Who said life was fair? I know someone had to say it somewhere, because so many people think it is true. They insist that life has to be fair, and they whine when it isn’t. Things happen to us that we do not plan or want. In fact many things that happen we definitely could do without. The most serious things never even occur to us, they just blindside us on some idle Tuesday.
As a child, we were taught to “play fair” and share our toys with our siblings and friends. Take turns and play nice was the admonishment from conscientious parents and teachers alike. Behave and you will get a cookie. Misbehave and you find yourself with a sore rump—or as they do in today’s politically correct world: find yourself in time out. As we grew older, it became second nature to understand right from wrong if it was modeled for us at home. This led us to accept certain expectations from polite society that we behave a certain way, and good things will happen to us. If we misbehave, bad things will happen. This is why when we behave and then something bad happens, it doesn’t seem fair.
As adults, we work and we are compensated for that work. If we work hard, we expect more compensation. If we are the best, we expect the best compensation. If we are the best and we get less than the best compensation, it seems unfair. If our compensation decreases, it is unfair. But as I said earlier, who said life was fair?
My employer used to have industry-leading compensation packages for all its employees. The best health insurance, a high matching 401k and free cable with broadband internet just to name a few. But with the new enrollment period, things are changing. Many employees are dissatisfied with the changes and are quite vocal in their displeasure. This is to be expected, because change is rarely good.
But is it fair?
In the reality of the current economic situation where most companies are cutting expenses, some companies are cutting insurance altogether. Others are reducing other perks and some companies are even cutting salaries. This is not including those companies cutting jobs or going out of business entirely.
If we were in a period of sustained economic growth where the company is growing and making huge profits and it was then that they announced these changes, then a cry of foul is warranted. That would be high on the list of things that are grossly unfair. But with the way things are now, just having a job with benefits at all is more than many people can claim. Lets us all count the blessings we have and weather the storm.
Once things rebound, perks will follow. After all—it’s only fair. Right?
You know, if I tell myself this enough, I may actually believe it too.