euthymia (euthymia) wrote,

Wise sayings

Over the course of my career, I've coined a couple of sayings, and I've been told some wise things that I have never heard anywhere else.

One refers to what I call "Allison's Ratio," in honor of Kevin Allison, the guy who first explained it to me by saying:

"When the shit-to-money ratio gets too high, you bail."

I have since come to realize that all employment has an accompanying shit-to-money ratio. So perhaps we'll call that "Miller's Elaboration on Allison's Ratio."

"All gainful employment carries a shit-to-money ratio."

The next is one that I came up with myself, although with input from a number of bosses and companies:

It's called "Miller's Reminder" and it states that "The company is not your friend."

I first remember stating it one holiday season while watching coworkers spit bullets about how in past years, they got cash bonuses in the thousands of dollars, but that year, they each got an umbrella with the company logo silkscreened on it (nice umbrella, I still use mine 12 years later). They had worked overtime, skipped lunch hours, etc. all with the expectation that each December, the company would give them the financial pat-on-the back. It was unfair, said they, they felt deceived and cheated.

What they seemed to be forgetting is that their relationship with the company was a business one, and that the company would always do what was best for it as a whole, not them as individuals. When the company gave them generous cash bonuses, it was not because they "deserved" them for working so hard, it was because the company wanted them to continue to work hard and feel good about doing so. Workers who feel good about what they do tend to do better work.

An addendum to Miller's Reminder states that the company will act in a friendly manner in order to get you to do things that it wants you to do, but its acting in such a manner should not be mistaken for any kind of altruism. Some bosses will indeed pretend that the company is your friend; perhaps they even believe it themselves. Individuals within the company, even the owner(s) may actually indeed be your friend(s), but this, too should not be confused with the company as an entity being your friend.
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