labor union: just about the only people on planet Earth who give a flying shit about the plight of the lowly worker.
–Source: not Wikipedia
What is a labor union?
If we think of the employer/employee paradigm as a formula, on one side of the equation we find power, control, the ability to make decisions, have a hand in the company’s fate, profit, dignity, respect, ties to government, legislation, influence, and much, much more.
The labor union is that which stands to protect all that remains on the other side of that equation.
There may be a lot of power-imbalanced relationships in the average person’s life, but the relationship between employer and employee is most likely at the top of that list. Bar none.
Are labor unions perfect? No. Do they have flaws? Yes. After all, they are comprised of flawed human beings just like every other human-based organizational unit on planet Earth. They are, however, just about the last bastion of hope for the average worker who stands opposed in the face of overwhelming injustice and the imbalance of power.
Like my daddy used to say, it’s enough to make me go burlap.
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Since I’m not exactly in love with my job, I’ve been looking at the Help Wanted ads. Today I wish to offer up for your consideration some key phrases you might find in help wanted listings. Since unemployment is high and may remain that way for decades these phrases might be around for a while.
Here we grow again – If you see an ad with this phrase try to consciously be aware of what it means. Which is, mainly, that the company is someplace you don’t want to work. Ever. If you feel like you’d rather be six feet under than a place where this phrase is used, then you know you’re on the right track.
Multi-line Phone System – If you think it might be fun to go back in time and spend some time on Normandy Beach during the Allied Invasion, this job is for you.
Energetic – No, not technically a phrase, but if this word is used anywhere in a job listing you can be pretty sure it is going to be hard to get in your afternoon nap.
Pay Commensurate with Experience – Translation: We’re going to ask you to paint yourself into a corner by answering a question like, “Expected salary?” We’ll then use that as a starting point for negotiations by dividing in half. P.S. We’re fucking assholes.
Benefit package including 401k, medical and dental – Ever heard of the $1 million deductible? Ha ha ha! We also provide a way for you to divert your own money (with no company match) into risky stock market plans where you can watch your money vaporize.
No phone calls – Yeah, we already sound like awesome people. Imagine how fun we’ll be to work for. We’re already giving you orders.
Change lives for the better – Seriously? WTF?!?
Positive Attitude – Are you able to smile while we screw you over? You might have a shot.
Random Drug Testing Required – I actually don’t mind this one. First, I can easily pass these tests. Second, I don’t mind getting paid for peeing. Last time they made me strip down completely naked – I kid you not. Still, it’s good work if you can get it.
Must be able to lift 50 pounds – You’ll be wearing what employers like to call “hats.” One of those will be moving anything they think looks heavy. So much for being paid for your brain.
Must have a valid driver’s license – When you see this phrase in association with non-driving jobs, then you know to expect that you’ll be treated like a combination of Gopher from the Love Boat and a Girl Friday.
Must be friendly – You know, just like the rest of us. We’re friendly. Yeah, right. Fake it at least as good as us and you’ll get the job.
Will train the right person – Pucker up!
Do you want to be a part of a dynamic and caring sales and marketing team? – You’ll be required to provide your own hip waders to navigate our bullshit.
Weekends and holidays required – You’ll be working all the shifts that none of the rest of us want.
Be Your Own Boss / Work From Home – We’re going to sell you a “job” for a super low price – you won’t make any actual money but you’ll be giving us some.
Yeah, I know this list is lame as hell. I’m doing this while punch drunk after a long day at work. (That’s called multi-tasking.) Can you think of any other examples???
You recently advertised the position of <XYZ> with your company. I was excited because I’ve been a customer of yours for years (which is how I heard about the job in the first place) and it was just the sort of job I’ve been looking for. I came down and took the time to fill out your extremely annoying application form. You guys sure are thorough, but you did forget to ask for a poop sample. Then I waited.
And waited. And waited. And waited some more. Finally, I gave up. I never heard back from you. Not even the courtesy of a thank you. No phone call, not even a friggin’ rejection form letter.