Thursday, June 16, 2011

Beam Me Up Scotty!

I remember watching Star Trek as a child. The relationship between Spock and Kirk was an interesting one. As a Vulcan (half Vulcan to be correct), Dr. Spock could be completely logical. His worldview didn’t include emotion or feeling or desire - all of the things that seemed to fuel Captain Kirk.

It’s easy to forget that people are not computers. We are motivated by emotion. Our responses are often based on our feelings. We follow our instincts. We need more than reason and logic to get by.

Recently, I read an article about declining morale in the American workplace. Since the recession began, employees have often been blindsided by layoffs and firings; living on less in the wake of salary freezes and decreases in benefits (or higher benefit prices); grieving the loss of co-workers while absorbing their workloads.

What I found incredible were the comments of a few business owners and managers. They said that these employees should stop whining and be ‘grateful’ that they have a job and a paycheck. That’s the Vulcan response. Logically, a job and a paycheck should be enough.

We all need to recognize our humanity. Employers aren’t hiring robots or Vulcans. They are hiring good old human beings who have good and bad days, likes and dislikes. And it goes beyond the workplace. Kids have tantrums. Adults gripe, sulk or get angry. Spouses, friends and family members disagree and hurt each other’s feelings. None of us are perfect. None of us are cold, calculating machines. Heck, we are who we are and that’s what makes life interesting.

Personally, I wouldn’t want to be cold, calculating and completely logical. I like my quirks, my moods and my emotions. I can be angry, depressed or disappointed but I can also be happy, content and hopeful. You cannot have one without the other and I gladly endure the bad stuff because the good stuff is right there with it.

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