Saturday, June 23, 2020

News and Views: June 23rd 2007

Injustice is bad for your heart

A report in The Guardian newspaper, published in London, shows that feelings of injustice are enough to cause stress and heart attacks. According to the UK Government’s Health and Safety Executive, five million employees describe themselves as “extremely stressed”. The article goes on to point out that stress-related health problems include high blood pressure, obesity, and cardiovascular disease; and that some doctors suggest that an increase in people experiencing strokes at a younger age may also be related to work stress, especially if a person feels a slave to their work and not the master of it. What’s even more interesting is that research shows a heightened sense of injustice in the workplace corresponds directly to the risk of heart attack or angina. [link]

Unmasking serial killers in the workplace

According to Dr. Ellen Weber: “The problem with stress is that it masks as diligence or self-righteousness—so we miss its warning signals as people fail to spot signs before a serial killer’s strike.” People find that stressors can stir up their cortisol hormones in ways that leave them angry, stressed or anxious, and unable to sleep well. All are potential precursors of illness and premature death. It hardly seems worth risking a fall into the clutches of a serial killer just to improve an organization’s bottom-line, but that’s what tens of thousands are doing right now. [link]

Take that vacation . . . now!

According to the Center for Economic and Policy Research, the U.S. is “the only advanced economy in the world that does not guarantee its workers paid vacation.” Worse, according to this posting: “US workers gave back close to 574 million vacation days in 2006, depriving themselves of much-needed breaks, according to Expedia’s annual vacation deprivation survey. On average, Americans leave at least four days unclaimed annually.” Why do people accept this craziness? Maybe everyone has been reduced to such an abject state of fear by lay-offs and threats of outsourcing that they are ready to work unpaid when they should be on vacation (that’s what not taking vacation days amounts to). I suspect it also has a lot to do with organizations taking advantage of people’s wish to seem important and irreplaceable. Whatever the reason, it’s an irrational way to behave. [link]

Appreciate life’s journey

If these statistics about stress and vacation deprivation are getting you down, try this upbeat idea from Brian Kim: “If there’s one thing that I wish to impart to those who have started down the path toward the fulfillment of their dreams, it is this: appreciate the journey. “ Brian suggests that you sit down and think about what you’ve done so far: “The rich cornucopia of knowledge, contacts, skills, opportunities to test your resolve, experiences of triumphing over obstacles, etc., that you never would have got before had you not undertaken this journey of yours” He reckons that you’ll be surprised at how far along you’ve come. Good advice. [link]

Think twice before you ask for that promotion.

According to Penelope Trunk, promotions are more stressful than divorce. She says that things get more political; there is more ambiguity and uncertainty; and you don’t have as much personal control and you have to get things done through other people. Therefore, if you don’t want to deal with office politics and delegation, then you should say no to the promotion. She concludes: “So forget about that promotion. Don’t let someone else define your career path for you and then promote you through it as if their vision for your life is your vision. Instead, figure out what work you are best suited for, and request it. This is the best path for you.” See if you agree. [link]

Is your boss a crazy boss?

Fortune magazine’s Stanley Bing has an tongue-in-cheek online quiz to help you find out. It’s all part of a marketing push for this book: Crazy Bosses: Fully Revised and Updated He also offers stories from readers about the bullies, narcissists and other crazy bosses they spend their working days with. [link]

Are business units a con?

According to The Corporate Cynic, they are. He sees them as creating the perfect breeding conditions for more executives and their assorted hangers-on and cronies and creating endless turf wars: "The Business Unit Leaders and their minions started getting into the pants of the purchasing and operating functions claiming that these functional areas were really there to support them and therefore their property. The functional VP’s fought back because they had overall responsibility and were held accountable for the functions. Then the BUL’s began to argue amongst themselves as to what product lines or customers belonged to each unit." Pretty provocative stuff, but worth thinking about. [link] [via]

An article in Management Issues asks whether: “. . . having a tyrannical boss leave any kind of lasting imprint on the employee—or are employees just fond of complaining?” The article refers to a posting on that suggests the mental fallout can have lasting effects. The writer of this article says: “I finally was able to leave the place of torture recently but I am still very affected by what they did to me. . . I was subject to malicious outright lies, ethical questions lobbied, public demeanings, and quite frankly abusive behavior to the extent every written, spoken word or look was a case for negative feedback.” Check out the comments too. [link]

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SpiKe said...

I went without claiming holidays simply because it was an absolute pain trying to get them and then there was the whole matter of actually talking to my boss :P
Organize IT

2:10 AM  
Carmine Coyote said...

Thanks for your comment, Spike.

I'm interested that there was obviously pressure from your organization not to take your proper allocation of vacation time — and that's without the matter of having to talk to your boss!

Keep reading, my friend.

8:14 AM  

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