Running a business, or two, with employees is challenging on the best day and depressing on the worst. Most of the people, who work with us, have been with us for years. One family has generously offered all three of their offspring to our efforts. People have come and gone of their own volition, most of them are welcome back as long as we have work to support them.
Workers have come to us in times of need, shortfalls of their own creation more often than not; we have never denied them. We’ve lost sleep worrying about short-term layoffs. We’ve gone without pay so others would have earnings. We’re generous when we can afford to be. A former employee describes my husband’s management style like this, “If you want a raise, all you have to do is show up.” We like it that way.
We don’t like The Man. The fact remains that we are in business. The costs and worries associated with being in business are ours alone to bear. We recognize that people devote precious hours to a job that may not be their dream. Our expectations are basic; work steadily and get the job done, have a sense of humor and make the best of it. Everyone works together. We don’t ask people to do things we haven’t done ourselves. A lot of decisions are made cooperatively. We hope for at least a token amount of mutual respect.
Ultimately, the workplace is not a democracy. Continuous insubordination will not be tolerated. I fired someone today. I am The Man. I don’t like it.