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Author Topic: The Cult of the Job
audra trower williams
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posted 22 September 2004 02:47 PM      Profile for audra trower williams   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
I am job-free. Out of the rat race. Unemployed, as they say, but definitely by choice. My self-esteem is intact, thank you, I'm not "in transition", and I have no intention of getting a job again.

That's right--I'm on the leisure track permanently. I don't have a cushy nine-to-five job with profit-sharing, "security", stock options, health insurance, advancement opportunities, or free parking. I also don't have to deal with office politics, attending motivation seminars, climbing the corporate ladder, employee evaluations, increasing productivity, the absurd "team player" mentality, brown-nosing, mandatory overtime, stressful commutes in rush-hour traffic, being trapped in a cubicle, or the threat of being pink-slipped. Oh, and let's not forget--I don't have the expense of a "professional" wardrobe, strong coffee to wake me up every morning, or "power lunches".

I wouldn't have it any other way.


the rest.


From: And I'm a look you in the eye for every bar of the chorus | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
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posted 22 September 2004 02:50 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
*grumble*
From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 22 September 2004 02:58 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
*grumble grumble*
From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
guilty-pleasure
Babbler # 3469

posted 22 September 2004 03:06 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well, good to bookmark for the next time someone insists that everyone wants to work.
From: `,_,`,_,,_,, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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Babbler # 478

posted 22 September 2004 03:12 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
You equate work -- as in productive, creative, and satisfying work -- with a job, do you, Mr Magoo?
From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
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Babbler # 2534

posted 22 September 2004 03:12 PM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Magoo, read her article. She is a freelance writer. She is talking about "the job", not about "work". I don't have a "job" either. Though I find she glossed far too much over the MANY disadvantages of being a freelancer with no security whatsoever - and frigging clients who don't pay (I did get some payment from that one I've been grumbling about, but much is still owed...).

Unlike the writer, I definitely need - and want - a shot of strong coffee to wake me up in the morning! I'm far more productive early in the day than later on.


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Secret Agent Style
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posted 22 September 2004 03:28 PM      Profile for Secret Agent Style        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Good on the writer if she can survive on the revenue from freelance projects and odd jobs (and perhaps savings, investments, gifts or inheritances) but that isn't realistic for everyone.

And if freelance work isn't considered a job, then I guess anyone who runs their own business or works on contract doesn't really have a job. I'm sure that will be news to a lot of people who work 40+ hours a week at their supposed non-job.

[ 22 September 2004: Message edited by: Andy Social ]


From: classified | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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Babbler # 3469

posted 22 September 2004 03:37 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
You equate work -- as in productive, creative, and satisfying work -- with a job, do you, Mr Magoo?

For most they're one and the same. Certainly when someone says "everyone wants to work" what they mean is "everyone wants to work to earn money and have food and shelter", not "everyone wants to go outside and build a birdhouse for fun".

quote:
She is talking about "the job", not about "work".

Fair enough then, although a) the difference seems as much academic as practical when they both amount to doing something for someone else in exchange for money.


From: `,_,`,_,,_,, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 22 September 2004 04:30 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
People want to work at something they enjoy doing. Failing that, they usually will work at almost anything else so that they can pay the bills and render their duties to their immediate family if they have one, or to themselves (ie. making a living and in general being productive).
From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
robbie_dee
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posted 22 September 2004 07:32 PM      Profile for robbie_dee     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
bump
From: Iron City | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
steffie
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Babbler # 3826

posted 13 September 2005 10:56 PM      Profile for steffie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Bump. I just applied for a "job" that I believe will qualify as (as the quoted author's bio says) "joyful work" - as a writer for the marketing department of my community college.

I'm a graduate of this particular institution (as well as its sister, the University), and am hoping that this fact will work in my favour. That, and I believe I will do a kick-ass job!!

The money will sure help, too. Over twice what I am making currently.

I feel myself getting so excited at the prospect of departing from my humdrum existence as a taxi dispatcher (I would still do the tutoring on the side.) But, I have felt this excitement before. It's the feeling that peaks every time I hit "send" on the email application, or the moment when I hand my well-worked resume and cover letter to the HR person.

It's a feeling that lasts for about a week, gradually subsiding as I realize that I'm not getting a call, and I'm not going to get a call. This feeling, the pain of lost opportunity, is not unlike the pain of romantic rejection.

One begins hopeful, predicting that "they will call"... (he will call)

After a few days (weeks?) logic takes over and says firmly, "They are not going to call." (he doesn't like you)

Later, even after the practical mind has moved on to other pursuits, there is still a glimmer of sad hope that meekly bleats, "Why don't they (he) want me?"

But it is the hope that drives me on to try for every position that become aware of, daring "them" to yet again reject me.


From: What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow / Out of this stony rubbish? | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
chubbybear
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posted 13 September 2005 11:45 PM      Profile for chubbybear        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 

[ 14 September 2005: Message edited by: chubbybear ]


From: nowhere | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Rambler
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Babbler # 10194

posted 14 September 2005 04:40 AM      Profile for Rambler     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
I'd like to see a world where we are less relentlessly driven by the pursuit of job growth, impressive stock portfolios, the "bottom line" and material acquisition--and more motivated by active mindful learning, joyful work, and creating a web of relationships that will sustain us in our more meager times.

