'No us and them. Just us.'
- Fr Greg Boyle
It sounded like a good idea.
She scheduled dozens of meetings to personally present the draft new workplace agreement to every one of the hundreds of staff members.
'We think that these new conditions are reasonable,' she repeated to each audience. 'But the Union disagrees. They won't negotiate with us. They are holding up the process.'
'We think that the increase in pay is generous,' she declared. 'But the Union wants more money and we can't afford it and so They are stalling your pay rises.'
The Union represented the staff in the agreement negotiations. One in five of the people in each audience was a Union member.
We were the They.
The manager calls a meeting to get advice.
'We need to confidentially access some staff computer and mobile phone logs to find evidence of misconduct.'
The IT Manager says 'We can do it and They won't know'. The Lawyer says 'We have legal authority and They don't need to consent.' The HR Adviser says 'We have contracts and They have agreed We have that power.' The Compliance Manager says 'We'll record that They did not need to consent.' The Line Manager says 'Good idea and They should know that We monitor them.' The Personal Assistant takes Minutes about what We will do to They. We nod that We agree with what needs to be done about They.
We vacate our chairs without making eye contact with a different team of advisers coming to meet with the manager and he closes his Open Door door.
We return to our respective desks, and resume being They.
Advisers come and go from the manager's office closing the Open Door door.
Our spouses, work and social friends all wonder why we've changed to Gmail and have a new personal phone number and use it to text during business hours instead of email and don't update our Facebook and can't book the children's concert tickets online at 9am before they're sold out and don't come to Friday drinks with the boss as much and haven't re-nominated for the social committee and take a few more sick days and have asked the boss from our last job to be a referee.
The manager pays consultants to help him improve teamwork and morale.
'We'll run off-site trust games. They will love them. We'll put blindfolds on them and They will fall backwards and We'll catch them.'