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38 comments

Is Your Job Secure?

Posted October 26, 2011 7:28 AM

Today's workplace is fraught with uncertainty. Recent surveys have shown that the level of stress at work and for people out of work continues to climb rapidly. How do you react to that statement? If you have a job, are you satisfied with the duties and responsibilities? How successfully are you getting more work done with fewer people? How confident are you that you will keep your job for as long as it suits you? Are you concerned about the state of the economy? The health of your company? Your work group? Your own status? If you don't currently have a job that corresponds with your qualifications and career plans, what are your prospects for finding one?

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#1

Re: Is Your Job Secure?

10/26/2011 8:46 AM

My father worked at one job his entire career. Those days are long gone.

Personally, I am satisfied with job and with my career choice. I do, however, try to maintain my job security by taking on more responsibility and creating more work for myself. I said creating more work, not redoing my work.

For example, our Company doesn't have a resident CAD expert. Seven years at my last job with the same CAD software helped me prove to my manager here that I am highly qualified in teaching others. I developed a Best Practices document [standardization of workflow]. I put on training sessions here and at our regional offices. I've led the way with respect to CAD automation.

All that, PLUS doing my regular job.

I also have nearly 30 years design experience in different industries. I've proven that my skills are transferable. My name is out there and headhunters are always calling. I also network within the manufacturing industry here. I've been called a "seasoned professional" which, in my opinion, is an accurate description.

Once the decision is made to lay me off, there is absolutely nothing I can do about it. The state of our economy is also something I can't do anything about. Worry is a natural reaction, but it also gets in the way of making and enabling a solid recovery plan.

At my age, I'm not concerned anymore about reinventing myself. Rather, I am reshaping myself to suit the needs of the Company. And I am making my job more satisfying.

I don't know for sure what the future holds. The industry I'm in right now is somewhat cyclical. The Company is growing and sales are strong with no immediate downturn in sight. I don't get the sense of doom like I did at my last job when the U.S. economy was tanking. I like to be proactive, but I just don't sense the need to look for another job right now.

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: Is Your Job Secure?

10/26/2011 9:03 AM

You wrote, "Once the decision is made to lay me off, there is absolutely nothing I can do about it."

That is not necessarily true.

This is a true story. One place I worked had an a downsizing. They called in employee after employee to lay them off.

One manager called this guy into the office and began the process of laying him off. Half way through the procedure the manager got a phone call and had to leave his office.

The employee waited and waited for his manager to return, but he did not. So, this guy finally just gets up and goes back to his desk and gets back to work.

A short time later he finds out that his manager was called out of his office to see his manger - who laid him off on the spot! The manager never returned and the employee that was being laid off slipped through the cracks and avoided the axe.

By some strange twist of fate he now still works at that same company many years later.

It is like being sentenced to be executed and the guy with the axe has a heart attack when he draws his axe back.

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#3
In reply to #2

Re: Is Your Job Secure?

10/26/2011 9:56 AM

That's a good story.

I've got one along the same lines:

My wife worked with a girl in the real estate dept at a large law firm. Shortly before my wife started working there, her friend had been terminated on a Friday, for no good reason.

It broke her heart, but not her spirit. It made her mad as hell.

She showed up to work on Monday, went to her desk, and went to work as if nothing had happened. Nobody had the stones to go tell her to leave..............again.

That was almost 9 years ago, and she still works there.

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: Is Your Job Secure?

10/26/2011 10:00 AM

Is she getting paid?

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#6
In reply to #3

Re: Is Your Job Secure?

10/26/2011 4:25 PM

See Bartleby the Scrivener... Life does imitate art

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#12
In reply to #3

Re: Is Your Job Secure?

10/27/2011 10:34 AM

I really like those stories, they make me feel good. Here in U.S. manufacturing I think there is no job security just Corporate profits. The security is what you know and can do. They are building a large plant in Saudi Arabia right now that can produce as much as all the U.S. plants combined but I have no desire to be secure in Arabia and not warm and fuzzy about China. I am not to far from 65. However my heart goes out to the younger ones and should turn my efforts to fighting for them. The bottom line is important but not everything.

