I wonder if the economy has changed the tone of conversation at your job. Instead of talking about morale and rewarding employees, has it changed to a "you're lucky to have a job at all" tone? Even if your company is doing fine? Is it taking a toll on morale? I'm curious.
I think it's human nature to find excuses to get people to give more for less. I wonder if this is happening at your work. Also, how is your job? When I see lines around the block for a firefighter job I think, this is bad. Still, I'm thankful for what I have and think corrections are overdue. We reward the wrong behaviors and it's led to a mess that isn't easily resolved.
Incidently, I just started working p/t - I had been talking about getting a job (I had been off w/ kids for 10 years) well before crash, but resumes went out after crash and I just started working in Jan. So...the optics of my job are such that this is all because of new economy, but reality is that we did some heavy budget makeovers in the spring and the job decision was made at that time. I guess I'm lucky to have this job.
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I work for a large media company and I would say yes, the tone has changed. We had layoffs before Christmas, and since then everyone has been very stressed out. Those of us who are here are happy and know we are very lucky to have our jobs, but that becomes tiring. Managers are running around making sure we are accountable for every minute of the day. Still, I went through a bad spell of unemployment for over a year a few years ago, so believe me, I feel the pain of everyone out there looking for work. It is a difficult and heartbreaking process. I have seen people in their 40s working at the local Starbucks and that scares me.