At 9 A.M. on the second hand’s exact audible click, Timothy Workerbody starts his shift at Upstart Analytics. He sits at his desk in a chair.
He wears glasses that protect his eyes from the blue light coming from his monitor. The glasses were covered by his health savings account. The HSA is one of the few perks he enjoys at his current employer.
Workerbody declines a calendar invite sent through the Gmail corporate email service. He does not want to attend an after-hours work festivity. Drinks and likely some light snacks in one of the office’s common areas while not receiving compensation for time spent with coworkers does not appeal to him.
His manager, Steven Manager, pronounced Ma-Na-share, is eleven years younger than him. He likes to work long hours. He inquires frequently about his lack of participation in extracurricular work activities.
“It’s part of being a part of a team.”
Workerbody makes a note of her request. He does not ignore him. He does not do what he asks for him to do in this case. He does what he asks of him in things specific to his job description. And when asked for extra work-help, he volunteers graciously during work hours.
Manager is offended that Workerbody does not want to participate in the fun activities he plans. Everyone else seems to love them.
Workerbody does not need social interaction at a place of employment to get fulfillment in his career. He needs a steady paycheck, decent benefits, and a schedule that allows him to enjoy time with his family and hobbies outside of work. He likes birds and playing the piano.
At his quarterly review with Manager, Workerbody is told he needs to participate in more team-building activities. Workerbody does not appreciate this request. He does not want to participate outside of work hours. His schedule outside of the office is demanding. His daughter plays piano in a youth orchestra three times a week, and weather permitting, he spends a few hours alone bird watching over the weekends. He volunteers at his church Sunday mornings handing out coffee to the congregation.
Workerbody does not receive a pay increase, because of this perceived lack of loyalty. His participation, lack of, is a sign that he does not want to work at Upstart Analytics. He feels alienated by this.
While Manager reviews some of Workerbody’s positive attributes during the review, he is still underwhelmed by the verbal encouragement. He cannot use such things to pay his mortgage or for new camera equipment.
It is Manager’s plan to manage Workerbody out of the company, or at least off of the team. Workerbody is slow to action, and keeps performing his job at a managerially-satisfying level. He does not understand why Manager has anything negative to say about this.
He is put on a performance improvement plan. This PIP scares Workerbody, who only wants to produce good work and then go home to his family.
After one quarter, Manager makes a subjective decision. Workerbody has not met the ambiguous improvement standards set forth in the PIP and will be let go with a small severance package.