Loyalty is a Two-Way Street (Perspective)
The Perspectives Team
MickeySr. hand-picked the team. Each month we have a different topic to which we offer our take or perspective. The team consists of MickeySr ., Maria aka marcoujor, MartieCoetser, Docmo, and myself. This month we are pleased to welcome vocalcoach aka Audrey Hunt as our guest.
Follow this link to read the introduction: Perspectives: An Introduction.
Loyalty sounds like an easy enough topic to write about, right? Considering there are six other perspectives being written on the same subject in this series, the reality is – no. It’s more difficult than I thought. This topic has been whirling around in my head with the force of the March winds. All I seem to have accomplished through contemplation is to disturb the cobwebs of my mind somewhat.
And then the light bulb came on. It took a phone conversation with an ex-coworker to flip the switch.
You see, most of the really talented and loyal people that worked at my last place of employment have left. Why? Simply because the sense of loyalty was one-sided. The entire accounting department has left. A few of the most capable Project Assistants have left. The Office Manager, who was a long-time friend of the founding family, has left. And we all have the same reason in common: loyalty was expected but not returned.
Now the brain cells are churning and pushing aside the cobwebs. Loyalty is all about relationships and how we treat others. Allow me to expound:
Employees need to feel appreciated and that results in loyalty
Loyalty and work relations
I have a story to tell. I know, we all do, but you’re on my page right now, so bear with me.
I stayed home with my newborn son until he was almost two years old. It then became necessary for me to re-enter the workforce. I’d been out of copywriting for far too long, so relied on my accounting skills in order to find a job. I went to a temp agency that specializes in placing accounting personnel and immediately landed a 3 month temp stint at a family owned and operated construction management firm. I took the place of the Assistant Controller while she was on maternity leave. I was amazed at how easily everything came back to me. I was having a blast.
Shortly after the Assistant Controller returned, she quit her job and offered it to me. At first I turned it down. Then the Controller called and offered me the job, which I accepted. A year later he retired and a new Controller was hired. We were a two-person accounting department. After four years with the company I resigned because I was denied a raise, although I’d had several since I first joined the company. The reason I was denied a raise was because I don’t have a college degree. My Controller (who has since retired and I remain very close friends with to this day) said that, although I was the most capable employee he’d had in his 30 years of public accounting and possessed a work ethic stronger than he’d ever experienced, I had no degree and wasn’t worthy of a raise unless and until I was willing to further my education.
That was in September 1998. December of the same year Cecil, the Controller, called me and offered me money out of his pocket and babysitting fees, if needed, to help him with year-end close. I agreed and we worked one weekend to get it all together. I couldn’t help but notice, when I sat down at my old desk, that there were now two desks in my old office. Cecil had to hire two girls to cover what I did without breaking a sweat! Kudos to me, pat me on the back!
Do feel appreciated at work or is it a one-sided relationship?
What comes around goes around
In March of 2004 I received a phone call at the place I’d worked since I left, from Cecil, the Controller of the aforementioned company. He wanted me back. Apparently they had a problem with turnover since I’d left and he was constantly proclaiming to the president that “we need another Shauna”. Prez responded, “so call Shauna!” The ball was now in my court. I named my price and got it. Within a month I’d cleared up the A/R and A/P problems and brought the department current. I was then moved to a position where “my talents could be better served”. I then rose from A/P, Payroll Clerk to A/R Supervisor and soon afterwards to Accounting Manager. I even had the responsibility of training the new Controller(s) after Cecil retired.
Life was grand. I was in my element. I was appreciated and I was allowed to fly.
I wrote this poem shortly before I quit my job. It speaks from my heart.
Too big for his britches
Then the presidency got turned over to the third generation male before (most of us feel) he was ready. He no longer conducted it as a family business and it no longer had the feel of camaraderie. It was now a wanna-be fortune 500 company with a spoiled brat at the helm.
Life began to suck – big-time!
Raises were put on hold indefinitely. Ok, the economy had taken a dump but we were still afloat. I could live with that. That is, until I saw other people getting raises. Certain people were afforded top of the line computers, while I was operating on a 13” monitor (try reading spreadsheets on that!) and was running Windows 98 for godssake! Did they forget I work in accounting and see what we bring in? I reconcile the bank statement every month, send out million dollar billings and work the general ledger. Don’t #@$%*& lie to me!
I need to tell you that the President, Vice President, Chairman, all the Project Managers and Project Assistants came to me when they needed to know how to make something work. We had a very detailed, intricate accounting system. They didn’t go to the (new) Controller because she didn’t know the system and refused to let me train her, although she was directed to learn from me. I had a good relationship with our subs and owners alike. That gave the company credence and me a sense of pride.
But when it came time to give Shauna a raise, the answer was always “no”. It was apparent my 12 years of loyalty and dedication meant nothing to those in control of my future.
So, in September of 2012 (that must be my month of emancipation and change) I quit. Just up and quit. I’d had enough of the one-sided relationship.
The accounting department took a direct hit because the Controller didn’t know how to do what I did. She had no idea how the accounts I reconciled for the income statement were processed. She had no idea how to compile the billings and incorporate change orders into the subcontractor billings and our owner contract billings. As the result, she and the girl who worked for me had to work three months of weekends to try to keep up.
Now does the company see my worth?
Eight months later, the Controller quit and two weeks after that the girl that worked for me quit. The department was now empty with the exception of a new person that was hired with NO ONE to train him!
Loyalty is a two-way street!
Loyalty and personal relationships
I was going to further this article with personal relationships and the loyalty that should be a part of them, but I’ve run out of time. Suffice it to say I’ve been divorced twice and choose to remain single for a reason.
It all comes down to loyalty. Give and take. Yin and Yang. Two-way street.
Shauna L Bowling
Refining, Defining or Rhyming
All Rights Reserved
If you would like to be a guest writer for next month's topic, please contact MickeySr or any of the core Perspectives team.
Perspectives on Loyalty from the team
Please take a moment to read how 7 different writers from all over the world perceive beauty:
This is kinda head banger, but it begs for the return of loyalty.
My Perspectives to date
September 2012 "Knowing Your True Self": http://bravewarrior.hubpages.com/hub/Perspectives-Knowing-Your-True-Self-How-to-be-Happy-be-True-to-Yourself
October 2012 "Vanity": http://bravewarrior.hubpages.com/hub/Perspectives-Vanity-Does-It-Have-a-Shelf-Life
November 2012 "Gratitude": http://bravewarrior.hubpages.com/hub/Perspectives-Gratitude-Where-Does-It-Lie-in-the-Spectrum-of-tudes
December 2012 "The Charitable Spirit": http://bravewarrior.hubpages.com/hub/Perspectives-The-Charitable-Spirit-Giving-Too-Much-Can-Cause-Tears
January 2013 "Regret and Hope": http://bravewarrior.hubpages.com/hub/Perspectives-Regret-and-Hope-Do-They-Belong-On-the-Same-Page
February 2013 "Loneliness": http://bravewarrior.hubpages.com/hub/Perspectives-Loneliness-Choice-vs-Choices
March 2013 "What Don't You Know?": http://bravewarrior.hubpages.com/hub/Perspectives-What-Dont-You-Know-What-I-Dont-Know-Doesnt-Hurt-Me
June, 2013 “Beauty”: http://bravewarrior.hubpages.com/hub/Beauty-is-as-Beauty-Does-a-Perspective
© 2013 Shauna L Bowling