They say loyalty does not count for much these days. That's the oft-heard complaint, every time the domestic help walks off without warning, to join another household, lured away with a little extra money.
The days of the old loyal family retainer, who raised several generations of kids and died on the job, are long past.
Rewards of devotion
This change in attitude applies to other people as well. Till just a decade ago, working men and women used to proudly retire after 30 or 40 years of service in the same company.
The outgoing employee would be given a chaisamosa party as a send-off, and a clock (lemon set for women) as a memento. Sometimes the company or a bunch of colleagues would put in a small farewell ad in the newspapers, commending the sadlooking old man (or woman) in an accompanying photo, for loyal service.
Quite often, the retired person's offspring would be employed in the same company as a reward for his parent's loyalty.
Today, if someone stays on at the same job for more that two years, he or she is considered a loser. Everyone talks of vertical and lateral shifts, and quitting a job is no longer considered ingratitude to the employer.
<b1>The employer is quite okay with a high turnover of staff, because it also means a regular induction of fresh blood. And whenever, they want to retain a valuable employee, they can always offer a bigger pay packet. No emotions... just hard-nosed give and take.
Some years ago, staff at a company protested about not getting better perks and bonus and were told, they were free to leave if they didn't like it.
What about our years of loyalty the workers asked, and the management's reply was, "Loyalty just means you haven't got a better offer, you're just dead wood."
Forget place of work, loyalty does not count for much in personal relationships as well.
Marriages break up at the slightest provocation. Kids abandon parents and vice versa to seek their own "personal goals." And anyone talking of loyalty, fidelity and long-lasting bonds is considered an old fuddy-duddy.