My stay-cation has been restful, however not very exciting. I have been doing a lot of sleeping, some shopping, socializing, and that's about it. Pleasant times, but nothing substantial.
I've been checking my e-mail every morning and working from home around an hour each day, in order to keep some time-sensitive projects on track. There are some meetings that I'm going to be attending when I go back to work, and I need to talk to my boss about how we're going to approach them.
My workplace is divided into regular staff and fancy professionals. The regular staff is there to provide services to the professionals, so that the professionals can make money, and pay their overhead fees, which cover the staff's payroll.
My boss's approach for many years was: The professionals are the geese that lay the golden eggs. Give them whatever they ask for to keep them happy. They are not employees, so we can't order them around. They could go work elsewhere if they chose to. If they are demanding, so be it. If the staff don't like it we can also go work elsewhere if we choose to.
As of the past few months, things have changed. For reasons which I won't get into, the company can't afford to give the professionals everything they want anymore. The professionals, who are used to being asked "how high sir?" when they tell us to jump, aren't happy with this. And my boss is not feeling sympathetic.
I can see the professionals' point of view. They're used to receiving a certain level of service for their overheads, and no one consulted them about a change in the unwritten contract.
I can see my boss's point of view. Times are tough, and everyone is having to buckle their belts one notch tighter.
The problem is that my boss appears to want to fight things out with the professionals. He's frustrated because they don't want to change. He's tired of placating them and giving in. But instead of approaching things assertively, he's gotten aggressive with some of them. And he's encouraging the staff to do the same. When an employee "takes a stand" or "holds her ground" in a conflict with a professional, he's on the employee's side, cheering and waving pom-poms. And everyone's getting into it.
It feels like living on a reality TV set, where everyone is encouraged to take sides and dig in their heels for a good, sweaty struggle. Some people are enjoying the juiciness of the drama. The employees are understandably gleeful at getting a chance to tell off the professionals. The professionals are not going to take this lying down.
People. Keep your shirts on. Has anyone ever heard of the phrase "solution-oriented problem solving?" Say it with me! There, I knew you could.
There is nothing to be gained from the type of confrontations I've witnessed thus far. Fighting fire with fire is only going to burn down the office. There must be a way for us to converse about the situation as mature, reasonable adults, yes? Fortunately my boss is open to strategizing with me on possible approaches to these confrontations before we stage any more of them.
I don't like reality shows on TV. I certainly don't like the feeling that I'm living and working in one.