I shall give you the moon!
Why do people lie? I’m not talking about politicians or used car salesmen; they are expected to promise whatever it takes to close the deal. Nope, I’m referring to the average small business owner that lies to their employees or customers. Yet, when they get caught in the falsehood, they try to brush it off as standard business practice.
It might have been a few years since I graduated from college, but I’m pretty sure there wasn’t a class or a chapter in one of my business text books that covered how to screw over hard working people for a measly profit. Maybe it was one of those extra credit assignments that were suggested by the instructor at the beginning of the semester. If that were the case, I probably would have opted out for the “B” instead of competing with my overachieving peers that thought an “A” would get them that high profile, corner office. I digress.
You are probably wondering what triggered this rant. Well, it started with “the company” that my husband, Mike, works for promising housing. This might not seem to be a big deal to most; but we’re smack in the middle of the oil boom in Western North Dakota, Eastern Montana where housing is at a premium. A typical two-bedroom apartment runs in the neighborhood of $2000 a month. Forget renting out a house, yesterday I saw several adds in the local papers for three-bedroom houses starting at $3500 a month plus utilities. I’d only pay that much if I was buying it and it had some nice acreage attached. And a maid. Maybe a butler. I wouldn’t need a pool boy, too cold for an outdoor pool.
Anyway, back to what got my panties in a bunch and caused a lot of chaffing. “The company” has four business interests; farming, stockyards, oil hauling, and heavy equipment repair. They provide housing for all of the farm/stockyard workers ($400/month for 2 bedrooms). The company also has housing for all of the truck drivers ($1500/month for 3 bedrooms). Most of the other mechanics in the equipment repair arm of the business also have company provided housing ($750/month for 3 bedrooms). When my husband asked to be placed on the waiting list for housing, he was originally told it would be about a month and that there was no one ahead of him on the list. It has since been 4 months and newer employees have been placed into housing before him.
He’s gone to the owner of the company (who has asked him on several occasions to perform favors outside of normal business because he’s had special training in fields the other mechanics don’t have experience with – race cars & farming equipment) to ask why this has happened, not once, not twice, but three times now. The owner skirts the question and only answers with more promises, “We’re putting in brand new housing in a couple of months and when we do, you get first pick.”
Today, I put my foot down and demanded something more specific than a tissue of lies. My husband pulled up his big girl pants, went to the owner and this time, he confessed that they haven’t ordered any new housing and they weren’t planning on doing so for the foreseeable future. So, what’s with the lies? Why couldn’t the owner be up front and honest in the first place? Only the liar knows.
I was discussing this situation with several of my friends; every last one of them has run into a similar situation with a small business making promises and not following through. In one case, a friend was promised bonuses if they completed projects within a certain time frame. Instead, they were charged for the parts (that came from the same companies own warehouse) and the bonus was almost non-existent. In another example, a friend accepted a coaching position in another state, yet once they arrived, the position they were hired for was changed so much that it didn’t even resemble the original job offer.
The simple answer to these situations would be to look for another job. But it seems that this is becoming a nationwide epidemic. Businesses aren’t being held accountable for their treatment of their workers. My friend, Ray Choiniere describes it best, “It has been going that way for a long time now. They claim slavery is over with and been abolished, yet employers are treating employees like slaves.”
So, what is the solution? Learn to be self-sufficient and rely less on dishonest businesses, be it for employment or merchandise. Additionally, only frequent or work for someone that believes in the value of “an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work.” If I no longer support a company that does not treat their employees with respect and call attention to these dishonest establishments, hopefully they will be forced to either shutter their doors or change their modus operandi.
Yes, you can argue that it might put some people out of a job, but I ask this in return; “how well off is someone that is working for a dishonest company?” As for our situation? Yes, we’re looking for a more reputable employer in an area where we aren’t forced to rely on the company for some of the basic necessities and the locals aren’t trying to price gouge hard working newcomers looking for a fresh start.