There’s an interesting story that some companies in Japan have banishment rooms. According to Marginal Revolution:
“Basically, banishment rooms are departments where companies transfer surplus employees and give them menial or useless tasks or even nothing to do until they become depressed or disheartened enough to quit on their own, thus not getting full benefits, unlike if they were actually let go. Imagine having to stare at a TV monitor for 10 hours at a time each day, in order to look for “program footage irregularities.” Of course companies would not admit to doing this, and instead will make up generic (or even creative) titles and department names like “Business & Human Resource Development Center” or “career development team”
You’ll see this in American operations, too. Hoping to avoid paying out unemployment compensation, some organizations will try to demoralize and demean employees into quitting on their own.
What’s even more dismaying, employees will stick it out. Apparently, Japanese workers will remain in these banishment rooms. Only 10 percent will leave the company. The rest sit around and scrutinize television for 10 hours a day. A horrible waste of potential. Doubly dismaying: Most studies indicate that employees who are laid off or quit find better jobs: higher paying and more richly satisfying. They tend to perform well in these jobs, too.
So what gives? The Buddha might say it is nothing more than attachment. We are attached to our routines and our relationships. We derive too much of our self-esteem and self-worth from our job titles and the brand of the place where we work, too. I might add that there’s always the fear of the unknown. The saying that comes to mind: The devil that you know is better than the devil you may face in the future.
Somehow, workers become blinded by fear and are unable to see that with unemployment — or even new employment — that new positions bring not just uncertainty, but also opportunity.
What’s your opinion? Do you stay in a bad situation, or do you move on and try a new job? What’s your bottom line?