In a slow economy, is being a “henpecked” employee inevitable?
It comes as a surprise to some to learn that REBT does not discount the important, very important role that the economy plays in people’s lives. REBT can help us to not make ourselves miserable over “economic realities,” and can help us to respond to them rationally, but it cannot change the fact that we may be living through good or bad economic times and that those times present realities we had better deal with as best we can.
So, can we hope to deal with a “henpecking” boss? There is no question that difficult economic times provide fertile ground for the “Boss” and the “Job” itself to become tyrannical. However, inn boom economic times when employees are less fearful of making sudden changes, bosses may treat them better, out of base self-interests if nothing else.
The 1930s produced (now beloved) archetypes of the hen-pecked employee such as “Blondie and Dagwood” where the dominant, meddlesome boss Mr. Dithers was a central relationship, in and outside of the office. This theme persisted into 1950s sitcoms with Mr. Honeywell of “My Little Margie” and even later, Mr. Tate in “Bewitched.” Although these characters were usually portrayed as ultimately benign, there was no confusion about their power and centrality. However, such light hearted sitcoms actually represented a real and much deeper level of financial anxiety, powerlessness, helplessness that the average American family experienced during the Great Depression, and that some families experience for various reasons even when times are good.
Sure, good communication skills and assertiveness can be helpful. They are probably essential But the reality is that in a shit economy, the boss (and his evil henchman, the iPhone) are holding all the cards. Sometimes, it is necessary to just suck it up and be grateful for what one has got and hope that the next generation of leaders will be able to stimulate the economy . . . or wait for for WW III. It worked for FDR when in 1939, it looked as though America was slipping back into recession and that the New Deal programs were not working as well as expected. Instead, the U.S. emerged from WW II with full employment, a a fully geared-up industrial base when most of the industry and infrastructure in Europe and Asia had been destroyed. Under such conditions, America’s economic prominence and dominance in the world economy was hardly a mystery, and not nearly so much about so called “exceptionalism” as the natural result of being “the only guy left standing.”
I wonder if anyone has written one of those alternative history SciFi stories speculating how the U.S. would have gotten along if it had not entered WW II.
However, and here is the point, while we can do little to change the economy, we can go back to the basics, start at REBT 101 by disputing with our absolutist “shoulds, oughts, musts” as well as our “hidden shoulds” about what jobs and bosses are supposed to be like, quit our awfulizing, and people rating, and then the path forward can become clearer and easier to bear.
I would say, in my ‘umble opinion, that 2016 is probably not a good one to nominate for “Year of the Employee”, unfortunately. But we can learn not to make ourselves miserable and we can learn to respond rationally and do what we can, and not upset ourselves over what we cannot.
What do you think?
2,937 total views, 2 views today
How useful was this post?
Click on a star to rate it!
Average rating / 5. Vote count:
Originally posted 2016-03-11 21:21:31.
Search this site
Quotes That MatterVarious translations: The beginning of wisdom is learning to call a thing by its right name.Confucius
Social philosopher and politician, 551-479 B.C., whose teachings deeply influenced East Asian thought and life.
… (next quote)
Regular Columns & Features
Amazon Associate Member
Rex Alexander and REBT Info are participants in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
When you buy items using the links on this website, we may get a small commission which keeps me in coffee, which keeps me working, which keeps me providing valuable content for you. Thank you for your continuing support of REBT Info.com. ~Rex
TOS / Terms of Service
Pretty basic stuff: No fussing, no fighting, no cussing, no spamming, no scamming, no blaming, no flaming, no hating, no bating, no trolling, no personal attacks. No pornography (Damn!). The Golden Rule applies. Focus on issues, ideas and principles rather than on personalities and you will fit right in. Please keep your contributions friendly and polite, treat your fellow members and readers with respect and all will be well.
All content and information submitted become the property of REBT Info (REBTinfo.com)
We at REBT Info value your privacy. Your personal information is secure with us. Secure server software (SSL) encrypts all information you enter before it is sent to us, and all of the customer data we collect is protected against unauthorized access.
We WILL NOT sell, rent, distribute or otherwise share your personal information, including e-mail address, to or with anyone for any reason (except in the extremely rare, unlikely case of demands by duly authorized law enforcement acting strictly in accord with due process).
For more information, please read the long version
Copyright © 2012-2019 by Rex Alexander dba REBT Info / http://REBTinfo.com.
All rights reserved. The content of this website or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever
without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.
This website, REBTinfo.com, and others under the REBT Info family are for education, information and entertainment purposes only; are not intended as, nor should be regarded as medical or psychiatric diagnosis, advice or treatment.
By accessing this blog you understand and agree to these conditions, as well as to the other Terms of Service / TOS posted, and which may be updated and amended from time-to-time.
By accessing this website blog and related media, you affirm that you have read, understand and agree to our Terms of Service / TOS which may be updated and amended from time-to-time.
This is a public blog
Anything you post may be viewed by the public. Therefore, do not post anything you wish to remain private.