Thursday, July 25, 2013

Working man's rant

The world has changed, radically since I was a kid. My formative years occurred in the 1960's. Back then most families I was aware of lived in homes where Mom was the housewife and Dad worked, driving the one family car. Yes, I had what is now considered a privileged upbringing, but I went to public school and my Mom sewed all my clothes. This was middle class, a small Cape Cod house with one car garage in the suburbs, annual two week vacations at the local beach and casseroles on the table.

My Dad single-handedly supported our family with one job that also took care of him; weekly paychecks, a Christmas bonus, health insurance and finally a retirement package.There is nothing today resembling this kind of work life anymore. America, the profitable land of capitalism has finally managed to make redundant the human being within its business structure. Humans are now considered the unreliable machine, under performing against exorbitantly unrealistic production levels and then discarded. Companies hardly even need to choose from the starving, bill ridden throng waiting at the HR gate, hoping for any job, at any paltry pay rate and limited benefits. Lots of people work several jobs just to survive. Most never qualifying for any benefits because company policies restrict their hours to come in just below the number needed to meet the benefit threshold. How can that be okay?!

The bigger slap in the face comes when an employee gets discharged a month before his 55th birthday, you know some excuse about downsizing. No one hires a 55 year old. Especially not when there is a whole generation of 20-30 somethings with all sorts of college degrees and school loan payments that will work for less than their value, so as not to default on those loans. Capitalist America duped a couple generations of young people into that forever trap of debt. Many are "overqualified" for work with those expensive degrees, what?! Yeah overqualified, as if in depth knowledge and skills somehow makes a human not able to work... No, what overqualified means is, bottom line worshiping companies do not want to pay what the educated person is worth, plain and simple. Even though every corporate head swore the college educated candidate was the applicant they were looking for.

Here's an angle my company uses to ensure the bottom line is protected, they hire the most abrasive/abusive person they can find as a manager, then move her around throughout the company. Corporate bigwigs like to target departments with a higher percentage of long term employees (expensive wages) or those closer to retirement, then they send in their "rabid dog" manager. Work becomes miserable, seriously, really, really bad... there is no sense to the carnage that ensues. Schedules are randomly changed, work areas demolished and not to mention the rabid manager's talent for the public humiliation of workers. Nothing like being screamed and spit at, then being given the option to quit.... What makes this okay?! Upper corporate management obviously knows about the rabid manager, there have been numerous complaints, yet she stays and lots of good workers quit. So, perversely, this situation works to the advantage of the company.

Hey workers, help is coming... No really! This isn't a ploy.
President Obama is giving speeches around the country in an effort to strike a compromise with Congress by going public and personal with the American citizen. The Kansas City Star reports, "He called for a restoration of what he described as an implicit American bargain that rewards hard work with security and more fairly shares the spoils of the world’s largest economy. Further the President said, “We still live in an upside-down system” that rewards the rich for saving, but not the poor and middle class.

Well, these are totally obvious statements to anyone currently working at the employee level. I would venture that no one in the millionaire rich Congress has any actual working knowledge of life as an employee, hence they bicker and sit in their Congressional chairs with pay and excellent benefits, accomplishing NOTHING. You know if I did that, I'd be fired... Mr. President you can keep singing the dream of the "implicit American bargain," but if corporations and Congress aren't going to sing harmony, it ain't gonna happen.

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