Jet Blue Quitter: A Warning Sign to Big Business?
Why he did it is unclear, and support for Jet Blue flight attendant Steven Slater is mixed. But the amazing amount of buzz he got nationwide indicates this stressed-out airline employee struck a nerve.
Some experts say the intense reaction is a sign that many of us are stretched too thin, burned out and can’t take it anymore. They say that it’s time for corporations to begin hiring again right now.
A recent drop in worker productivity after five quarters in a row of growth is “a sign that companies have reached the limit of how much they can cut back their workforce and how hard they can work their existing workforce,” economist Joel Naroff told USA TODAY.
He predicted that many burned-out workers may copy Slater (although probably with less fanfare) once the economy rebounds. “A massive relocation of workers who want out as fast as they possibly can.”
Naroff said he doesn’t think American businesses appreciate how overworked and stressed out their employees are. “You can pull this off now because there isn’t really an option, but once there’s an option, it’s going to be payback time,” he says. “You’re going to be losing some of your best people.”
“Clearly, the massive drive to get more productivity and more output out of workers is running into a wall,” he says. “We’re working too hard, all the blood’s out of the stone, and it’s now time to look for a new stone.”
Does this ring true in your circles? How are you feeling at work—or about your prospects of getting hired?