Re: Contract vs. Permanent

Subject: Re: Contract vs. Permanent
From: George Mena <George -dot- Mena -at- ESSTECH -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 13 May 1998 17:27:03 -0700

Some brief comments in reply to that, Jill...

Too many times, I hear "Which do you prefer, contract or permanent?"

Too many times, people don't understand I'm just trying to get back to

I don't really care how I get back to work. I just want to work as a
tech writer, period.

I think there are too many pubs managers who just don't understand that
concept. That scares me because they're the ones making the hiring

I know there are folks who absolutely won't go back to being a regular
employee. I don't blame them. But I also know that's not me. I also
know there are folks who openly prefer being part of a company payroll
because they want to earn medical and dental benefits and be enrolled in
401k plans. Most folks can't afford to pay for their own benefits. And
that's not restricted to this occupational field, either. Two-thirds of
*all* working Americans -- regardless of their occupation -- don't have
health care benefits. That is reality, or so the media would have us
believe. That is also scary to me.

The fact remains that some of us wind up in companies run by people
dumber than Laurel and Hardy, regardless of contract or permanent
employee status. Layoffs happen. Contract jobs end. Bottom line's the
same: unemployment. And sooner or later, we all have to deal with it
in one form or another. We already know how vulnerable most former
employees are. Generally speaking, the self-employed folks are also
vulnerable because they have to work in order to have money coming in.
If illness or injury occurs to them, the money stops. Even if there's a
decent benefits plan in place, the money stops eventually, especially in
a protracted hospitalization.

Even if the money *doesn't* stop for the fortunate few, there always
seems to be some sort of protracted discussion involved with somebody
somewhere about keeping the cash flow alive.

What *really* hurts me, though, is some of the feedback I get from those
people who are closest to me in this lifetime:

* "Why don't you try to get in to Civil Service? Civil Service isn't
going to go out of business."

* "I guess I'm lucky I'm an exotic dancer. I don't have to worry about
not having a job."

In that light, I feel the Contract vs. Permanent "holy war" is a joke.
Perhaps it's time pubs managers STOPPED asking such an asinine question.
In the long run, I feel it really doesn't matter.

I know *I* don't need to hear that question asked of me again as long as
I live. I'm sick of it.

For those folks who wish to respond to me on this, please respond
off-list only.

Thank you,

George Mena

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jill Burgchardt [SMTP:jburgcha -at- PESTILENCE -dot- ITC -dot- NRCS -dot- USDA -dot- GOV]
> Sent: Wednesday, May 13, 1998 4:44 PM
> To: TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU
> Subject: Contract vs. Permanent
> I've never understood the contract vs. permanent holy war,
> which has been a sub-thread on the secretarial issue today.
> We can have different, valid reasons for making different (or
> even the same) choices. Salary, type of work, environment,
> location, flexibility, custody arrangements, medical
> conditions--the reasons vary dramatically. Arguing this issue
> seems analogous to convincing everyone they should wear the
> same size shoes.
> Saturday night another mother bragged about her daughter's role
> in a musical. It WAS wonderful and she's a nice lady, but I
> struggled to be gracious. My daughter had a good role that was
> challenging musically, although her speaking part was smaller.
> Some specific comments unintentionally hurt me, though this
> mother was only showing pride in her own child. The
> contract/permanent discussion seems to have a similar effect on
> people regardless which group people are in.
> Jill Burgchardt
> jburgcha -at- pestilence -dot- itc -dot- nrcs -dot- usda -dot- gov
> &^~~~
> Send commands to listserv -at- listserv -dot- okstate -dot- edu (e.g., SIGNOFF

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