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Amelia Cooke


Being loyal has recently faded to the point of extinction  --- whether it be to one's country, spouse and family, religious beliefs, friends or employers.

Being loyal to your country has mixed feelings when it involves the leadership of that country. And of course, you now have world-wide immigration which leaves you to wonder to which country loyalty should stay --- the one of a person's birth or the one they now live. This would also include the politics and personal beliefs of the individual.

Being loyal to your spouse and family has taken a turn with so many divorces caused by shifting loyalties to another person beside the spouse.  Children are confused in their loyalties -- whether to side with the mother or father.

Loyalty to a person's church has dimmed with time and the inter-marriage of people of different faiths. Also, as children grow to adulthood, their beliefs may change from those of the family when they begin to gain knowledge of other religions.

Loyalty to friends can change by gossiping or believing  vicious rumors about a friend thus causing the friend not to trust or confide.

Then there's the loyalty to those where you work. ---- "Loyalty in the work place "  I often wondered if that phrase is a little one-sided. Is Loyalty meant only for the Employee's relation to the Employer?

No matter whether in manufacturing, retail, real estate, insurance, or banking, the policy is the same - "An employee should be honest, loyal, and hard-working" This, supposedly will lead to promotion and better pay. If leaving the company, the Employer expects at least a two-week notice in order to find a replacement and have a smooth running operation.

Should the Employer be expected to treat his employee with as much consideration?  Apparently not !

Here are a few examples I have personally observed during my years of employment:

The Owner of a small factory with some fifty employees, ran into financial difficulties. He began working his employees longer hours to produce more and of course, being loyal employees, they complied. After a couple of weeks of this, he announced he was having banking problems and would they mind if he held their paychecks for another week to sort things out. At the end of that time, he closed up shop -- before they could collect their pay -- and left without a word. Needless to say, he left a lot of people in a bad situation.

The Employer of a retail store would always stress the need for loyalty and to tout the company to the public. There were monthly recognition notices for employee of the month, annual picnics, Christmas parties and bonuses. Everybody was happy. Then without warning, the Employer decided to close down. Being quite a large store, it took everyone by surprise, even the supervisors. It left many scrambling to find another job in an already crowded job market.

A Department Manager job became available, and an employee who worked for the company many years, would normally have been in line for the promotion. But without her awareness, the job was given to someone from another branch office, ( the Employer's "special friend" )   and this new manager had to be "trained" for the job by the loyal employee.

A very nice, and friendly, elderly employee, liked to bake and bring in goodies to share.  One day she found herself in an unfortunate situation where the employer had the impression she had gossiped about him. He made it clear that the other employees should not have unnecessary conversations with her. He did not fire her, (because she was a hard-working, loyal employee) but his attitude toward her made her feel isolated and lonely.  She finally left the company on an early retirement.

A Supervisor, employed for about fifteen years, was dedicated, loyal, never took sick days, worked overtime on his own and ran an efficient department. Some supervisors in other departments did not seem to care for him.  When he left on  his annual two-week vacation, they had a meeting and convinced the boss to fire him. He was vacationing in Italy, and received the termination notice in the mail upon his return.

A CEO came to work after his days off, and found his key did not work in the lock to his office. He called maintenance to report the problem, and to his surprise, two security guards arrived and escorted him out of the building --- without learning the reason why. No one in the office knew what happened, and was surprised to see him being led away, and then his computer was dismantled and carried out.

Last but not least, were the many fellow workers that worked the complete day and a few minutes before closing, were given their termination notice.  Totally heartless, but of course, this is to make sure the employee gives the company a full days work and doesn't take anything with him when leaving.

Reading the current news, it seems the situation is going from bad to worse as time goes by. Not only loyalty, but everything to which  it's connected.  It's hard to believe there will be a change any time soon.

To quote Michael Caine  in the movie, "Alfie" . . . .

"But I ain't got me peace of mind, and if you ain't got that, you ain't got nothing.  I don't know . . . It seems to me if they ain't got you one way, they got you another.  So what's the answer?   That's what I keep asking meself.  What's it all about ? . . . Know what I mean ? "

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