Sam sat down at his desk in his new job and began his morning routine. After signing into the computer, he would open up the mail program to see what came in overnight. Then, he would proceed to get into the other programs he needed to do his job.
One of the pieces of mail he found in his Inbox that day was a routine announcement from the department’s administrative assistant. She forwarded along to new employees, like Sam, the schedule of days where the company would be closing early in anticipation of a national holiday, where the company would be closed. While it was a rather routine email, it made Sam smile, as he recalled a similar conversation at his old company, but a much different outcome.
Several months prior, Sam had a conversation with a fellow employee of his former company. It was a rather routine conversation, skipping from subject to subject. One of those subjects was an innocent comment wondering why the company waited so long to let the employees know that they were being dismissed early on a day before a holiday. Granted, they realized that they didn’t have to be let out early. It was something that the company decided to grant. They did appreciate that. However, for as long as any of them had been with the company, they had always been let out a couple of hours early on a day before a holiday.
The issue, if you can call it that, came with the announcement of this early dismissal. Sometimes it would come a couple of days before the holiday. Other times it would come a few hours before the dismissal. Leadership always seemed to keep the employees on edge wondering whether they would be leaving early before a national holiday. Again, while it is a gift from the company, people could not plan to take advantage of that time until it was too late.
As it was around the time of a holiday, this topic came up, with Sam wondering why the company seemed so arbitrary in this. His colleague surprised Sam by actually having an answer. It seems, the colleague revealed, that the leadership of the company was dead set against announcing the early dismissals all at once for the year, or even well ahead of time for a very curious reason. That reason? The employees would then be given a new benefit, that of a few extra hours off due to a holiday. The leadership of the company did not want employees to think they were ‘entitled’ to this, decided to make this on a case by case basis, so employees knew it could be taken away at any time. Somehow, that explanation fit the company, but also made him feel a bit like a dog at the table begging for scraps. The leadership was being ‘kind enough’ to give a few extra hours off, and they would never let the employees forget it.
As the memory faded away and tucked itself back into his ‘bad old days’ folder, Sam read over the communication from the department’s administrative assistant. There, listed out, were the early dismissal days before national holidays, from that time until the end of the year. It felt good to be invited to the table instead of begging for scraps.