the Bushido Code
Samurai — those steely eyed, nerved and souled warriors of Japan — often served one master for life.
They fought, bled, killed and died for their masters.
And they never complained.
Maybe that’s why one of my favorite personal financial bloggers — The Financial Samurai — advised his readers to never complain about your employer or old employer if you want to have another job.
This is great advice — if you plan on living in feudal Japan. But I’m going to reveal several reasons why this is horrible advice for the employee, former employees, the employer — and even society.
Silence is Dishonest
If you have endured a bad experience on the job, summarizing your tenure as “it just wasn’t a good fit,” or “the culture was different from my expectations” are completely dishonest. This is a type of lying in abstentia. While FS accurately points out that “nobody likes a complainer,” most assuredly, “everyone hates a liar,” no matter what the stripe.
This type of dishonesty can have horrible ramifications, too. What if your friend seeking a new job overheard your lame summation of a bad boss? Or asks your advice about a job offer from a horrible former employer? Would you really offer a trite, know-nothing empty phrase, and cross your fingers that he or she bombs the interview? Often, when it comes to jobs, it’s “any port in the storm,” but if you advise your friend to get a job at — in FS’s scenario — what sounds like a hostile environment, you won’t have to worry about offering any advise to this buddy in the future — this person will no longer seek your guidance, or, maybe even your friendship.
Silence is Cowardice
FS advises his client to keep silent and walk away with a severance package and a much better chance at further employment. FS did well for his client. But, if “Bob” in this scenario is being honest, it sounds like there is actual racial and sexual discrimination happening. And who knows what else?
Has he just thrown dozens of people under the bus, or placed female colleagues in jeopardy?
Is this so far-fetched? At Penn State, a serial child rapist, who was a well-respected, well-connected assistant coach, prowled for victims for decades, even after he was caught engaged in sex acts with children by fellow employees. Many of the employees admitted they were afraid of repercussions from their employer, which was and is, by far, the largest employer in the area, the truth of this heinous act.
Maybe they should have at least negotiated a severance package?