Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 


We like being looked after.

There isn't a soul who doesn't enjoy being cared for, loved, pampered even.

Yet here we are in a rampantly individualistic society where, for some people, the mere thought of everyone having health care is akin to being spat on by a lizard.

The phrase nanny state is conjured as suggesting that we'll all be little flaccid-limbed wusses. Yes, the very opposite of large, tight-limbed Donald Trump.

Some companies, though, are wondering whether all this every-person-for-themselves thing is really, well, productive.

As the Wall Street Journal reports, some companies are offering various forms of financial help to employees who really need it. Or at least say they do.

No, they're not giving them raises. Instead, they're offering loans at low interest rates and help in refinancing student loans.

IBM is one company that has taken up this attitude.

Why watch your employees resort to payday loans at exorbitant rates when you, with your vast and ever-increasing profits, can at least help them be a little more, well, happy?

It might seem quaintly old-fashioned to some.

But, in certain minds at least, there's a feeling that the gap between the have-a-lots and the have-not-so-muchs is becoming a touch absurd. Unjust, even.

Some will immediately believe these nanny corporations have come over all Bernie Sanders.

But isn't there a certain potential for additional loyalty from an employee toward an employer who bothers to help?

And doesn't it make corporate life at least a touch more attractive to those who are currently bathing in the uncertain paddling pool of the sharing -- ugh, I meant freelance -- economy?

There again, do you want your bosses to know you have money troubles?

Do you want to share with your ever-loving HR department your financial woes -- or, indeed, your spending excesses? Do you want them to know that you need a quick loan, preferably interest-free, to buy a motorboat?

Or do you tell them: "Look, I'm just trying to keep up with you?"

Of course, companies have been known to take financial advantage of their employees without them knowing it.

I remember being slightly startled that one employer had actually taken out insurance on my life, without telling me.

Yes, the company would get money if I was struck by a stray alien spacecraft desperately trying to find a place to land.

In the end, perhaps, some companies are realizing that offering forms of effective financial assistance will help employees work better. Millennial employees, for example.

Opinions differ as to whether millennials will be the wealthiest generation -- as is Warren Buffett's contention -- or whether they'll be paying ad infinitum for the excesses of their drug-crazed forefathers.

But given that one survey suggested the thing they most crave (after money) is job security, perhaps offering them a little human assistance will show them that corporations might want them long-term.

Oh, what am I saying? We're entering an era in which we will be more combative, more bellicose, and more ornery than ever.

Corporations being decent will surely soon be banned by law.