Some years back, I joined an engineering company as Sales & Service Head. During the first monthly meeting, where all the sales and service engineers were present, one of the sales engineers remarked to me that sales and service engineers working with our competitors received much better salaries and perquisites. He added bitterly that the senior managers in our company were not bothered about this because, compared to our competitors, our company offered much better salaries and perquisites to senior managers. After getting some facts and figures from him, I assured him that I would take up the matter with the HR Head.
The next day, I discussed the subject with the HR Head, who assured me that he had already started working on the matter, and that the remuneration structures for sales and service engineers would be revised within a few months. I conveyed this to the sales engineer, but he seemed unimpressed. On a couple of occasions over the next few weeks I overheard him making caustic remarks to his colleagues on this subject. Since these remarks had not been addressed to me, I thought it best to act as if I had not heard him.
During the next monthly meeting, this engineer brought up the matter once again and stated that, if their salaries and perquisites were not increased soon, he would leave our company.
I decided it was time to give this engineer a fitting reply. I said, “If you are so frustrated in your job, why haven’t you quit already? As far as I can see, our office doors are not locked and the windows have no grills! You could walk out through the doors or you could jump out through the windows. What’s keeping you back?” The engineer was stunned, and so were his colleagues.
I continued, “It is perfectly natural for any employee to have grievances related to his work, the working conditions, his remuneration or any other aspect of his employment. There is nothing wrong in voicing those grievances. But, it is not correct to keep whining about any grievance, especially when there is a genuine effort being made to redress that grievance. If anybody has any grievance that is not being addressed by the management, and if that grievance is a cause of heavy dissatisfaction, that person is free to resign. As I said, our office doors are not locked and the windows have no grills!”
I remembered this incident when I recently came across quite a few people complaining bitterly, verbally or in blogs, about their jobs, using expressions like ‘nauseating’, ‘weird policies’, ‘too demanding’, ‘treating the employees like slaves’, ‘suffocating’, etc..