In Business, Are The Inmates About To Run The Asylum?

By | February 27, 2016

For the Baby Boomers in the crowd who are between 51 and 70-years old, remember your first job?

Mine was working for a caterer when I was 12 or 13-years old where I would arrive at their cooking facility at around 7AM to load the truck with food, plates, table clothes etc. We would then drive to wherever that days affair was going to take place and unload the truck, make the hors d’Oeuvres and then help set-up the room.

During the party we would wash the dishes and pots and, once the party was over, reload the truck and drive back to the cooking facility where we would unload it and call it a day.

The day would end somewhere around 7PM with wages in the neighborhood of $25. It was a long day of hard work with mediocre work conditions but, it was a way to make money so I did it.

The First Real Job Of A Career

At some point over the age of 17 or 18 came the first ‘real job, whatever that may have been, where hard work and dedication would hopefully lead to promotion, more responsibility and a successful career path.

That career path might have been in that business, another business in the same industry, a completely different industry or maybe it was to strike out on their own as an entrepreneur.

And while of course it’s true that was then and this is now, for those unfamiliar with how work works, in todays topsy turvy world this is what appears to be my increasingly controversial view…

Why It’s Called Work – A Primer

You apply for your first job (dressed appropriately for the interview that’s defined by the job and firm your are applying at) in order to get experience and at some point down the road begin to move-up the ladder either there or at another firm that offers a better opportunity.

You get the offer, listen to the details that will include hours, wages and benefits. Knowing it’s entry-level you are also aware that it is going to be hard work (as is every job up the proverbial ladder) and that appreciation and a warm work environment may or may not exist.

You then either accept or reject the offer (and take personal responsibility for that decision).

(Note: A business, particularly a small business, can only operate if such operations are profitable. Otherwise this sector of the US economy that is the greatest job creator will not function and, by extension will not create jobs!)

If the offer was accepted, within reason (and the law) you work at the command of your supervisor and, if for whatever reason at some point in time the terms of employment no longer suit your needs, you look elsewhere.

You take personal responsibility for your career seeking to improve your skill set (whatever that may be) to make yourself more marketable to other firms and more valuable to the firm you are at.

You arrive on time (actually 10-minutes early), exhibit a good attitude, show initiative and try to do your job as well as you possibly can. If you are idle you ask your supervisor if there is anything else that you can do. When you are given your review you take any negatives to heart and try to improve.

That, is my short and simple synopsis and please not the term, personal responsibility.

Employees Trying To Dictate To Business Owners In Seattle

My opinion is that at some point when business becomes too cumbersome to effectively and profitably operate due to government imposed regulations, the small business driver of the economy will cease to be so.

In Seattle, businesses will oppose the proposal that’s due to be announced for ‘livable schedules’ as detrimental to their operations and, as a result will no doubt be branded by the lobbying groups and government officials who likely have never run a business as greedy members of the 1%.

But for the majority of these small business owners who work incredibly long hours to pay their workers and support their own family’s, oh how wrong they are!

Seattle pushes sweeping new rules for worker schedules, employers cry foul

You’ve heard the battle cries over paying workers a “living wage.” Now, get ready for the next phase: “Livable schedules.”

On the heels of Seattle passing a controversial $15 minimum wage law, the City Council there is now drafting an ordinance that aims to shift power away from employers when it comes to how workers are scheduled and paid.

“I think there is a sense among some workers that they are being abused,” Seattle City Council member Lorena Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez is leading the effort to impose new rules on how employers schedule their workers. The ordinance is still being written, but it is expected to include:

  • A guarantee that workers get at least 11 hours of down time between shifts
  • A requirement that workers get schedules a week in advance, or else be paid time-and-a-half if shifts are added inside that timeframe
  • A requirement that employers pay employees for a few hours of work not performed if shifts are taken away

Several of these components are being pushed by Working Washington, the same group that successfully fought for a $15 minimum wage in Seattle.

Already, though, members of the business community are firing back against what they call the “restrictive scheduling” measures.

“It’s unfortunate that the city of Seattle seems hell-bent on these one-size-fits-all, cookie-cutter approaches to wages and hour issues,” said Patrick Connor of the National Federation of Independent Business. “I think this is going to be one more straw that may soon break the camel’s back.” 

Read the rest of the article here.

Michael Haltman is President of Hallmark Abstract Service in New York. He can be reached at

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