Sunday, February 25, 2024

Seen Heard & Paid

Seen Heard & Paid
  Seen Heard & Paid:  The New Work Rules for the Marginalized
Author:  Alan Henry
Publication Information:  Rodale Books. 2022. 288 pages.
ISBN:  0593233352 / ‎978-0593233351

Rating:   ★★★

Book Source:  I received this book through NetGalley free of cost in exchange for an honest review.

Opening Sentence:  "Seen, heard, and paid."

Favorite Quote:  "To be productive, we need to be seen, heard, and paid fairly for our work. Affording these rights to everyone requires a new look at how work is done and a new set of real-work rules for people who are sidelined and who lack privilege."

This book begins by what it is. "Much of this book is about how to be productive within the system and with the built-in biases of your boss." It also emphasizes what it is not.  "Whether you're being marginalized in particular because of your race, your gender, you religion, your age, your ability level, or anything else, keep this one truism in mind: It's not your job to fix a workplace's systemic discrimination issues... those are battles you should have the right to choose to fight, on your own terms, not battles you're forced to fight just to survive in a workplace."

In other words, this is not a book about the system or about creating systemic change. It is a "self-help" book about tips and techniques - rules - for marginalized persons to survive and thrive in a workplace or determine when it is time to find a new environment.

To begin with, a definition. "Strictly, to be marginalized means you're a member of a social group that has been traditionally kept out of, or away from, power, decision-making, or import and that you are consequently treated as insignificant or somehow less than those who make up the majority or the empowered people. In an office setting, being marginalized can mean being kept from power and decision-making, but it can also mean simply being excluded from the greater culture that permeates the space." Interestingly, the author speaks from his own experiences being marginalized, but the definition in and of itself does not reference race, gender, religion, age, or any myriad of ways in which discrimination can occur. That being said, the examples, situations, and groups references in the book are along those lines. However, I find myself reflected in many of the examples and situations.

The book references research and the work of other authors, especially Ruchika Tulshyan, who is cited many times. She is, in fact, the first person listed and thanked in the acknowledgements. When one body of work is cited so often in a text, I at times wonder if I should read the original cited work instead of this book.

Nevertheless, The book is well organized around 15 chapters, each focused on one of fifteen rules. Within each rule, the subheadings present the key points of that rule. The ideas in the book are not new or at least not new to me. However, seeing them shared through different eyes is validating. The tips and techniques, while not new and relatively common sense, are a good refresher. As with books of this nature, some resonate with me more than others. Some I agree with, and some I don't. Each individual reader's value with differ depending on what they bring to the reading.

Please share your thoughts and leave a comment. I would love to "talk" to you.

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