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#5
In reply to #2

Re: Is Your Job Secure?

10/26/2011 10:08 AM

That IS a great story!

I've been busy making it harder for someone to MAKE that decision, so I guess my original comment is not entirely accurate.

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#16
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Re: Is Your Job Secure?

10/28/2011 4:45 AM

I was raised and trained and pride myself in doing my job in an "Efficient and workman-like manner" and thus am consistantly being laid-off. I seem to have two speeds. Stop and Go. Stop is too slow and Go is too fast. There seems to be no middle. I've come to find out that companies like Flour and Bechtel don't really care about getting a quality job done in a timely fasion so much as they are getting YOUR time-card punched so THEY can get paid more. Prove me wrong. Go ahead, I dare ya'.

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#7

Re: Is Your Job Secure?

10/26/2011 5:24 PM

I have had an open position I'm trying to fill for over a week now, and only have one applicant for it! I suppose the requirements are fairly strict,:

  • Must be able to operate Solidworks from day 1
  • Must be familiar with autoCAD
  • Should have Mechanical or Electrical background (Fluid power prefered)
  • Can read/Write/Speak in English
  • Is a legal citizen

But most importantly, they need to want to work... Seems that all too many people are simply collecting their unemployment checks, and have given up on working for a living.

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#8

Re: Is Your Job Secure?

10/26/2011 11:10 PM

I have been working at my present employer for 32+ years. There is some talk of layoffs/buyouts but I consider it to be just that... talk. I am 54 years of age looking at several more years to retirement. I started planning on retirement several years ago while figuring on finding another job to get me by if need be. I see no reason to follow through with such a scenario unless necessary, however; if I can find the time in the interim, I would like to write a few novels or find some other project involving writing. If I can write and sell my first novel, I figure that I will know more about my chances in following that plan. If that doesn't pan out, I have made several contacts which should allow me to find work in the same field that I am presently working in except that I would be on the contractor side of the equation. Always have a backup plan, but work to keep what you have until you are ready to go on your own terms.

In this unstable economy, I feel that you should be looking at your options. Perhaps you can re-invent yourself or simply consider marketing yourself in the area that you already know to be your area of strength. Plan on any outcome to be one that you can enjoy if at all possible. I would prefer to work in a job where I can take my knowledge as well as learn more. (Of course I like to learn more always... that is why I am a member of CR4!)

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#9

Re: Is Your Job Secure?

10/27/2011 1:26 AM

This problem arises in private companies very often because the government and politicians have given a free hand to MD/CEO to violate employee's rights. Our leaders should remember that Employees are not machines or animals. Labour office should monitor employers otherwise why should people vote and elect leaders?.

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#10
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Re: Is Your Job Secure?

10/27/2011 10:04 AM

"This problem arises in private companies very often because the government and politicians have given a free hand to MD/CEO to violate employee's rights."

There are laws that govern the behavior of people, not some government beauracracy. Once the laws have been enacted, enforcement of the laws is the responsibility of the judicial system.

Regarding the OP about whether there is security in a job; anytime I put my financial welfare at the discretion of another person I am no longer "secure". It is better to be in as much control of my own financial security as I can by being in business for myself. The entrepreneurial/small business owner mentality can help to alleviate the dependence on someone. A small/large business owner doesn't normally have my best interest at heart. I say "normally" because there are some great businesses and owners who go to great lengths to provide "security" for their employees.

Security also comes from having some margin financially. We need to do everything we can to be debt-free and also have some financial cushion so that if something unforeseen happens to our employment we aren't toast financially. The problem is that people in our society have such a skewed view of handling financial issues that they spend 103% or so of what they make, because they "need" it now, and when a job is lost or other unexpected things happen in their lives they don't have any margin financially and end up defaulting on loans or lose everything they have. They then whine about an unfair employer.

