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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

About productivity

I have to stop reading articles online because they make my blood boil. Just this morning I read about some idiot who would like to propose that organizations only hire non-smokers because – as he states – they weigh on the healthcare system and they are not as productive as non-smokers.

Let’s address one item at a time.

I am a proud smoker and the healthcare system is yet to spend its first dollar on me. I have NO health complains that are smoke related. I have a wide circle of friends, acquaintances and colleagues and none of them have smoke related health smoke issues either.

I’m sure that here and there, there are people with lung complaints but they are the exception rather than the norm. And are their lung complaints smoking related? After all, we live in an age of cars and airplanes and smoke spewing factories.

As for smokers being not as productive as non-smokers … that is a total lie. Sure smokers take a break from time to time, but that only benefits their concentration. When they come back to their desk, they feel refreshed. Some non-smokers on the other hand sit at their desk for hours on end without a break. That can’t be good for their concentration.

Of course, it’s not because non-smokers don’t go out for a puff that they don’t take breaks. As a temp I’ve worked in several offices and it never ceases to amaze me how some non-smokers waste time gossiping over the phone or with colleagues. They complain about smokers taking five minute breaks, while they are away from their desk for half an hour.

And, if organizations should only hire non-smokers for the sake of productivity, where does that leave drinkers and junk food eaters?

Let’s look at the drinkers.

After a night out they can get arrested for drunk driving and spend the night in jail. If they manage to get away with drunk driving they can cause an accident.

If they cause an accident they might only have material damage, or they can hurt someone so badly they end up in hospital (healthcare start forking out those dollars) or worse dead.

How about the junk food eaters?

All that fatty food can lead to high cholesterol, which in turn leads to stroke and/or heart attack. Healthcare here we come again.

If you want to talk productivity, what’s next, that no women under the age of 45 can be hired?

Think about it.

If you hire a young woman, chances are she will at some point want a baby. That is one year of maternity leave in Canada. And will she stop with one child? She might come back from maternity leave only to announce that she’s pregnant again.

When the child is born you can forget about her being productive because now whenever the child is sick, she’s going to take days off or if someone else takes care of the child, she’s going to be unproductive because she’s worrying about the kid. Whether the child has the sniffles or measles, she will be unproductive.

Not only that, she can bring the child’s disease into the office infecting several employees.

As the child gets older and start going to school, she’s going to be unproductive because she has to drop off the child in the morning and pick him up in the afternoon. That means you as an employer can forget about her coming in early and staying late.

Come to think of it, if I were an employer, I wouldn’t employ drinkers, junk food eaters and young women. Give me a 50 year old smoker any day and I’ll hire her on the spot. As a mature woman I know she’ll show up on time, every time. As a smoker I’ll know that she’ll take regular breaks, keeping her mind sharp.

The idea of organizations hiring only non-smokers is just ludicrous. Whose bright idea was that? Have they forgotten how much the government financially benefits from the smokers? If all smokers were to indeed quit, the government would be short of billions of tax dollars.

If you’re wondering who started all this non-smoking shit … think which organization benefited the most for these lies. Which organization was virtually unknown not so long ago and is now worth billions of dollars? If you know the answer to that, all the pieces of the puzzle will fall into place.

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