Civility vs Incivility - Essay Example

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Civility entails more than being kind and of pleasant manners.It involves owning and taking care of self identity,beliefs and needs with integrity while respecting those of others. Civility calls for connecting and living successfully with others,strengthening effective communications and self expression especially among people or communities with deeply set disagreements…
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Civility vs Incivility
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Civility versus Incivility Civility entails more than being kind and of pleasant manners. It involves owning and taking care of self identity, beliefs and needs with integrity while respecting those of others (Reagle 2). Civility calls for connecting and living successfully with others, strengthening effective communications and self expression especially among people or communities with deeply set disagreements. On the other hand, incivility refers to social behaviors short of civic virtue. It displays rudeness, arrogance and disrespect for humanity (Reagle 2). This paper will describe the incivility I witnessed at the workplace while working as a team leader for a small company that sold car and home air fresheners in a rural town. The small size of the company, owned by an elderly couple, did not call for strict and complex protocols as seen in the corporate world. Its operations were split along the two product lines, with only two permanent employees; a team leader in charge of car air fresheners and another team leader in charge of home air fresheners. Being the team leader of the home air freshener division, I was also in charge of hiring and paying, on casual basis, a small sales team that sold the products from door to door, in homes and offices. The other team leader also put together his small team that sold their merchandise in parking yards, in the streets and automobile garages. Both teams were made up of young people working part time to earn extra income to make ends meet. They earned a minimal fixed weekly wage, plus commission based on their sales. Before long I noticed a high turnover among the sales persons of the car team. On several occasions, some of them approached me outside working hours asking for change of divisions, citing poor sales in the car division. On probing one of them as to what was actually wrong with their sales, although it was outside my jurisdiction to do so across the two divisions, she revealed something unexpected. The problem was not with the sales, but the payment. This surprised me because the minimum wage and commission were paid at the same rate for both divisions. However, it turned out that the car team leader had been taking advantage of the desperate situations of the casuals. In order for them to keep their jobs, they had to forfeit half of their weekly commission to him, while they only got paid half. Some of them, in fear of losing the job and having no income at all, chose to live with the half pay. However, most of them could not accept half pay after toiling in the streets every afternoon for six days a week, so they left. My feeling about what was happening was that my colleague was not acting in good faith. Not only was he taking advantage of the desperate young people’s situation, but he was also taking advantage of the elderly couple’s trust in him. All the weekly reports he gave them regarding payment to the casuals were false. Unknown to them, those who walked out of the job were already talking of the vice to potential sales persons. Given the small size of the rural town, this quickly painted the wrong picture for the whole company, and it would not be long before even the desperate people stopped seeking jobs there. As noted earlier, the company was small and did not need the owners’ presence to run. All payments collected by the sales persons were submitted to the respective team leader for banking. The owners only turned up in the office once a week to sign the pay cheque, and by that time most of the team members were out doing their trade. In conclusion, my colleague’s behavior struck me as being much uncivilized, apart from going against human and work ethics. It is the right of every citizen to earn according to the work done, and more significantly, as per agreement at the time of hiring. This right was snatched from the sales persons through the most inhumane conduct of a leader. My colleague was also being untrue to himself. A civilized person cannot allow himself to earn falsely from other people’s sweat, especially when he is fully aware of their difficult situations. It also comes out clearly that his well wishes to his sales team as they left for work were selfish, not well meaning and intended for very immoral purposes. This is because he knew that the more they sold, the more they earned commission for him, rather than for themselves. A conscious and self respecting soul cannot allow a civilized person to flourish on the difficulties of others. Work Cited Reagle, Joseph. Good Faith Collaboration. New York: MIT Press, 2010. Print. Read More
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