
“‘While many employees are excited about the opportunities ahead, we recognize that not all business decisions will be supported by all employees. However, we have approached this with a great deal of thoughtfulness, including giving employees three months advance notice so they have time to adjust and make arrangements.'” -NY Post, Ibid.
In other words: yeah, we know some of y’all won’t be team players who go along to get along but that’s OK. You can leave. We thought this out and we’ve decided this is what we want to do and so that’s all that matters. K, thx.
“Former CEO Jeff Dailey had told employees last year that most of them would be allowed to remain virtual.” -NY Post, Ibid.
Emphasis on the word former. New guy says yer comin’ back. Hmm. I wonder if that’s a coincidence? 🤔
“This decision has sparked outrage among employees, with over 2,000 negative comments and angry emojis posted on the company’s internal social media platform. Some employees have even threatened to quit or called for unionizing. Despite the backlash, Vargas stands by his decision, emphasizing the importance of in-office work for collaboration, creativity, and innovation.” –https://www.benzinga.com/23/06/32734066/this-ceos-decision-to-end-remote-work-ignites-employee-revolt-wsj
No offense, but negative comments and angry emojis doesn’t sound like what I’d call a revolt. I mean… lame. But let’s examine that paragraph:
+ Employees got mad and, like the Amazon angry Slack channel, decided to make negative comments and post angry emojis because… that’s gonna do what, exactly? It reminds me of a time when I was in NYC and a dude stuck in a traffic jam kept mercilessly honking his horn. An NYPD officer came up and knocked on his window. The dude rolled the window down and the cop said, “You’re stuck in traffic but you keep honkin’ that horn and it’s gonna do what for you? You think those cars ahead a ya are just gonna like vaporize or somethin? Knock it off.” And I laughed so hard I doubled over. The cop saw me and he too started to laugh. He said, “Well, I mean, hey. Knock it off cuz those cars ain’t gonna move.” Angry emojis and comments are gonna do what for you? Cause the RTO mandate to vaporize? I don’t think so!
+ Some have threatened to quit. Fair enough, but the job market is in rough shape. I predict it will only get worse as The Fed works to crash it further. So sure, go ahead and quit. And then be prepared to sit on the job market for longer than you expect and wind up taking an in-person or hybrid job closer to your current home.
+ Some have called for unionizing. That’s cool. Maybe it will succeed. Or maybe the company will purge the dissidents and call in union busters. Which do you think is a more likely scenario?
+ Despite the backlash, the CEO doesn’t want to walk his mandate back. And I stand by my prediction that if he does, it will only be a temporary reprieve.
If you believed a lie, I’m sorry that you did. I’ve been on my blogs and on my podcast warning people about the need to have an RTO survival plan and a job loss survival plan roughed out. I’ve also been a lone voice in the HR & staffing world warning you that The Great Resignation is done-zo and Corpo America wants to be damn sure it squelches any remnants of it. We cannot move forward until we acknowledge reality.