Friday, July 31, 2009

Corporations Dangling Carrots

In our company an internal client of mine, a lady whose work ethic I respected, was promoted to a VP. Ours being a Fortune 500 company, this was a pretty big deal. Since she always worked late, that evening just before leaving work, I walked over to her office to congratulate her. I asked her if she would be moving to the corner office, the one previously held by the person who had the job.
“No, I am not allowed to occupy that office, Ram” she said. “It has two windows. Only Senior VPs can have an office with two windows. I am only being made a VP, not a senior VP. That office is being converted into a conference room. And they will be building me a new office adjacent to it for me, with one window.”
I was surprised that she didn’t see what all corporations are trying to do. They are forever dangling new carrots (a pay raise, a better title, a better office), anything to get their employees to put in more time.
It was like one of Pavlov’s lab dogs figuring out that it was being programmed to salivate. I think I lost quite a bit of my appetite for corporate carrots after that evening.


uk said...

The corporate seems to function on such perks being doled out for rising up the ladder.
What would be one's legacy after lifetime of work is a question worth pondering?

Ram said...


I see your point, UK. Here are a couple of arguments for the other side...

One reason to persist in a corporate job for a good number of years is that for many of us, it is the only way to really save up.

And then there a lucky few for whom their corporate job also matches very well with their life passion. For them, their work is their legacy.