Friday, September 30, 2011
Corporate numbers have always dictated companies' decisions, and to some degree, justifiable. The corporations, or business, toss out the unwanted numbers like disposable conveniences, regardless of what they represent: product or people.
Now, don't misunderstand me. I owned my own business and I know the value of those numbers. If a business can't make a profit, then it can't pay its bills, including payroll. What I do have a problem with is the deception and ruthlessness some corporations and business owners use to balance their numbers. Remember the old phrase, "It isn't personal, it is just business"? Well, it is personal, and they use the phrase as a cop out for their responsibility in ruthlessly effecting others' lives.
The news is filled with stories of financially struggling companies deceptively keeping it a secret from their investors, creditors and employees. At the last moment the executives announce bankruptcy and closure, then walk away with their pockets lined with green down.
Once in a great while you hear about a company who acts with compassion and honesty when forced to deal with lay offs, benefit changes and bankruptcy. They can't give what they don't have. In these cases the executives suffer right along with the employees. They are the Daniels of this world, acting with honesty and integrity, even when tempted to look out for their personal interests first.
In all fairness, there is the other side of the coin as well, the employee who takes whatever they can get, without thought to the company or their co-workers. Their motto, "As long as I get mine", is just as destructive as "It's only business."
An applicant explained to his interviewer all the benefits he had at his last position. "I had fully paid medical insurance, numerous paid holidays, a very generous sick leave and bereavement policy, flexible hours, a benevolent expense account, a luxury car and over a month in paid vacation. And, I received the very handsome salary you see on my resume."
The interviewer was astonished. "Why would you leave a job like that?"
Applicant. "I didn't. The company went bankrupt."
This type of greed started with Cain and Able and will continue until the end of the world. So, what do we do when faced with deception as an employer or an employee? Let's look at the life of Daniel.
Daniel was a captive, yet through his integrity, honesty and talents, he rose to prominence in not one, but several kingly courts. Of course, others were jealous and sought to destroy him and as a result Daniel was thrown to the lions, not once, but twice. (One would think once would have been enough.)
In the first case, Daniel spent the night in den, remaining unharmed through God's direct intervention. The second time he was in the den for six days. God not only protected him from the lions, He fed him as well, through the miraculous transportation of the prophet, Habakkuk. God thought of everything.
I take courage from Daniel's story, not just because God saved him from the wicked. Daniel retained his integrity and continued to do his very best regardless of his circumstances. He held to his faith and trusted God with his life. Now, we know that Greed too often wins while the Good suffer, but we must remember this is only temporary. The world doesn't get the final word. God does.
Posted by Cecilia M Pulliam