Re: Like long hours?

Subject: Re: Like long hours?
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 07 Aug 2002 14:50:09 -0700

Kevin McLauchlan wrote:

That's selective emphasis.

When you say "an employee needs to make the exchange
to survive" you really mean "an employee feels pressure to make a particular exchange in order to maintain the lifestyle to which s/he has become accustomed".

No, I'm saying that, unless you're born independently wealthy, you have no real choice except to work. You can cut back on your expectations, but only to a certain minimum. You can live on your savings, but only while they last.

What's selective about that?

If you make the choice that you will accept employment ONLY in a certain geographical area, and ONLY in a certain segment of industry, and ONLY as a certain kind of technical writer, and ONLY (I could go on...), then *with all those choices assumed as 'given'* you certainly "need" to make a particular exchange in order to "survive" in the style to which you are accustomed.

You persist in viewing people as autonomous individuals. The older you get, the less likely that usually is.

For example, what if you have a relative who depends on you for care? Your choice of changing geographical areas is going to be seriously constrained - unless, of course, you want to be universally condemned by everyone (including yourself).

Similarly, as someone who has made a couple of major career changes, and who has shifted the segment of this industry in which he works a couple of times as well, I can tell you that changing your type of employment is easier said than done. HR departments are too fond of categorizing. You have to struggle to have your new career or emphasis accepted. Probably, you should expect the transition to take anywhere from three to six months - which isn't very useful if you need a job now.

If that isn't so, why
are there so many rules governing how employers treat
employees, and so few governing how employees treat

Socialist democracy.

I thought someone would resort to Red-bashing sooner or later. Thanks for breaking the suspense ;-)

There are more people with votes who are employees than there are people with votes who are employers.
It's a simple and as mechanical as that. The politicians answer to the groups that wield more votes.

You're talking about the mechanism, not the reason. But, even there, you're mistaken. Employees have never voted as a consistent block. If they had, then trade unions would run every industrialized country in the world. As things are, they can't deliver the votes of their memberships to the Social Democratic parties that they generally support.

More importantly, labor change didn't happen quickly. There was agitation for it, but rarely by a majority. When it passed, it was generally as a response to perceived systemic abuses. It may not have always been the correct response, but it was a reaction to events by both liberal and conservative politicians.

Or, you could try viewing it in its full simplicity. That, too, can be edifying.

Huh? Apart from the fact that this comment sounds vaguely combative, I have no idea what you mean.

However, note that I acknowledge that the employers have a point of view, and I'm responding to people who seem to think that employees have none. All in all, I feel fairly certain that I'm not the one who's simplifying.

Bruce Byfield bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com 604.421.7177

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Re: Like long hours?: From: Andrew Plato
Re: Like long hours?: From: Bruce Byfield
Re: Like long hours?: From: Kevin McLauchlan

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