Red Shoulder Hawk

Red Shoulder Hawk

Friday, May 11, 2007

Filling up on $20

Gas prices. Who knew they would go up?

Oh, that's right: Practically EVERYONE. D'oh!

I spent about $2000 on fuel last year in the 18mpg van. This year, in the smaller Geo Metro, we're doing more driving, using less fuel, having more fun, and probably spending about $2000. I'm pretty pleased about being able to do more while holding the expense constant.

Research conducted by Wayne Hochwarter, a professor of management in FSU’s College of Business, documents that Americans’ work attitudes have been affected as the cost to fill a tank of gas has nearly doubled over the past few years.

Hochwarter was interested in whether employees felt alone in their sacrifices or if their company had to tighten its belt as well.

"Certainly, only a handful of employees noted that their company changed plans or had to go without because of the price of gas — even companies that rely heavily on fuel for their operations," he said.

Those personally affected by gas prices who did not see the company sacrificing were less committed to getting things done while at work. Compared to those who felt that their company was doing without, those who felt alone in their sacrifice:

  • Were 15 percent less committed to the company.
  • Had job performance levels that were 12 percent lower.
  • Were 20 percent less willing to stay late or work extra if needed.
  • Were 25 percent less likely to give "maximum effort."

It appears that misery does indeed love company. When employees have to go without, they get very upset when they see the CEO pulling into the parking lot in a new Jaguar.

"The price of gas has contributed to the perceptions of many that they are simply never going to get ahead," Hochwarter said.
People, please don't feel alone as the vicious cycle of affluenzic life tightens its noose. We're all in this boat. We can re-learn how to shorten supply chains, build local economies, rely on each other more, to embrace and accept and plan for the coming age. We don't have to be surprised by the increasing cost of decreasing resources. We've spent down the principle that Mother Earth built up over a thousand million years. Now, let's work together, rebuild that principle, and learn again to live off the interest this abundant planet can offer us.

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