The Problems With Working At Multi-National Companies

Over the years, I have worked at both small companies and big companies. There are pros and cons to both but I have realized that big multi-national companies are one of the worst places to be employed. Let’s take a look at 5 reasons…

Loyalty

Or should I say,”Lack of Loyalty”? Unless you are part of the headquarter management group, you are just a number out of thousands of other employees. At any moment in time, you could be fired for no apparent reason. It doesn’t matter if you’ve worked there for 20 years at a high ranking position of such and such. When changes need to happen at a multi-national company, anyone is fair game.

Human Factor

When you are working at a multi-national company, you may most likely interact with other colleagues in another country. Don’t expect to get a response right away, if at all. People are usually more attentive to others who they can see physically and interact with on an everyday basis. When a random stranger sends you an email from a different time zone, you may not place much emphasis on it unless it’s part of your job responsibility.

Working Hours

Except non-managerial positions, there is no such thing as a 40 hour work week. That work-life balance is gone. And it’s not really that you are expected to work over 40 hours a week. It’s that a day is, and will always be 24 hours long, and you have to get your work done within that limitation no matter how much work ends up on your lap.

I see this all the time with managers. They answer emails or work late at night or on weekends because they receive more work than they can handle within the given time limitation. The only solution for them is to work longer to get everything done on time.

Restructuring

This is inevitable with large or multi-national corporations. Year after year, they have to make more sales and make bigger profits. To support a larger customer base and work volume, they hire more people and expand the company. The problem becomes apparent when the economy is down or the company is not doing as well as expected. Layoffs begin to happen. People who were “lucky” enough to remain in the company have to do their own work plus work from colleagues who were laid off.

If the company continues on a downward spiral, maybe they’ll accept a merger to combine two large corporations. Well, we have another dilemma. There are duplicate functions from the two companies. They don’t need two Human Resource team. More layoffs happen.

This is a reoccurring cycle. Luckily, people may not have to endure such a transitional period because there are fewer people who work at one company more than 5 years these days. I, on the other hand, had to unfortunately go through two in my short working career. One where I was directly affected and the other where I watched people I’ve worked with pack their bags.

Commute

I saved the worst for last! I think everyone hates this aspect about working for multi-national companies. You may have to travel the same distance for small companies but multi-national companies take the cake. Most are located in industrial parks where it’s not close to any residential area. Unless the company is in the city and you live in the city, then there will be a commute.

For Americans, the commute will probably involve driving a car. Some people like driving and some don’t. But what could be worse than driving in rush hour traffic to get to a place you don’t want to be at?!

Gardening Journal – 19

The first day of 2018. The first post of the year! I have been lazy not writing since August so I thought I should at least get one done for a new year.

It’s been a cold winter so far and it does not look like it will end soon. The good news is that I have noticed the kale are doing fine even though they look wilted and are frozen. The spinach are also in the same condition after I seeded and transplanted them in September.



The spinach in the photo above are under a basic sheet of garden fabric for protection from the snow. However, I also planted some spinach next to the far right kale to see how they will do with no cover. I was able to harvest both kale and spinach until mid-December. Since then, the temperature has gotten down to the 20-30F range. And it has been below 20 the last few days! Looks like I have to rely on store bought vegetables until the weather warms back up a little bit.

The interesting thing I learned is that the wilted leaves come back to life when the temperature gets above freezing. I saw this a couple of times with both plants when the nights were freezing but the days were in the upper 30s. This means that you can really have kale and spinach throughout the winter if the temperature can stay above freezing!

Gardening Journal – 18

Funny story about a vegetable plant we were given in July from a friend. It is a fuzzy melon plant but the friend did not know until we told him. He said it was a seedling that sprouted from his compost pile and he decided to pot it into a container. Talk about sustainability! This fuzzy melon plant has been very productive. We already harvested 6 melons. Our expectations were low since I planted it into the ground in the middle of summer. But it did not disappoint at all.

The yu choy plants I started and transplanted last month have been harvested. They bolted pretty quickly due to the heat. They were also eaten a little bit by slugs. However, it was a good experience growing them. They tasted better than the ones at the supermarket. Meanwhile, the lettuce are still growing. They aren’t getting enough sunlight from all the other plants I have around them in the raised bed so that’s why they appear taller than normal. They should be ready by the end of this month.

Next month, it will be time to think about starting some spinach seeds. Hopefully, it will be warm enough to get the seedlings to grow a decent size before they are transplanted into the raised bed to grow throughout the fall and winter. During those seasons, the raised bed will get a lot less sunlight so we will see how well the spinach will do there. It will be very fun to see a raised bed full of spinach!

A look at the garden from last month…

Gardening Journal – 17

Ahh — it’s good to be back!

I’ve been looking at alternative ways to share my photos here and there since Dropbox decided not to let users directly link to stored files anymore. I finally decided on using the one built into WordPress.

