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Fawning Suck-Ups Get the Big Promotions

August 15, 1993

Re the July 29 article "Making All You're Worth" on how employees can get a raise, I have a feeling it was really written by Leona Helmsley.

In the best of all possible worlds, merit and ability would be recognized and rewarded. On this planet, however, employees are often treated--under the excuse of tough economic times--with patronizing contempt or exasperated patience.

The handing out of raises, promotions and other goodies is subject to the personal biases of management. Personality is invariably recognized over diligence.

The fawning suck-up will be commended on his or her "people skills," while the quick, hard-working quiet type will be rewarded with being allowed to do the work the personality kid somehow didn't get around to finishing.

Cynical? Maybe, but also true. Ask around.

KEVIN DAWSON

Los Angeles

*

This article is the trickle-down version of what corporate America's managers and owners would like working people to believe.

After references to high rates of unemployment (i.e. be thankful you have a job at all) and to alternative "compensation," such as upgraded equipment or training courses (beneficial to the company and do not contribute to an employee's retirement fund), we get the usual punch line with which the captains of industry have been beating organized labor to death: global competitiveness.

You do not need a doctorate in economics to see that business owners will move jobs where wages are low and sell their products where prices are high. However, under our current system, if insufficient numbers of people have jobs that pay enough to buy enough products, the demand will drop, and everyone, including investors, will lose.

The article does not go into the economic, political and social effects of these changes in the workplace alleged to be induced by market forces. These supposedly "natural" changes are no more uncontrollable than any other consciously enacted set of policies in our society.

KESHAV KAMATH

Los Angeles

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