"Seniority privilege"

spotify joeroganIn some cultures, seniority is associated with more knowledge, experience and need for special treatment derived thereof. In short, you're valued in society. In other cultures, seniority is not highly esteemed. It's more like, please die (or at least retire or get lost). Seniority is also applicable in working life. Seniority is a privileged rank based on your continuous employment with a company. In a seniority-based system, people who stay at the same company for long periods of time are rewarded for their loyalty. The reward could be formal or informal. Salary, title and office space (or placement) are all formal rewards. Not having to perform the same tasks as more newly employed (despite the fact that you are on the same hierarchical level), getting cushy assignments or blending in with the background when a job needs a steady hand are examples of informal rewards. When I entered the working life after university it was clear to me that I was at the bottom of the ladder. Moreover, there were a couple of senior colleagues that where happy to help me understand. Their old master suppression techniques were subtle but effective. An equally senior and bitter colleague told me that you were nobody until you have received your first complaint to the Parliamentary Ombudsmen (JO). The Ombudsmen could make an inquiry if something or someone had been treated wrongly or unjustly by a public authority or an official employed by the civil service or local government. I had not received a complaint, so I was nobody. Of course, this was a rationalization and justification for poor professional performance from a dying breed. You are not missed. Well, there's bad and there's good seniority. I've navigated through the working life without any major disaster. Nowadays, there's no organizational slack or rewards in public administration. Salary scales are replaced by individual salaries, titles have been abolished or lost their former glory and offices (rooms) have been replaced by activity-based workplaces (ABW). And every employee must pull their weight on the workplace. In fact, there's only one reward left, respect. How do we gain respect? Less is more. Less management set phrases, motivational speakers, sticky note exercises and beehive discussion groups would be respectful. And a true senior privilege to be able to avoid.      

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