Where were we? Oh yes. It was March and I was planting out the spring vegetables of kale, lettuce, and bok choy. They have been harvested except for the kale. It’s now July! Tomatoes I grew from seed have reached maturity and the fruits are ripening as we speak. I bought two sweet pepper plants because I couldn’t grow from seed successfully. They just didn’t germinate at all because at that time (March), it was still cool and the seeds won’t germinate unless it is at least 70F. No biggie. The two store bought plants are fruiting and we were just given two more plants.

The kale plants are still in the ground sufficiently providing me with a daily supply of greens for my morning smoothie. Other than picking off the moth caterpillars that are also dining on the plants, kale is so easy to grow. It grows all season and you just pick off the leaves as needed.

Earlier in the week, I seeded some lettuce and yu choy plants in seed starting trays. I want to see if they can grow well in the heat without bolting. If all goes well, I can have some sort of production going with a constant supply of greens all season long.

Buttercrunch lettuce earlier in spring

Taken last weekend. Let’s see how these ripen in a few days!

Unnecessary Day of Remembrance

Every year on the past few days, millions of Americans spend that long weekend traveling to other places for leisure, shop for Memorial Day sales, and honor our fallen (and active) troops. Personally, it makes me sick to my stomach. Not only do corporations use that day to entice the population to spend more money but they, along with mass media, force down the military rhetoric down our throats.

Just watch any baseball game during that weekend. Every team had military-styled uniforms on to “remember our troops”. Fighter jets blazed above the audience as a display of strength and honor. There’s a strong sense of patriotism on that day.

But for those who actually lost a loved one in military service, I wonder if they ever thought if they would rather have that person alive and well or spend the day only remembering. Because the people fighting in wars are not fighting for our freedom. They are fighting for corporations and/or the government. When was the last time our freedom was ever threatened by another country? Never.

Americans lose their lives for nothing! And I wish they can see through this. We are talking about lives being lost. This isn’t a video game. There is no reset button.

Who wins in a war? Not either side. Because there will always be casualties. The true victors of a war are the ones who were only watching from the sidelines. These are the corporations such as weapon manufacturers. Or the government who can establish political control over the losers.

It’s never too late to wake up.

Gardening Journal – 16

Ugh. That’s the only sound I can make in disgust. This was the week I can plant out the kale and lettuce but temperatures are still well below freezing at night. Snow is on the way as well. My one lamp is now providing light for the kale, lettuce, bok choy, and the emerging tomato and pepper seedlings.

Speaking of the tomato and pepper seedlings, they were started more than 2 weeks ago and did not start coming up until the past two days. It’s because the soil temperature is not warm enough. The best condition is to have the soil temperature between 70-80F. After finding out about that, I put the seed tray on top of a heater and they are coming up one by one now. The problem is I can’t leave the seed tray on the heater for a long time because there’s no light there. What I’ll do is put the seed tray on top of the heater everyday for an hour or two until all the seedlings emerge. Then they’ll be under direct light all day to keep them from getting leggy.

I’m very happy with how the bok choy seedlings are turning out. These seeds were purchased in 2015 and they are still sprouting. I placed about 3 seeds per cell to ensure at least one sprouted. I already thinned them to just one per cell now. I ate the excess seedlings and was surprised about how intense the flavor was. Comparing the bok choy seedlings I grew last year, it’s night and day. They were leggy and pale green while the ones from this year are short and deep green.

Go compare this to the image in Gardening Journal – 6 and tell me I’m wrong!

Gardening Journal – 15

It’s time to start planning for the growing season in 2017! I have already started dinosaur kale last week and they have germinated. They are currently under the grow light until they are ready to be transplanted outdoors. Bok choy and Buttercrunch lettuce will be started next week.



I’m hoping to add more variety this year. Instead of growing five green pepper plants like last year, I will reduce it to two. That extra space will be used by the Bok choy and Buttercrunch lettuce. What comes after that is still undecided. For homework this week, I will need to draw a diagram to see how much Bok choy and Buttercrunch lettuce I can fit into the vegetable bed. This approach is slightly different than previous years where I grew a whole bed of bok choy in the spring. The problem with that is it delays the summer plants from going into the bed until the bok choy is harvested.

The kale I grew last year were very hardy. Even for the three I grew outside the vegetable bed that I neglected. I could not keep up the harvest and wasted a lot of food. This year however, I am looking forward to using a lot of the leaves to make morning vegetable shakes that I am experimenting. After 5+ years of eating mostly two eggs every morning, it’s time for a change because I don’t feel my body improving. My goal was to stay full longer and not get sick for a year (not that I’m always sick but I’m jealous of the people who never get sick). Both failed.

This diet change is based on some better understanding of our human history and the need to stop eating so much factory farmed meat. Humans in this day and age do not NEED to eat meat. I can understand in the past when survival was critical. Vegetation was limited in certain areas or seasons so humans were forced to hunt animals for food. But have you seen the abundance of fruits and vegetables in the supermarket these days? It’s an international buffet.

I don’t want to make this too lengthy. Perhaps next time, I will go further with this topic.