In Which We Are Clueless Management Stooges

By Edward Cone  |  Posted Thursday, January 13, 2011 19:01 PM

Reader Eugene takes issue with our recent feature on workaholics, specifically this sentence: "While a strong work ethic is valued, a lack of balance with your personal life can ultimately work against you in the long run."

He writes:

I do not know what planet you are from, but your article shows how out of touch you are with the reality of life in the United States today. Working many, long hours does not indicate workaholism. Workaholism is a choice.

For many, many Americans, the long work hours are mandated by their employer, without regard to their health and family.This is not workaholism; it is slavery.

Your choices are: A) work as much as, and as long as, we want your to, or; B) we will find somebody to take your place. Most US companies are filled with "management" who do not know how to manage, are in fear of reprisals from their bosses, often ignorant (or at least less competent) in the specific subject area that they are supposed to manage. US management is full of nepotism, back-stabbing, slander, deceit, bullying, selfishness, and rampant greed, rather than encouragement, mentoring, constructive criticism, honesty, sharing, and caring.

So many companies see their employees, especially those lower on the totem pole, as liabilities rather than assets; and that is why so many companies are just plain rotten places to work.;

Apparently, you only conduct research with management.

We're totally with him on the plight of the thin-stretched recession-era employee. We've even seen a few examples in our own industry. The ensuing rant about the suckiness of businesses in general is, well, ranty, but entertaining nonetheless and not without merit.

As for workaholics, they really do exist. They have some behaviors in common with the merely overworked -- e.g., hours spent on the job -- and our analysis should have controlled for motivation when addressing those behaviors.