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Doing The Right Thing
Mommy Musings
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Teresa Hammond

What’s happened to work ethic?

This is a thought which has crossed my mind more than once the past six months.

Now granted, I’m a journalist and keep hours which some may question. Truthfully, I get it. Yet one of the number one reasons I continue to be said journalist is exactly for that reason. Flexibility (as well as the beat) is the number one reason I continue to do this job. I love the flexibility of being able to open my laptop at just about any time of the day and do “work.”

Case in point; this column came to me late in the day this past Sunday as I watched vacation plans slip through our hands, because of this very topic.

My boyfriend happens to own his own business and in so doing I’ve learned a lot about work ethic (or lack thereof) and what that seems to mean on today’s terms.

Being completely honest as a parent, as well as a partner – I’m concerned for our future as a humanity.

I like to think I’m raising my kids right, teaching them the ethical way of being respectful as well as appreciative of other people. Somehow, however, I’m seeing more and more a selfishness which quite honestly blows my mind.

Gone seem to be the days of giving the customary two week notice or in my case (when I’ve left employment) a month, to account for replacement and retraining of the chosen suitor for my designated job. Regardless of how amazing the other opportunity might be there’s still an ethical obligation to allow the company who has provided you with sound employment for x amount of time to do the right thing.

Yet, somehow in a number of cases that no longer exists. To be honest, it concerns me. Have we really become such a selfish society that we no longer look out for one another?

Okay sure, I get it, maybe the offer that was made is your dream job – that’s exciting. Perhaps you were never truly happy with the employer you’re leaving – it happens. Maybe you were just hanging in until something better suited came along, fair enough. Yet a business (of any type) must still be run, have we really stopped caring about that?

That’s the feeling I often come away with when listening to the stories of employees leaving my boyfriend’s company. Need new tires, windshield or an advance? Not to worry, the company will make sure you’re okay. You take care of the company and the company takes care of you.

That is until something better comes along or you just decided you’re out and then suddenly all of that kindness and support means nothing.

Typing that quite honestly saddens me. How did this happen? When did we become so self-involved and self-important that we so easily turn our backs on those who support us when needed the most?

Does company loyalty even still exist?

Last week I touched a bit on our commitment to community here as the “local newspapers.” It’s fair to say, our loyalty transfers well beyond our readers and straight into this building.

Every now and again when a colleague leaves we kick around the notion of how we would “leave”. Without fail, each and every time we speak not only of what we feel is fair notice for the company but respect for one another, most especially our Editor.

Here’s what this has all taught me.

Well, in short – you know what they say about karma (insert wink here). As angry as disregard for others (most especially my people) may make me, what I know for sure is life has a funny way of catching up with you.

My hope is that this piece, at minimum, causes a person or two to pause and give consideration not just to how their employer treats them, but how they reciprocate that. Maybe it might even prompt elders to engage in conversation they might not have considered with the younger generation.

In the end, if we’ve stopped looking out for one another, then what’s left?


Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at or by calling 847-3021.