What is Respect in a Work Environment-
Have you ever asked yourself that? Believe it or not, at heart, Im a complete and total rebel. Not in the stupid sense where I feel that i have a right to not listen to anything or anyone, but in the sense that I feel that we are all entitled to be who we are and shouldn’t be put down about it.
Another question: Has someone ever gotten along with you simply because they know you can raise hell?
I know they have with me. Especially in the scenario of a boss-employee relationship. It can get awkward when it comes to standing up for yourself at work, the key to that is simply knowing the lines and boundaries of what you can and can’t say. The boundaries of what is respect and what is passing the lines of “acceptable”.
Tell a boss to screw off and you will find yourself fired; however, question him in a precise and strategic way, designed to essentially state ‘ your authority means little, and that you don’t own me’ and you hit a very find cord of irritation.
The best way to explain this is my short working relationship with the special food chain: Wegmans, and boy, yes they are special.
I recall telling my boss one time about his idea of a great schedule, and by great schedule I mean it sounded great to him, but would be completely stupid for me.
The earliest shift was the ‘load’ shift. You were responsible for putting away the large order that came in that day. I’m talking 2,000 piece orders most weighing around 50 pounds, that is a lot of lifting. For a whopping 9 dollars an hour, one hell of a task. It wasn’t even the hard work that caused bother, it was the fact full-timers were being paid double your wage and were getting past the day stacking peppers. WTF.
Anyway, got off topic there. My manager decided he wanted to take the one benefit of this wonderful shift-GETTING OUT EARLY-Instead he wanted me to come in later- stay at ‘place of work’ later- do most work, and yes, actually take away the one benefit. Absolutely not.
I walked up to him and directly made my point:
” I will continue to come in at 5am or find someone else to do it- doesn’t matter to me”
He actually sent an employee to tell me I have to watch what I to him he might say something offensive. I sent back the courier of this message with my response.
” I don’t give a fuck”
Was this guy out of his mind? Some bad news about life here, managers in a grocery store have the intimidation factor of a cricket, you can hear them, but you kind of look at them with that indecision as to whether you should step on them or avoid them.
This dispute actually went as far to the store managers office, which, believe it or not, fell in my favor. The store manager felt I was sticking up for myself- which in ‘factual’ terms I was. For 9 bucks an hour, kissing ass is not an option. What is respect at work? It’s the ultimate game of give and take.
From this point forward me and my manager actually got along, in the sense that as long as I didn’t break any major rules I was left be. Essentially that meant respect who I worked with, come in on time, do my job, leave. That left a lot of room for peace, and you’re damn right I took it.
I guess the moral to this wonderful tale is the very fact that you should stick up for yourself. The failure to stick up for yourself in a workplace is essentially is giving away a basic human right, and who does that?
Answer: So many people.
The world is a collaborated struggle; a spider web of desperation filled with people who feel obligated to simply take abusive treatment on account of the lack of other alternatives.
Well, the alternative is taking a stand, working at the same place, and demanding respect. And it can be done, don’t tell yourself otherwise.
What is respect in the workplace? It’s something that anyone can achieve, take it and make it yours.