People often give up on challenges, not because they feel that they will fail but instead because they simply get tired of trying. Put in better words by the late author David Foster Wallace in his novel Infinite Jest:
This is tragic. When someone gives up on fighting for what he or she believes in, a part of that person is lost in the process. There is a sense of failure, an added emotional weight that comes with throwing in the towel. Occasionally it makes sense to walk away, but in most situations it does not. After giving up, and maybe during the struggle as well, a person will create falsities as a way of justifying their decisions. It’s fiction, people.
“‘Acceptance’ is usually more a matter of fatigue than anything else.”
It has now been confirmed that several workers formerly employed by TwentyAt have been denied wages that total a large sum of money (estimates could be as high as $100,000.00 or greater). It has also been confirmed that when some of these workers argued their case as to why they deserve to be paid — that the work was completed according to instructions given to those employed, and that rates and work scope had been approved by TwentyAt executives (for most, with written contracts) — they were verbally abused, threatened and falsely accused of outrageous acts by CEO Paul Misir. The stories are the same, the outcomes are the same, a pattern of mistreatment and unethical conduct has been established. It is impossible to frame this as something other than the wave of abuse that it is.
TwentyAt CEO Paul Misir needs to realize that workers are very upset at the way they were disrespected and robbed of wages that they worked hard for — and rightfully so. He also needs to realize that this is a challenge that will not go away until he or other TwentyAt executives take steps to address this wave of mistreatment, by fairly compensating those who dedicated their time and efforts to help the company, and by making a pledge to end the abuse that so many former employees have experienced at the hand of Paul Misir. The workers will not allow fatigue to influence their resolve.
And if for some strange reason Misir and his fellow executives believe they can frame this issue in a dishonest way and continue maintaining the status quo over at TwentyAt, they should consider this literary quote (also by David Foster Wallace):
“The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you.”
It’s time for Misir and other executives to realize that, while fiction may provide a nice escape from reality, the truth will ultimately define the ending of this story — as strange as that may seem to them at the moment.
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(Happy 50th birthday, DFW. You are missed.)