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Perspective: Reevaluating 'The Great Resignation'

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By now you are familiar with the Great Resignation, this avalanche of employees abandoning the work force in favor of early retirement or better opportunities.

While the hue and cry is about the workforce's lack of commitment, why not hold corporate culture accountable? After all, industry leaders are responsible for creating an environment where employees are constantly asked to do more with less, get little or no compensation for additional duties, and are seldom recognized or promoted. To add insult to injury, these same employees have spent decades watching CEO compensations boom while their own wages remained stagnant. Many CEOs were one-trick ponies who only knew how to cut, to the point that not only the fat is gone, but entire limbs are missing.

The pandemic has only exacerbated worker dissatisfaction, and yet those in leadership are unwilling to give substantial raises and accommodations for experienced employees. Instead, they are wringing their hands about the Gen Z work force who is wise enough to reject these abysmal working conditions.

Unfortunately, those in power view accountability the same way Leona Helmsley considered taxes: only for the little people. So, we criticize the workers looking for better conditions and compensation, while we ignore the architects responsible for this disaster. Isn't it time the tables turned? How about telling upper management that it's time to go the extra mile, assume more duties, and take a substantial pay cut? Oh yes, and no more bonuses because you love your job so much!

I'm Frances Jaeger, and that is my Perspective.

Frances Jaeger is an associate professor of Spanish at Northern Illinois University. Her research interests include Latin American contemporary poetry as well as Caribbean and Central American literature.
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