Friday, June 09, 2006

Wage slaves, all...except for a few

Photo Credit: sideshowmom

It seems that it is with some amazement that people have been noted to take blocks of time off to [gasp!] go do things other than report to a job.

Companies too often believe that by hiring someone, they have assumed ownership of that person, and can dictate all their life conditions, such as by demanding more than 40 hours per week, abusive working conditions, relocations, attendance at company social events, control over the employee’s thoughts and opinions and speech, as well as when they can eat, sleep, or relieve themselves, let alone take a little time off.

I find it (perversely) amusing that the young French rose up in anger when their conditions of employment were changed to include the right of employers to fire them without cause during the first years of their employment, while in the U.S. such working conditions are nearly universal: a non-union employer can fire any employee at any time for any reason or for no reason at all, no matter the quality of their work or the duration of their tenure.

In the face of such a complete lack of job security, anyone who does show loyalty to their employer at any cost to themselves has only their foolish self to blame when it bites them in the ass. One-way “loyalty” is merely stupidity, and until employers see fit to show some loyalty of their own, they have no reason to expect it from their employees. Bravo to the ones who insist upon living their lives, on their own terms, and who understand that loyalty (or lack thereof) can only be a two-way street.

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