Employers the greatest perpetrators of Human Rights
Employers remain some of the greatest perpetrators of Human Rights Abuse. Their worst abuse is killing an employee’s social life. Never considering that employees have family. With impunity and arrogance, they send you to impromptu weekend seminars, night events and 6.30 am breakfast meetings as if you have no children to drop to school. Meanwhile they join their families for dinner. Some send you on guilt trips by creating extra work and making you do late hours and weekends. One employer is notorious for dishing out assignments at exactly one minute to 5 pm just before the day is out. He then drives home to join his family for dinner as staff struggle to finish his work. He demands that the work be placed in his in-tray by 7 am the next morning. Says one employer, “When I see my staff in the office on Sunday afternoons, I really feel good. I don’t know exactly what they are doing at work but just the fact that they are not at home resting, really motivates me!” No wonder in some countries, employees have formed Support Group Networks where they vent their frustrations at work and seek each other’s advice and support. In some of these meetings they abuse the absent Bosses, criticise them and learn tricks on how to hit back at the Bosses and sabotage their companies when they resume work.
Whereas your contract says you should work from 8am to 5 pm these employers ensure you stay upto eight extra working hours with no apologies at all. The contract remains just that – a wretched piece of paper and nothing more. When you raise questions over assignments that do not adhere to your contract like making tea, going to the local shop to buy the boss scones, underwear or chacoal for her kitchen, or other additional responsibilities way out of your job description, you will immediately be identified as a troubleshooter. That is when you will be sidelined and you will find staff meetings taking place without your knowledge. A vindictive transfer letter may soon be in the offing and you may find yourself being transferred right left and centre within one year. The worst culprits are the private business owners who treat people like slaves knowing full well that there is nowhere you can take them. Employees therefore live in perpetual fear, pretending to smile when the Boss is around yet if they had a chance they would rather stab them in the back. This fear and frustration always results in stress, while some employees have factually been hospitalised from depression and stroke – thanks to the sadist Boss.
The moment you hand in a resignation letter and make the mistake of mentioning that you have found greener pasture, the Human Rights abuse begins. The employer and his cahoots start treating you like a thief. with suspicion and contempt. Some of the employers even go to great lengths to find out where you are going. They make calls ahead of your new work stations and drop some very nasty comments about you. Says Alfayo David, a lecturer at a local University. “My Boss would write you a very good recommendation letter only to follow it up with a phone call to your new Boss. He would then invite your new Boss for a cup of coffee and shred whatever he had written about you to pieces. The next time you called your expected employer not only would they be hostile. They would not respond to your calls or e-mails. The Boss would then pretend to sympathise with you and ask you if you wished to rescind your resignation letter,” Says a disgusted David.The fear and intimidation is such that no one ever writes a genuine resignation letter. By the time most employees resign, they hate the Boss so badly yet the fear that they might one day meet this Boss in some other company makes them write fake sugarcoated resignation letters just to cover their trail.
So most resignation letters in Bosses’ in-tray read this way: “This resignation letter is to inform you that I will be moving to a new company to pursue a different endeavour. While I will dearly miss this Company, XYZ, I do feel that it is time for a new challenge and a new experience (Nonsense). If you have any questions feel free to ask. I have appreciated the opportunities that have been provided to me during my ten-year stay at XYZ (Rubbish). If there is anything I can do to be of assistance during the transition, please let me know. Working with XYZ has been a wonderful experience (Nkt!) I have grown in many ways (Stunted), here and will always treasure the opportunity provided for me by XYZ.
Kind Regards (Good Riddance).
Intimidation born out of jealousy is another abuse. When an employee goes to work in a new dress or a new car, some Bosses cannot just handle it. Some female Bosses go so petty that when a female employee has a fresh manicure or pedicure, they just go nuts.They claim that the employee is idle and feel their money and time should be put to better use. Said one employee, “My female Boss raised concerns over my manicure at a Management meeting. She said I had too much time on my hands and must be given additional responsibilities. She would then walk to my desk and ask me if I needed time off to go and do my nails. I was deeply frustrated,” She confessed.
One need not get a licence from Nairobi’s Red Light District to practise prostitution. It is right there in our offices with both male and female powerful Bosses, demanding to sleep with you for a promotion. No wonder a senior manager advised his junior to try and be nice to a bully of a Boss if she wanted to retain her job.