In previous essays, I’ve attacked some of the country’s biggest corporations for their relentless greed, mistreatment of employees, and disturbing amorality. I think there’s little doubt underemployment, stagnant wages, and a disappearing middle class are largely due to the enormous power too many U.S. corporations wield today. Having said that, it’s important to acknowledge when a company gets it right. When they treat their employees with the dignity and respect they deserve. I worked for one such company. They were a business that implemented a culture of fairness and decency. More notably, they proved a big corporation could treat their employees well, and still be hugely profitable.
In November of 1998, I received a call from the staffing agency I belonged to. They asked me if I wanted to work as a temp for a company called Airtouch Cellular. I would start out in order processing. I said yes. That “yes” changed my life. At the time, I was 31 years old, and had no job, no savings, no plan. It was not a great time to be me.
“They awarded movie tickets and gas cards for motivation. As a comparison, at my last job, I couldn’t even get paper plates or clean drinking water.”