They want employment, but don’t want work!

On December 16, 2013, an engineer who had not obtained any job since his graduation in April 2013, started working with an engineering consultancy company owned and managed by my friend.

During his interview, the engineer had been told that, while the normal working hours were 10.00 am to 6.00 pm, Monday to Saturday, it would be necessary for him to stay on in the office till about 7.30 pm almost every working day during the month-long training period. He had readily agreed to this.

On the first day, the engineer left the office at around 7.00 pm after completing a training session with his supervisor. The next morning, he informed his supervisor that he would not be able to stay back in the office after 6.00 pm since he had reached home later than expected due to heavy traffic. The supervisor told him that he should discuss the matter with their employer. The engineer spoke to the employer, who pointed out that the engineer had agreed during his interview that he would stay on in the office till about 7.30 pm almost every day during the first month. To this, the engineer replied that, at that time, he had not foreseen that he would be held up in heavy traffic. Realizing that further discussion was pointless, the employer agreed that the engineer could leave at 6.00 pm every day, and requested the supervisor to adjust the training schedule suitably.

On December 26, the engineer’s 9th working day, the employer was in another city to meet some prospective customers there. Between two meetings, at about 11.30 am, he read an email from the engineer requesting for 3 days’ leave on December 28, 30 and 31. He immediately telephoned the engineer and asked why he needed leave on those 3 days. The engineer replied that he had to visit his hometown to meet his parents. In response to the employer’s question, he clarified that there was no work or function to be attended. The employer pointed out that it was highly unusual for any person to take 3 days’ leave in his very first month at work, and asked the engineer if he could postpone his visit by a few weeks. The engineer replied that his train tickets had already been booked a month earlier. The employer was upset that the engineer was informing him at the very last minute despite having planned this visit a month back. He told the engineer that he would have granted 3 days’ leave at such short notice only if there was urgency of some sort. Since this was just a routine visit, he could not grant leave. When the engineer said that he could not cancel his visit, the employer repeated that he just could not grant leave. To this, the engineer replied that he wanted to resign with immediate effect. The conversation ended there.

A few minutes later, the employer received a call from the supervisor, who told him that the engineer told him that he was quitting his job, picked up his bag and walked out of the office.

This engineer had got a job after being unemployed for 8 months. Many of his batchmates have not yet got jobs after graduation. His employer had been very transparent about the working conditions. Yet, he backed out of his agreement to work beyond normal working hours during the training period. Finally, he chose to throw away his job for a very flimsy reason.

I have come across many such persons. To obtain secure jobs with decent working conditions and good salaries, they make commitments during the interview, but back out of these commitments once they are employed. They want employment, but don’t want work!

I cannot understand the mindset of such people. Can anybody enlighten me?


16 thoughts on “They want employment, but don’t want work!

  1. Who is responsible for the so-called ‘unemployment’ or under-employment? They may have book knowledge, but when it comes to hands on working they turn out to be gross failures. They first want to know the timings, leave and pay even before proving their worth. They deliver nothing.
    My principle is when an employee wants to quit, ask him/her to leave immediately, no notice period, they can be a damn nuisance!

  2. It’s the transition from college to work. While still in college, students get a lot of leeway. They think that this means that they get entitlement and can do what they want.

    I remember that when I had taken up my training. I had needed a week’s worth of leave within a month of joining as I was part of the team that had built an ATV that was to be raced at NATRIP in a national competition. My faculty advisor had made it clear that we weren’t to accept training offers from any one unless we had told them of this up front before joining. And when it comes to that, I think most employers are reasonable. If you give them considerably advance info, they let you take leaves for even flimsy reasons. As long as you do your prerequisites, and give advance notice it shouldn’t be a problem.

    As far as the extra hours go, getting holed up in traffic is a concern and the trainee should have offered to come in earlier by 1.5 hours (if possible at this employer’s. Many engineering companies run in shifts) to leave in time in the evening.

    I have seen that many of the newer engineers are much lax about this. Even when I look back at the things I have done, leaves I have taken, it seems so stupid and careless now in retrospect. I believe a level of conditioning has to be done for this.

    • Most employers and employees are quite reasonable about all matters concerning leave, extra hours, etc..

      During the last few years, I have found more and more people displaying this ‘take it or leave it’ attitude, even when they don’t have any backup job and their financial background does not really permit them to remain without a job.

      While students do get a lot of leeway while in some colleges, many of these persons have studied in private institutions where everything they do is subject to rules and regulations.

      Perhaps, all colleges and polytechnics should formally prepare final year students for the transition from student life to working life.

  3. I think its that transition from college to work. Also, most kids nowadays are very entitled (My personal opinion). They get everything from money to bikes to marks easily. Hence the lack of discipline. He doesn’t need the money maybe.. maybe that’s why he isn’t serious.

    • This particular incident involved a fresh graduate. There are other incidents involving experienced persons, both educated and uneducated, including some persons who needed the money, throwing away jobs for very minor reasons.

      I’ve noticed this is more common only in recent years. I wonder whether it didn’t happen so much earlier, or whether I didn’t notice it earlier.

      • Maybe they have commitment issues..
        It wasn’t this bad when I started working too.. but, I’ve dealt with some really tiresome folks as well!

  4. It is the lack of commitment and dedication to work. Rather than thinking on how to improve their skill and efficiency, they concentrate on what all benefits they can claim. Wonder how they will succeed in life with this attitude.

  5. I guess it has to do with the fact that youngsters nowadays want ‘instant gratification’ and ‘instant recognition’ of their efforts. They simply lack the patience and attitude to wait for results for their efforts, and require everything in a hurry.

    • That’s what I think as well.

      When it comes to ‘instant gratification’ and ‘instant recognition’, we have no shortage of ‘role models’ who ‘achieve’ high positions in politics, films, industry, etc. not because they have worked for those positions, but mainly, perhaps only, because of their connections.

      • That’s why job hopping is the order of the day and accounts for the high attrition rate. No loyalty!

  6. Sometimes these kind of situations erupt when the employee has a backing (chance) of an equal or a bit better alternative…but that isn’t professionalism
    loved reading the post

  7. Now-a-days such characters are seen everywhere. Lack of discipline, commitment, and that fire to learn and excel is missing in most. Finding easy way out, taking shortcuts is the mantra. Unemployment after 8 months of passing college should have taught some valuable lessons, but sadly he learnt none!

      • unemployment for 8 months with an engineering degree and such kind of attitude ?? woah .. I am surprised.. I am from this generation but have not yet seen any of my friends or acquaintance with this kind of behavior. But what I have witnessed is people throw lot of tantrums if they get a posting away from their home town, even though it was clearly mentioned in the offer later that they might have to relocate as per requirement. Lots of excuses, funny and gory crop up ..
        I do not know what can be the reason in this case, I assume the person is plain stupid and immature..

  8. Many of the freshers joining in these days are very much like this…carefee, noncommittal and highly irresponsible. Their motto in life is enjoy life. But what they don’t realize is some slogged their way through work to get them where they are right now. With such an attitude, I wonder where he is headed to. Pity!

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