Early yesterday evening before seeing Vir Das at Town Hall, I caught up with a former colleague who left my company about two months ago over ube coconut lattes in Koreatown. He was pretty miserable at my company when we were working together; every day felt like a waste to him. He was there over two years and never got a single raise despite performing well, and he felt like enough was enough, so he finally found a new job and left. Now, at his current company, he’s a remote employee 100 percent of the time, and while he gets along with his team and his boss, likely better than he did while at my company, he said he gets paid far more to do about 30 percent less than he did when at my company. It made him question why our functions even exist, why we get paid what we do, and whether there’s really a future in it for him… or really, any of us.
It’s a depressing thought when you think about it. When you’re an employee at an organization that you were not the founder/creator of, you think you get hired to fulfill a specific role, to fill in a void that needed to be filled. But what if you aren’t at capacity, yet everyone else seems to think you are? Is there really any meaning in your day-to-day responsibilities, in your job, in the function you were meant to fill? Who is really determining whether you are “at capacity anyway, and how is that even being defined? In most cases, it’s extremely subjective. And that’s where human error occurs, for better or for worse.