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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Loyalty Rant

  Recent events at my pharmacy have had me thinking about loyalty. What it is, what it isn't and how it has changed over the years.
  I can remember my dad talking to me about loyalty to my employer. He said that loyalty is a one way thing. It's something I show toward something or someone else. It's not a two way deal where I'll be loyal but only if you are loyal to me. Or I'll be loyal until you tick me off. That is not loyalty; that is performance based acceptance which is totally different.
  I guess the reason loyalty to employers has declined is that most people these days work for a corporation that has no "face" to it. It's much easier to be loyal to someone you can see, interact with and voice yourself to. Why is it harder to be loyal to corporations? Well, corporations are big and by being big they employ a large number of people who all have to be treated the same. That means we usually aren't treated like individuals or recognized for individual performance. The person who constantly calls off work is treated the same as the person who always shows up, that sort of thing. Corporations have lots of "management" who really are impotent when it comes to addressing your concerns. They may boast an open door policy for voicing concerns but they don't guarantee that any of the concerns will be recognized or taken care of.  But, still, are these good reasons to drop any loyalty toward your employer? What about loyalty to the actual people you work with. No, they don't have any effect on your paycheck but what about loyalty for loyalty's sake.  Why are so many people in the workforce only looking for what the employer can give them rather than just doing their job. I figured out a long time ago that the only thing my employer owes me is  a paycheck at the end of two weeks because I had worked for it. I'm loyal to my employer because I'm grateful to have a job in this economy. I may not always like how individuals in my company do their jobs or I may not agree with decisions that are made, but I remain loyal because I'm not a quitter. I hung my hat here, so to speak, and I'll stay.
  You are probably wondering why I'm going on about this topic. Well, I have recently been stung a few times by lack of loyalty on the part of some of my staff. For example, I needed a Senior tech and I knew of one at another store who was not getting the opportunity that she wanted, so I asked to have her transferred to my store. She did so and I set about augmenting her knowledge of procedures that was lacking in her previous training. I gave her encouragement and opportunity,but how was I repaid? She was stealing me blind on hydrocodone! I felt betrayed. You may say that she had a problem and I agree. She has a bigger problem now because she will never set foot in a pharmacy again. Okay, so we don't count her. Her addiction was overriding her loyalty to me; got it. The next example is a technician who I also gave opportunities to who previously did not have said opportunities. She used our company resources and time to become certified. The company paid for her classes and for her exam. How did she repay that generosity? As soon as she became certified she took a job with an insurance company doing prior authorizations. Oh, she still wanted to work for us but only one day a week. That, my friend, is ingratitude! It made me look bad because I recommended her to the program. So not only did she display a lack of loyalty toward my company but also toward me personally! Don't get me wrong, I can't blame anyone for wanting a) to get out of retail if they can and b) get more money if they can, but decency would tell you to give some time to the company that got you into the position you are in. Without them you wouldn't qualify for the new job in the first place. If it were up to me, I would slap her with a bill for the price of the classes and the exam. If it were a pharmacist who had done this, they sure would be.
  I guess it all comes down to selfishness. It's not all about me. Look around at the people you work with. Even if you don't care for that person they are still your comrade. They are still on the same side of the counter as you are. That big corporation that you may work for is made up of individuals. They are the ones that deserve your loyalty. Be grateful for what you're given. Not just a paycheck but things that are harder to measure like experience, opportunity, and trust. And most of all, don't ever get the attitude that just because you show up your employer owes you anything but a paycheck. Everything else is out of the goodness of their hearts (even if they don't have one).