I want to state from the get-go that none of what I am going to write here is to excuse my behavior in my employment history. I am prone to hubris, I am easily riled up and have a hard time letting grudges go. That’s on me, and has nothing to do with the observations I have made by stepping back and watching other people’s situations. What I have seen makes me despair that we can ever make things better, at least in regards to class in our society (and through that, race, gender and on and on.)
It goes without saying that one should always be polite and give a two-week notice if it is possible when leaving a job. At the very least you don’t want to leave your co workers behind the eight ball, and unless your employer has been exceptionally rude to you, why make his life harder than you need to? Why though, should the need to give that notice have anymore moral weight than your employer needing to give you notice? If your boss is fed up with you, he can fire you, and maybe that’s his right as an employer, but why does he have that right, and you don’t have the right to say, “I’ve had enough” without people making an instant value judgement on you afterwards? Again, this isn’t about me, I know I’ve dropped the ball on this one, it’s about our overall attitude as a culture on this.
I really think that most Americans believe they are less worthy as human beings than their employers. I’d say it is a simple matter of valuing money and the acquisition of wealth, but I’ve seen it in circumstances where, at the end of the day the employer doesn’t really make that much more than his or her employees. Then again, maybe it’s just the perception of wealth that is important.
I just don’t get how we let ourselves feel this way. This isn’t a dig on the employers by the way, though I’ve known one or two that deserve it, it’s really a dig on the workers. You have value. They don’t owe you any more than an honest day’s pay (with perks if that has been agreed upon) and you don’t owe them anymore than an honest days work. That’s it. It is a pure and simple business arrangement, not a cultural hierarchy.
This might simply be annoying but it hurts us all, at least us workers. It is one of the reasons it is so easy to demonize unions, it is one of the reasons the progressive tax is blamed for “targeting job creators,” and it helps to perpetuate a system where advancing in your career is more important than your duty to your community. You are more than your job, and for your sake, my sake, and everyone else’s I hope you realize this… soon.