The comment in an earlier Post mentioned taking the initiative and making himself an invaluable asset to the business is a good place to start. When we provide a great service to our employer and have a highly desirable work ethic it will be much in our favor if it comes time to cut back on the workforce. Most people don't do that.

There are no guarantees though that just because we do our best they we won't wind up on the "chopping block".

It is also good to remember that it is the job of a business to make money, not to provide jobs for people. Many times employees get the mindset that they are entitled to an ongoing job just because they have worked somewhere for awile. That isn't the case. Decisions will be made in any business that some people don't like, even if you are the business owner yourself you may be forced to make unpopular decisions impacting employees, for the welfare of the business.

The OP asked if I am confident "in the economy"? Fat chance of that while this current group of politicians is on site screwing everything up. The economy will only improve when we get smart and elect people who understand free enterprise, capitalism and how to help set an environment in which business will thrive. That will mean reining in some of these out-of-control agencies like the EPA, OSHA, etc. They are killing the ability for businesses to work.

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#13
In reply to #10

Re: Is Your Job Secure?

10/27/2011 11:16 AM

In many companies as well as state jobs an employee or employer should be given a months notice or a month's salary before leaving or terminating services.

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#14
In reply to #13

Re: Is Your Job Secure?

10/27/2011 1:38 PM

Why is it the responsibilty of the business owner to pay out 1/12th of someone's pay for no production? And, certainly not the state.

If a business owner chooses to do that great, but they shouldn't be mandated to do that. That would simply be one more intrusion by the state into the life of a business, along with the added cost. Instead of hiring more people maybe would just decide to make do with the employees they have. There are severe consequences to businesses when the government gets involved and seldom are they good consequences.

People have the idea that business owners and corporations are these big, bad, greedy people who are only out for themselves (there are some owners who don't treat people right but they are the exception rather than the rule). In actuality it is the accusers who have that mindset. They want their "fair share". Their "fair share" are the wages they have been paid and no more. If they want more they should get off their lazy, complacent butts and start their own businesses with their own money, sweat and effort.

Life isn't fair, nor should we expect it to be! We in this great country have opportunity to succeed based upon our own efforts and the environment that we operate in.

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#15
In reply to #14

Re: Is Your Job Secure?

10/27/2011 11:23 PM

It is a matter of human rights or survival. A person needs some time to find another job,until then who will feed him if social security is not implemented. One who worked for an organisation for a certain period of time should not be thrown as garbage.

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#17
In reply to #15

Re: Is Your Job Secure?

10/28/2011 9:06 AM

It is not the responsibility of the state or any business to take care of me. It is my responsibility!

If people would live below their means (what they make) and save some money for a change, rather than spend it all on a bunch of crap they don't need, maybe they would have some financial margin. Part of the problem is that like Chris Brady said "we have creeping essentialism". People think the luxuries they now enjoy are necessities. We don't need much of what we now see as necessity. Many of our creature comforts are simply that luxuries, which shouldn't be purchased until there is financial margin. Most people are "bass ackwards" in their financial thinking.

"One who worked for an organisation for a certain period of time should not be thrown as garbage."

Just because someone loses a job at some business doesn't mean he is being thrown out like garbage. There are many reasons why someone may lose a job. One of them being that the person is incompetant and not providing high value for his employer, the economy sucks and people don't have as much money to spend on goods and services, etc.

One thing that we have experienced here in Wichita where there are lots of General Aviation and Corporate jets made, is a drastic cutback in orders, especially for small business jets. Pelosi made a comment a couple of years ago about how bad/unnecessary these tools are for business. "Businesses just had them for pleasure", or whatever her lame excuse was. The next day over 1/2 of the orders, existing and future, were cancelled. All because this moron opened her trap and talked about things she knows nothing about. Since that time a lot of people here in the Air Capital of the World have lost their jobs. It is beyond their control and the control of the businesses. Telling the businesses that they should then provide money to people who are no longer providing value for the money being paid just drives up the cost of doing business and the subsequent decisions made for operating their business, R @ D, products, hiring, facilities, etc.

