There’s a place I go often; I’m not going to mention the name. I like the place; it’s clean, I like the ambiance, and I feel pretty comfortable there. The people are always nice and friendly, and I’m used to seeing other people there that I’ve seen before. It’s actually pretty nice overall.

However, there’s also a dark side. I’ve been going to this place almost six months now. Most of the people I met who worked there when I first got there are gone. Actually, some of the people who replaced the people who were there when I first started going there are gone. That’s kind of disconcerting. Some of those people have talked to me, as people are wont to do sometimes, and some of the back story I’ve heard is disturbing.

It seems that the employees of this place aren’t necessarily treated bad, just treated like they’re not important. I have noticed at times that some of these people are working upwards of 14 hours a day and not getting paid overtime. They might have to come in to work 10 or more days in a row. They don’t really get breaks, as management feels most of what they do isn’t all that difficult, and thus believes they get breaks all day long.

Some of what I mentioned is against the law; unfortunately, I’m not the one who can “out” management. After all, I don’t work there, so my word means nothing. It’s also not an option to just stop going to this place; it’s not like a retail store where one can decide to just pick another store instead. Now, if I didn’t like how I was being treated, that would be a much different story. But there’s not a thing I can complain about as far as my treatment by staff or management.

What an interesting conundrum, eh? I see a company that’s dysfunctional that I’d love to help work out their issues, but I’m not in a position to do so because I have information I probably shouldn’t have. And, strange as it feels to me, it’s none of my business to go into the establishment and tell the owner what I think or how I feel, because it involves my wife as well.

Not only that, but I’m not sure that everyone else who goes to this place is seeing what I’m seeing, or even if they care. Sometimes people see bad things occurring and figure out how to “not” see it; that’s the kind of thing we see when someone is being assaulted on the street with all manner of people around, yet no one stops to help out. No one wants to get involved.

Now I know how they feel. I actually want to get involved, but I can’t. You know what? This happens every day in business offices around the world. Someone on the outside can look at a department, know it’s being run badly and has bad management, and feels they can’t say anything about it. And most of the time, they’re correct.

How do you feel about situations like these? And have you found ways to get involved, or do you just stand aside, watch as it goes on, or go somewhere else?