As a girl who grew up in Southern Ontario, in a family that had a farm, I learned from a very young age what a work ethic was. My parents and grandparents taught me the importance of always giving 110%. They made sure I understood that when you're being paid to do a job, you do that job to the best of your abilities because if you don't, someone else will. Of course, I understood they were trying to teach me that ultimately we are all replaceable and if I don't do my job they will hire someone to replace me who will do the job.
So it was a complete shock to me when I moved to Edmonton last year and discovered that, out here, that's not the case. Here in Edmonton people expect to be paid (and are) for sitting around all day and doing nothing. I've worked in a few different offices since coming to Edmonton and the number of people who spend all day playing games online or searching for videos on YouTube boggles my mind. I've chatted with other people here about it and it's not just one or two offices, it's widespread. There is a culture of entitlement here that I have never seen in the working world before and I've worked in A LOT of places over the years.
I've been working in the real world (outside of jobs that family or friends have offered me) for 18+ years and I've never encountered this on such a large scale.
Don't get me wrong, I've worked in offices where you have the one person that everyone refers to as "The Slacker", who does nothing and still gets paid, but I've never seen an epidemic of that at professional offices until I came to Edmonton.
The problem with working in these spaces, where people feel entitled to be paid for not working, is that other people in those offices have to do twice as much work to keep the place functioning. This, of course, leads to workers who feel underpaid and under-appreciated. Which in turn, leads to a toxic work environment. The difference between those types of office environments here in Edmonton, versus those types of offices in Ontario, is back in Ontario that kind of "laziness" and toxicity would only be tolerated for a short period of time before someone was walked out the front door and the workplace slowly got back to normal. Because ultimately we are all replaceable and most people acknowledge that.
Here in Edmonton, that doesn't seem to be the case. People who do nothing are rewarded by keeping their jobs. Troublemakers who thrive on causing work drama are given a higher level of tolerance and leeway than those workers who come in early and stay late to get tasks done. People who take a high number of days off or call in "sick" regularly seem to get more respect than those who never call in sick, never take a mental health day and never come in late.
People here show up at 9:05am for a shift that starts at 9am. They go home at 3:50 when their shift doesn't end until 4pm. They stop working 15 minutes before the end of the day, even though they're still being paid to work.
This boggles my mind.
The working world in Edmonton seems to be so far removed from the working world I knew back home in Ontario that some days I feel like I've moved to another country, not another province.
I don't know if it's because this province has spent so many years making high incomes and paying very little taxes, or if maybe it just has to do with the cultural differences here but, Edmonton workers don't seem to have the same level of work ethic that Ontario workers have. They care more about their paycheques than they do about the people they work with. They show no regard for how their behavior impacts those around them. In fact, they don't seem to care about those they work with at all.
Don't get me wrong, there are some amazingly hard workers here in Edmonton. I've met people who blow my mind with how dedicated they are to their workplace. People who work 18 hour days to make sure tasks are completed even though they aren't paid extra for that time. People who come in at 7:30 am even though they don't have to start working until 8:30am.
I feel bad for these people. The ones who go above and beyond in their workplaces, because they don't seem appreciated by their employers here.
I don't know if I will ever be able to adjust to this shift, I actually hope I never do. I hope this work world here always seems foreign to me. I hope to never lose the work ethic I've grown to love and appreciate about myself.
To all the SLACKERS here in Edmonton that I've encountered, or will encounter, SHAME ON YOU!!!
Shame on you for giving the people who live here a bad name when it comes to work ethic. Shame on you for taking advantage of all the amazingly hard workers that surround you. Shame on you for thinking that you deserve more than anyone else you work with.
To all the hard working, overtime crunching workers who I've met here in Edmonton, YOU ARE ROCKSTARS!!!!
I admire you all for continuing to work so hard in spite of the fact that you may not be getting the praise you deserve for doing such an amazing job!