There are safety nets available for people with short-term needs, i.e. Salvation Army, Food Banks, churches, etc. where people can get necessities to make it till they can get another job. Maybe that job won't pay as good as they used to have, but "a percentage of something is better than 100% of nothing."

Again, businesses do not exist for the welfare of those they employ, they exist to make products, services and money.

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#18
In reply to #17

Re: Is Your Job Secure?

10/28/2011 10:17 AM

You are right and not just Kansas.

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#19
In reply to #17

Re: Is Your Job Secure?

11/10/2011 3:25 PM

GA on 14 and 17. I too own a business and vary between 20-25 full time employees. I am incensed over the notion that I OWE something to my employees. They are here for the same reason I am...to make a living. At the end of each pay period, I pay up and we are even. The ones who work hard and smart and show a propensity for making my business profitable, will be the last cows out of the pen.

A big part of this ridiculous mindset is fueled by some of the class warfare rhetoric oozing out of Washington. The occu-tards are a direct result of this. I worked hard for everything I have. I paid for my own education and considered it an investment. I would be embarrassed at the concept of having someone give me something I had not earned (like 1/12th of my salary).

Oh and BTW, I started my business with $70,000.00 that I saved up while making $30,000.00 per year. What an impossibly alien concept to have to describe to someone today.

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#24
In reply to #14

Re: Is Your Job Secure?

12/12/2011 9:12 PM

you act as if business happens in a vacuum

the maintenance of the infrastructure is not free, nor is it a right

without government there is no market

you're just another anarchist, who feels a sense of entitlement to all the resources you can grab

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#25
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Re: Is Your Job Secure?

12/12/2011 9:30 PM

You wrote, "without government there is no market"

Prove that!

I submit to you that the "market" predates any government. There have always been "needs" that people wanted to fulfill and others with the capacity to fulfill them.

I further submit that government recognized that relationship and sought to interject itself in the middle of that.

The result is a two edge sword. On one hand the government has worked as a leach by sucking revenue from the free market and is some cases squashing and extorting businesses for the benefit of government. On the other side of the sword that same government can help foster a level playing field for business, but it still comes at a price.

However, in no way can it be said that a government is responsible for creating or sustaining a market. The exception to that might be under the thumb of communism, but we know how well that works.

Yes, business can happen in a "vacuum" (absence of a government) as long as their is at least one person with a need and another with a solution to that need.

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#26
In reply to #25

Re: Is Your Job Secure?

12/12/2011 10:41 PM

can you provide an example of market without government in any industrial arena?

sure you can barter some veggies with your neighbors

you can't have more than the most primitive community without some form of government

or can you provide some example of this delusion you cling to?

the needs to be met come with responsibilities beyond profit, those that think they can ignore those responsibilities are the leeches.

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#28
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Re: Is Your Job Secure?

12/13/2011 9:00 AM

You wrote, "you can't have more than the most primitive community without some form of government"

I mostly agree (because you refined your premise), but government cuts both ways. It is a self feeding organization that will consume those that it is supposed to serve if left unchecked. You only need to pick up a history book to see that.

I get the strong impression that you feel government is the answer to every problem, when in most cases government is the problem.

There is a balance between free enterprise and government. It should be a partnership in the ideal world. Unfortunately, the US is sliding away from free enterprise and toward government. That is why the US Economic Freedom Index is dropping over the years.

You asked for examples, here they are:

Hong Kong
Singapore
Australia
New Zealand
Switzerland
Canada
Ireland
Denmark

All of these countries rate higher than the US because there is less government intrusion into business.

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#33
In reply to #28

Re: Is Your Job Secure?

