While I was in high school, my family and I were once given a tour of a new home by an acquaintance, who, was shall we say, more than a little obsessed by price tags.
I should disclose that this person was just an acquaintance, because I don’t believe he could actually befriend someone for more than 15 minutes without delving into how much he paid for any number of select items.
So socially, we kept our distance.
During our walk-through, he was quick to highlight the $300 Chippendale table, and the $500 top-of-the-line Amana range and refrigerator (remember, these were 1973 prices) and the piece de resistance, a $700 TV/stereo console, which was roughly the size of New Mexico.
On our drive home, my mother casually asked my father what he thought and with a wit that many maintain skipped a generation, he casually replied, “I think he needs a $100-an-hour psychiatrist.”
Now, I can say with certainty that the sticker-obsessed homeowner was not alone in his need for a soft couch and a good listener. After all, many powerful and not-so-powerful people swear by the healing powers of psychotherapy.
And a slew of companies offer counseling in some way, shape or form as part of their benefits package. Some even have employed full-time staff psychologists.
And soon to be joining that roster of organizations with in-house help will be the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Yes, the SEC is currently seeking an organizational psychologist, a newly created post, to help employees of the corporate watchdog reduce stress and burnout.
Recently, the regulator posted a “help wanted” ad online, to the bemusement of some colleagues and the skepticism of others.
The post pays nearly $148k per year and stipulates that all applicants must have a degree in psychology — which is probably a good idea — and preferably a Ph.D.
Personally, I would have reservations about opening up to someone sans a “Dr.” designation in front of their name, but I digress.
According to the SEC the appointment is for two years, with the potential of extending the post for an additional two years.
The SEC said the post was created to help the regulator recruit and retain high-caliber people.
Although a staff psychologist is probably a noble and necessary service — although given the size of the organization I would probably go with more than one — I have a couple of ideas myself to usher in a new era of happier employees.
For a start, raise pay levels to be more equitable with those available within the private sector and make 80-hour work weeks the exception rather than the norm. Bring enough help on board to reduce the stress levels and overload of enforcement cases.
Otherwise, I have this image of an influx of SEC employees needing couch time much in the same manner as that obsessed homeowner — at any price.
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