Author Topic: Being described as hardworking is demeaning...?  (Read 5039 times)

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Onyx_TKD

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Re: Being described as hardworking is demeaning...?
« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2013, 06:07:45 PM »
I can see where yes, usually the term "hard working" is a good thing, but can be replaced as the nice thing you say because you need to say something nice.  In this case, she "worked hard" but you can't say that she did a "good job", which is why she's being let go.  It can kind of be equated to describing someone as having a "pretty face" instead of just "pretty".

I can see where she might find the term insulting to her, but am not sure if she really has a point in how the email might sound to everyone else...unless they know the specifics of her leaving.  And without putting that phrase in context, it's kind of hard to judge that.

I agree. It's like being "punctual." Saying an employee is "hard working" or "punctual" is a good thing, as long as it's included as part of a list of other good qualities. However, if "hard working" and/or "punctual" are only good qualities mentioned, then it implies it's the best they have to offer. And neither of those is enough to cut it as a good employee. A "hard-working" employee is only a good employee if their hard work accomplishes the needed tasks in an appropriate manner.

In this situation, I think it would have been best to scrap the ex-employee's suggestion entirely and send out the standard announcement with no commentary on job performance at all. However, if the employee did indeed manage to be "hard-working" without displaying any other good qualities for the job and was the one to suggest that the announcement should include such commentary...well, she shouldn't be surprised at what she got. If you want to be described as more than hard-working, then be more than hard-working.

TeamBhakta

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Re: Being described as hardworking is demeaning...?
« Reply #16 on: April 15, 2013, 06:14:45 PM »
Quote
Thanks, all.

there's no racial/ethnic differences or stereotypes involved.

Normally an announcement like this would not mention performance at all - it would be "Louise will be leaving on [date] and we wish her all the best for the future".

Louise's original draft wasn't a diatribe, but it did say "Louise worked very hard to achieve [outcome which wasn't achieved, and which was directly related to staff management so was one of the few parts of her job that everyone on staff would have experienced and *knows* wasn't achieved] - it came across as really self-congratulatory.

An honest announcement would be "we know we made a really bad mistake in hiring her. We're fixing that as fast as we can. She mostly showed up on time and seemed to be trying at least some of the time. She interviewed really well though. "

We didn't send that one round :-)

What you don't realize is that, according to River Song's diary and Co-Worker's diary, at some point in time Co-Worker got all those things done. Clearly you guys just met out of order ;)

JoieGirl7

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Re: Being described as hardworking is demeaning...?
« Reply #17 on: April 16, 2013, 02:37:14 AM »
Why is she even eing consulted on this?

I would think that the people in charge of the business would know how to appropriately communicate with their staff and simply do so.

It doesn't make sense to me that has any say in it, particulary as she won't be working there anymore.

Margo

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Re: Being described as hardworking is demeaning...?
« Reply #18 on: April 16, 2013, 05:31:54 AM »
She wasn't consulted.

She came up with this on her own initiative, we were trying to accommodate her obvious wish to have a say in what was sent round by using her draft as a basis for what was said rather than scrapping it completely.

To be fair, her role does (did) include some elements of HR so in other circumstances she might have been the one drafting any announcement, but then you'd think she'd have noticed that all previous announcements when people have left have been very brief and factual.







One Fish, Two Fish

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Re: Being described as hardworking is demeaning...?
« Reply #19 on: April 16, 2013, 06:58:48 AM »
If you look for offense you will find it.  Louise's feel bads were hurt and nothing was really going to suit her. 
I'll get there.  Eventually.

Miss Unleaded

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Re: Being described as hardworking is demeaning...?
« Reply #20 on: April 16, 2013, 10:01:57 AM »
She wasn't consulted.

She came up with this on her own initiative, we were trying to accommodate her obvious wish to have a say in what was sent round by using her draft as a basis for what was said rather than scrapping it completely.

To be fair, her role does (did) include some elements of HR so in other circumstances she might have been the one drafting any announcement, but then you'd think she'd have noticed that all previous announcements when people have left have been very brief and factual.

No good deed goes unpunished I guess.  I think in future stick to the form letter and there will be less room for people to take issue with it.