12/13/2011 10:45 AM

I agree that most organizations are self perpetuating

contributing factors are

use or lose it funding

undefined mission

no effective oversite

*

no, I don't think more government is the solution

I think better government & effective collaboration are the path forward

better government would start with campaign finance reform

collaboration would start with industry trade groups doing a better job of regulating themselves, reducing the need for government involvment

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#35
In reply to #28

Re: Is Your Job Secure?

12/13/2011 9:31 PM

That would have to be the strangest measure I have ever encountered.

All the countries in your list have higher tax rates and higher levels of regulation than the US.

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#36
In reply to #28

Re: Is Your Job Secure?

12/14/2011 12:31 AM

How did Soviet Russia and China become super powers by adopting communism if government interference is harmful?. How did India grow amidst a host of problems by austerity measures?. Americans spend money lavishly-each house has two or more vehicles,people are lazy to walk to school or supermarket,eat junk food,lazy to cook and become obesse and spend money and money on treadmills,gyms,swimming,jogging,pills etc

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#37
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Re: Is Your Job Secure?

12/14/2011 7:37 AM

You wrote, "How did Soviet Russia and China become super powers by adopting communism if government interference is harmful?"

It is called brute force and you would not enjoy that life at all. Also, remember, the Soviet Union collapsed in its efforts because the gains were not real.

China has the advantage of huge numbers of consumers and a hybrid system of communism and capitalism. While China is producing large economic numbers they are also doing it off the backs of their own people where strife and unrest are very common. China has the world's largest standing army (2.3 million active combatants with a total of 4.6 million if you add reserves and paramilitary). The primary mission of that army is not to counter external threats, but to suppress internal threats.

Doing business in China is very precarious. Local laws and regulations change on the fly and demand their own cut and many times run counter to national laws. There is also a good deal of cronyism and corruption at the local level that make business operation difficult.

China may be able to produce the numbers but the personal lifestyles and standard of living is much lower than Europe or America.

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#38
In reply to #37

Re: Is Your Job Secure?

12/14/2011 8:22 AM

Srilanka also follow the chinese method now. In 1977 they passed draconian legislations to suppress human and workman rights with blessings from USA and received loan from world bank because they practiced open economy. Now USA has vanished after setting up India against China. Did anybody think about poor Srilankan racial/religious minorities?.

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#30
In reply to #26

Re: Is Your Job Secure?

12/13/2011 9:27 AM

That government is best which governs least" is often attributed to Thomas Jefferson,
Yes , some sort of control is needed, however when the control starts affecting the life of a company then there may be too much control.There can be exceptions ,(Enron) but that was still a goverment action by de-regulating an industry.Ron

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#27
In reply to #25

Re: Is Your Job Secure?

12/13/2011 8:34 AM

GA anonymous hero,

Garths makes a good point in the following comment where he states that "a society needs a government". That is true to the point that there needs to be an organization of people who will represent the masses in matters of the judiciary, etc., just like our Constitution calls for. The problem arises when the government interfers with the carrying out of business needlessly. Our government has gone way past the point of operating within the Constitutional guidelines (which was written to limit the governments role in peoples lives) monitoring from a judicial standpoint and now seeks to gain control over business, to the detriment of all of us. Our existing sinking economy with very high unemployment, lowering tax revenue, etc. is a prime example of that.

Where small and large businesses operate; with personal integrity and character (those being key elements), are allowed to operate unhindered, a capitalist economy thrives with free enterprise. If an entrepreneur knows his efforts are going to be stolen from him by an overbearing and thieving government, why should he risk, possibly everything he has, to start and operate a business, which would benefit society by providing needed goods and services, generate income and a growing tax base by providing jobs?

What we need isn't a higher tax rate. What we need are more people paying taxes. That means more people in the work force. Andrew Carnegie said "I would rather have a small percentage of a hundred mens efforts than a hundred percent of my own."

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#29
In reply to #27

Re: Is Your Job Secure?

12/13/2011 9:26 AM

personal integrity & character, are not part of any corporate charter in any meaningful way

businesses will maximize return on investment, it's what they do

regulation doesn't appear spontaneously, but in reaction to abuse of the commonly held resources

could it all work better

of course

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#34
In reply to #29

Re: Is Your Job Secure?

