Data points.

Companies avoid paying about $4bn in overtime wages by inventing dubious titles for US employees, such as 'director of first impressions' and 'lead shower door installer,' according to new research on a common practice that skirts federal labour law. The practice, often deployed by retail and restaurant companies, takes advantage of the Fair Labor Standards Act, which exempts firms from paying overtime wages if the employee is a manager and gets paid a salary above a certain threshold. From 2010 to 2018, the researchers found a 48pc increase in job postings for salaried employees in dodgy managerial roles where duties rarely included any actual management. Companies avoided paying overtime on more than 151m work hours via this practice, the study found, costing workers an estimated $4bn in pay. Other suspect job titles identified by researchers included carpet shampoo manager, price scanning coordinator and guest experience leader.

(Adapted from 'Your Fancy New Manager Title Might Be Your Boss's Way to Avoid Paying You Overtime,' by Matthew Boyle, published on January 11, 2023, by Bloomberg)

Passive acceptance is a natural response

Some say 'quiet quitting' is about drawing healthy boundaries between work and personal time. But actions such as withdrawing from your team, limiting communication to what's strictly required, and staying silent rather than contributing in meetings have always indicated low engagement and motivation. When nothing is in your control, why even try? Scientists call this 'learned helplessness.' One study shows how this bears out. Researchers gave students a sheet of paper with three anagrams to solve. Unbeknownst to the students, there were two different versions of the sheet. On one, the first two anagrams were easy; on the other, they were unsolvable. The third anagram on both sheets was the same easily solvable word. Students who easily unscrambled the first two words on the first sheet also readily solved the third one. But students who encountered an unwinnable situation - staring at two anagrams with no possible solution - were stuck and frustrated, and they didn't even attempt the third one.

(Adapted from 'Are Our Brains Wired to Quiet...

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