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Chris Borokowski wrote:
> Or in other words, make it clear that ours is a knowledge-based
> profession and that knowledge is stored in individuals. The idea of
> workers as replaceable cogs is bad enough, but to deny the inequality
> of experience, knowledge and basic intelligence among tech writers is
> to doom us all to real boredom.
Recent articles in the biz press and on TV are saying that the coming
crunch in employment is going to be even worse than suggested by the
absolute numbers of retiring boomers, versus the (much smaller) absolute
numbers of incoming youngsters. What they are saying is that the people
now entering the workforce have a completely different philosophy (many,
not all), and it will take two or three of them to equal the
productivity of each of the workaholic boomers that they "replace". That
means, from the point of view of the employer wanting certain work done.
Plenty of new kids have a fine work ethic, but without the "dedication"
to a career or employer. Instead, they'll work at what pleases them and
take short-term jobs when they need extra money. So, think of somebody
running a pottery shop during tourist season, because they like it, then
closing shop and taking a couple of temp jobs over the winter, just to
get by... between ski vacations... or stints working as ski-hill
staff... or maybe they'll take occasional shifts at elder-care
facilities, helping the robots that do most of the lifting and cleaning
of our (boomers') failing bodies.
In other words, hardly anybody will be willing to work 40-hour weeks at
the same job, for years at a time, becoming intimately familiar with a
particular industry and company and all the peripheral stuff that we
boomers do almost unconsciously while devoting our faculties to the
"real" part of the job.
So, management IS going to become the art of setting up automatic
procedures and of herding "cats" - temporary workers who have only
discrete skills, intelligence and willingness, but no history or
In other words, jobs will need to become plug'n'play because the worker
who is doing a job today wasn't here yesterday, and might not be here
In other-other words, those of us who now find it nervous-making to face
searching for new jobs in our mid-fifties will soon find ourselves being
sought out as "golden" repositories of knowledge and understanding
beyond the rote skills of writing and using a couple of tools.
Yeah, I know that many on this list are perpetual contractors and
actually like to spend "off" hours, as well as a percentage of paid
hours (shh!) during the final weeks/months of a contract lining up the
next contract. But many others of us are ... um.... serially monogamous
about our jobs and only start looking for new ones if the current ones
are unsatisfactory or start looking shaky. The rest of the time, we're
immersed, handling multiple projects at different stages, and enjoying
the work for which we're paid.
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