12/13/2011 3:13 PM

"personal integrity & character, are not part of any corporate charter in any meaningful way".

You are correct in that statement. A corporation in itself is a non-personal legal organization, but it is operated by people. The character and integrity of the people are the determining factors as to how that organization operates. History is full of large and small companies alike who operated with character and integrity and we as a society benefitted because of it. The opposite is also true and when people operate without character and integrity they leave a path of distruction behind them.

That's why those aspects of character and integrity are fundamental to how we operate, either on a small business, private or corporate level. I heard a definition of integrity being "what you do when the lights are out, or what you do when you think no one else is watching or will find out". If everyone can choose on their own what is right and wrong, can you expect anything more than dismal failure?

The only reason the courts have to get involved is when people think they are above the law or they are a law unto themselves.

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#31
In reply to #27

Re: Is Your Job Secure?

12/13/2011 9:34 AM

When you say "a society need a government",what is the deal for multi racial,multi religious countries where the majority suppress,oppress and humiliate racial/religious minorities and hold them as "hostage for life time ", with UN and international community's approval?. Instead of guaranteeing human rights by UN charter they want minorities to live like "slaves" under "majority" community which says racial minorities should not ask for "power sharing" or a "territory" or "safe haven" and should not take political decisions but "live like animals" without human rights accepting all what the major community does.

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#11

Re: Is Your Job Secure?

10/27/2011 10:22 AM

I do not know about other industries, but in the steel plate and pipe things are booming. We are in a hiring mode and developing for the long run. I credit this to our new CEO who is an American and not Hindu. His approach is to re-vamp the entire system and develop new automated methods and implement advanced technology. The last CEO ran the company down as all the profits were sent to another country and none was re-invested back into the company. I have faith in the CEO to bring this operation back to a stable company.

Without proper leadership the employees do not have faith and this leads to stress, at least this WAS the case here.

Ron

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#20

Re: Is Your Job Secure?

11/11/2011 1:27 AM

Jobs will be secure if inexperienced people are not appointed as Managers,MD or CEO. Institutions of engineers should verify engineer's capabilities by sending a representative abroad to evaluate engineers instead of evaluating based upon recommendations made on racial grounds.

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#21
In reply to #20

Re: Is Your Job Secure?

11/11/2011 9:55 AM

made on racial grounds.
Its not racial, its the truth. Failing to adapt to a different environment can cause a company to fail.
Ron

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#22
In reply to #21

Re: Is Your Job Secure?

11/11/2011 10:10 PM

Did the Jews fail to adapt to german civilisation?,is it why Hitler killed them?. Today they are controlling the very rich america. It is a matter for the UN and international community to enact laws to protect humans instead of holding an inquiry after disaster or saying governments have sovereignty,it is internal affair,accepting statements made by state officials as true and so on without making use of UN offices or ambassadors to verify the truth. ILO should look into employees rights by giving draft employment contract to member states. Each country or company should not draft constitution or employment contract violating UN regulations/standards on human/workman's rights,otherwise we don't want that UN. One community should not rule another or making people "stateless"(no citizenship) or killing,burning properties,chasing away from the country etc simply because they are numerically stronger.

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#23
In reply to #22

Re: Is Your Job Secure?

11/14/2011 9:38 AM

Did the Jews fail to adapt to german civilisation?,is it why Hitler killed them?
No. that was a personal belief by Hitler.You are min understanding me. If i was an american that bought an Indian company that sold primarly to Hindus and i went to India and did not adapt the the culture, then my company would probably fail. The opposite is true and i have witnessed it over the past 7 years.

We are getting OT.

Ron

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#32

Re: Is Your Job Secure?

12/13/2011 10:41 AM

I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise nor wealth to the brilliant nor favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all.

-Solomon Ben David, circa 750 BCE

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