JeanFromBNA

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Re: Being described as hardworking is demeaning...?
« Reply #21 on: April 16, 2013, 02:58:25 PM »

She came back saying she didn't like the wording, which mentioned that she had 'worked hard' as it is "demeaning". It was the specific reference to working hard which she classed as demeaning. Itís not clear from her comment whether she thinks itís demeaning to her, of if itís demeaning to the other staff members who will read the announcement, but either way we were a bit taken aback by the comment.

 Would you see being described as working hard as demeaning?  (It's one of the few things one can honestly say about her - she *was* working hard, just really, really ineffectively)

I wouldn't mind being described as hard-working.  Then again, I don't consider hard work or working hard demeaning.

Yeah, I'd go with, "Louise is leaving us on May 1.  We wish her all the best in the future."

Green Bean

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Re: Being described as hardworking is demeaning...?
« Reply #22 on: April 17, 2013, 12:02:08 PM »
I've known some hard workers in my day. Quite a few of them had to in order to in order to get the work done because they were incredibly inefficient. Personally, I would prefer not to be called a "hard worker". I work smartly and with efficiency so that I don't have to work as hard.   :P

Perhaps the type of work matters. Someone I'm hiring for manual labor, hard worker is a great quality to have. Preparer of spreadsheets, there are some descriptive qualities I'd much prefer.

Minmom3

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Re: Being described as hardworking is demeaning...?
« Reply #23 on: April 17, 2013, 09:57:11 PM »
Besides, what does the woman expect - "Bless her heart, she tried SO hard...."  Or, maybe "Good intentions, wretched follow through..."  Or the always blunt and ugly "not rehire-able!"

Sometimes you have to bite the bullet and understand that you're GOING to have a less than stellar reference from a job, because you didn't do well.  Maybe you went out for the wrong job for you.  Maybe you're the Village Idiot, all unknowing.  Not every review or reference is going to be a good one.  Pitching a fit because you're getting 'one of those' isn't going to change the fact that the company does not want to give you a truly wonderful reference, because for them, you weren't wonderful.  Move on, woman, move on.  Put yourself out of our misery.
Mother to children and fuzz butts....

artk2002

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Re: Being described as hardworking is demeaning...?
« Reply #24 on: April 17, 2013, 10:13:35 PM »
Besides, what does the woman expect - "Bless her heart, she tried SO hard...."  Or, maybe "Good intentions, wretched follow through..."  Or the always blunt and ugly "not rehire-able!"

"Her next employers will be lucky to get her to work for them!"
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

Margo

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Re: Being described as hardworking is demeaning...?
« Reply #25 on: April 18, 2013, 05:58:48 AM »
Besides, what does the woman expect - "Bless her heart, she tried SO hard...."  Or, maybe "Good intentions, wretched follow through..."  Or the always blunt and ugly "not rehire-able!"

"Her next employers will be lucky to get her to work for them!"
;D  ;D
I think she'd be fine in a bigr organisation, in a position where she was being supervised, she just doesn't seeem to be any good at organising herself or with effectively supervising others, which were two of the main skills neded for her job. . .

Sirius

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Re: Being described as hardworking is demeaning...?
« Reply #26 on: April 18, 2013, 01:37:30 PM »
If you look for offense you will find it.  Louise's feel bads were hurt and nothing was really going to suit her.

This. 

pierrotlunaire0

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Re: Being described as hardworking is demeaning...?
« Reply #27 on: April 21, 2013, 12:50:29 AM »
She wasn't consulted.

She came up with this on her own initiative, we were trying to accommodate her obvious wish to have a say in what was sent round by using her draft as a basis for what was said rather than scrapping it completely.

To be fair, her role does (did) include some elements of HR so in other circumstances she might have been the one drafting any announcement, but then you'd think she'd have noticed that all previous announcements when people have left have been very brief and factual.

And yet another clue as to why her performance was not up to par.
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blarg314

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Re: Being described as hardworking is demeaning...?
« Reply #28 on: April 22, 2013, 04:36:04 AM »

I think this is what is traditionally called "d@mning with faint praise".

In other words, if the only good thing you can say about someone is that they're hard working, it's technically a compliment, but it really is a condemnation of their competence.