Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Work observation

As someone who has spent the past 13+ years working in the oil and gas sector in Alberta Canada I have become accustomed to a certain way of being. There is a certain work ethic that goes along with the Alberta oilfield and it extends from the guy in the field right up to the high level executive. It can best be described as a work only as hard as necessary, play even harder mentality in which getting a head is simply a measure who your friends are and who you can step on to reach the next rung in the ladder. Truly a schoolyard bully mentality. Yet our province thrives in excessive prosperity. We are strong, we are powerful...or are we.

My new career has brought me into a very large and diverse office that is part of an even larger and more diverse company. Diverse in the nature of business combined with a cultural diversity of among employees. Many of my current colleagues have immigrated to Canada from other countries. Germany, France, Poland, India, England a list that reads like the index of an atlas. And it is in this cultural diversity that I am learning much about my own culture and the Canadian work ethic.

What I have observed in my short time here is startling. I am witness daily to a work ethic and dedication that is inspiring. For I see the laid back attitude of my Canadian colleagues playing out next to a hard core dedication to getting a job done no matter the effort. And what is startling is that those who are so dedicated to their work are equally dedicated to their families and personal lives. Working long days and nights to complete the tasks at hand and still managing to find peace in their personal life. While the unmotivated Canadians struggle in their marriages, lose touch with their children and live lives of indifference. These are the non- voting majority who continually criticize the government for allowing “those” people to come and take the jobs from our own. Regretfully I can not place myself above this train of thought.

It is clear to me now that immigrants are not taking jobs from able Canadian. In many cases they are truly the most qualified.

So what is it beyond geography and language that has caused such separation in our cultures? What is the cause of our apathy? Are we becoming just another state of the american union. And what can be done….

What will you do?


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