I Won’t Be Coming Back

Posted December 24, 2005 by

The words were uttered between clenched teeth under a cool, regulated, muted voice. “I won’t be coming back.” The words were stern and unequivocating.

The breaking point was reached several days before but there was forgiveness. It must have been a mistake, was the reasoning, that whole scene that was part of pushing the envelope too far. But it happened again. Again, it was dismissed as a mere joke. But the joke was taken farther and lasted longer than was appropriate for a transient joke.
The seasonal work was completed. At every opportunity to do alternative tasks in order to get away from the abusiveness, the worker did so. But as the project wound down to its final days, there was no luxury of alternative projects. The camel’s back broke.
The outrageous demands, the self-centered magnification, the pitting one against another, the yelling and chastising for the sake of raising one’s voice, the forcing of workers to stand around for half an hour waiting for the supervisor, the fault finding over minor issues accompanied by withholding of useful (and necessary) information, the micro-management finally took their toll. One worker finally announced that the day had come to an end. Not only had the day come to an end but the news was even more profound.
“I won’t be coming back.”
At least this worker gave notice. There were others who made a quiet determination that they would either be too busy or just not respond to the next invitation to work on the special project.
It’s time for an organizational development consultant to step in and offer some gravely needed advice. Unfortunately, neither the manager nor the client are, at this point, amenable to hearing the words nor accepting the proferred advice for remedying the people bleed.
Will there be a time when there is receptivity to counsel? Maybe. But it will be very far down the road. Unfortunately, the internal problems are cultural (as in corporate). It is only when the behavior becomes outrageously obvious to the general public that any steps are taken to curb the harm. Then life goes on until the next volley.
It’s difficult to deal with losing staff and having no clue as to why they’re leaving in droves. It’s even more difficult to live in a glass bubble filled with cloudy vapors that prevent having a clear view to the problems that need to be fixed. When the turnover reaches a higher pitch and there are no longer announcements such as “I won’t be coming back,” then there will be some motivation to consider what may be needed to get people to say, “I’ll see you next time!”

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