Lets see how she feels about this when she is writing her articles in the dark, because the power maintenance guy decided his job wasn't joyful enough.

quote:
But there are lots of (legal) ways of getting money besides jobs, and what's more, we are increasingly becoming aware that we've paid a very high price for our myopic job-centered focus.

The amount of money availible for frivolous endeavours such as writing about how great it is not to have a job would pretty much dry up if everyone started doing it.

quote:
Such alternatives could take many forms: self-employment, cooperative living arrangements, simplifying our lives, changes in economic policy, and so forth. Envisioning a new way of working is certainly not a new idea, but those of us who question the conventional wisdom about jobs are still considered heretics, radicals and pariahs in many circles.

There is a hutterite colony near my house. They live more simplified lives, have cooperative living arrangements, equality among all, and are outside the rat race. However, their lives still revolve primarily around work. Somebody has to clean the floors, take out the trash, and clean up after the chickens.

quote:
There are the stirrings of a new social movement underway as we speak--a diverse collection of people from all walks of life who are re-examining the way we've been indoctrinated into thinking our jobs are our ticket to respectability and freedom

No.... jobs are our ticket to not living in dung huts and having half of our population starve to death every winter.

quote:
I'm happy to count myself among the proponents of that movement away from the cult of jobs and toward a new way of envisioning work--a way that gives us hope for the future. I invite you to join us.

How does her idea of work give us hope for the future? Somehow everyone just doing the work they WANT to do, and ignore the work they HAVE to do will lead to some kind of utopia? There are alot of negatives about the coroporate lifestyle, and the economic rat race we are in, but there is always going to be a base amount of work to be done and if I decide not to help out, somebody ends up having to pick up my slack.

There is merit of course in creating a society in which we have an adequate amount of leisure time, but this mind dump of an article suggests we swing from one extreme (Not that we really work all that hard now compared to 100 years ago) to the other. The basic premise of this quackfest is worry about your dreams and passions first, work second.
Well if we all adopt this attitude, our dreams and passions will soon become an extremely strong desire for something to eat and a dry place to get out of the rain.


From: Alberta | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged
Amricain galitaire
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posted 14 September 2005 10:14 AM      Profile for Amricain galitaire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm not so sure she's arguing for utopia but rather more balance. I could do without her smugness about "her choices" however, since most people I know need to work to eat and have a roof over their heads and can't be picky about how they'll accomplish that.

The problem is this kind of thinking, while appreciated, seems to stem more often than not, from people in this kind of situation where they can do it and they, naturally, think so can everyone else.

I think the person who keeps the lights on knows he or she is performing a valuable service. But I think the biggest problem with so-called "job satisfaction" that I see time and time again is managerial styles - the "top down" authority driven model that tends to dehumanise the workplace unnecessarily. People want to feel that they are needed, wanted and amptly rewarded - what's so hard about that? I think so many managers are trained to think that if they treat their workers with the slightest bit of human consideration, their people will walk all over them. In the US, many companies have a "chain of command" and management style patterned after the military.

I believe that appreciated and rewarded employees are happy employees and if you give them a stake in their company or concern they will treat it as if they own it too. Thankfully, I believe I am finally working in such a place. I hope it continues to be like that.

Really, I think for the vast majority of people it takes so little to make them happy and yet we make adults ask for permission to use the washroom at work in some cases. And then time them.


From: Chardon, Ohio USA | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 14 September 2005 10:38 AM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Interesting that the title of the thread is "the cult of the job". When was it decided that the only way a talented and capable person could keep body and soul together is by working for a "boss" at a "job"?

Where do jobs come from? If my only option in this world is to search the Want Ads for a "boss" who wants to hire me for a "job", who makes "jobs"?

I'm aware that many people work at a job. I do, for that matter. But I find it interesting how many people seem to assume that they have to work for somebody else, not themself, and thus if they cannot find a somebody else to put them on the payroll they're "unemployed". Don't millions of North Americans work for themselves? Guys who do drywall? Caterers? Photographers, writers, consultants, accountants, massage therapists, graphic artists, contractors, plumbers, electricians, movers, tutors, tax specialists, hairstylists, etc.?

I know they work for somebody else's money of course, and may even have to put up with somebody else's nonsense if they want that money, but they aren't subject to some "boss" berating them, they don't have to beg and beg for a Saturday off, they don't have to share the profits of their labours with a manager or stockholder, and most importantly they don't have to sit around waiting for a position ("job") to open up somewhere before they can work.

Why the emphasis on working for someone else in a pre-configured "job" with all the attendant negatives? What's to stop an "unemployed" carpenter who can't find a company that wants to put him on the payroll from simply working for him/herself?

I just find it interesting that so many people seem to think their ability to work and earn a living is entirely dependent on some Capitalist taking a liking to them and hiring them.


From: `,_,`,_,,_,, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 478

posted 14 September 2005 10:52 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Trust me, Mr M: at the moment, in Toronto, there are NO unemployed carpenters.
From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
guilty-pleasure
Babbler # 3469

posted 14 September 2005 10:55 AM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I believe it. I've been paying one of them, plus an electrician, plus a mover. They seem well fed.
From: `,_,`,_,,_,, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
rabble-rouser
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posted 14 September 2005 11:01 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
But, y'see, there's the prob: skilled trades, no prob, always a shortage. But setting up many other kinds of business, people need ... capital.
From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 14 September 2005 11:02 AM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Like a small business loan? Fair enough. Suppose I want to do people's taxes for a living, because nobody wants to hire me at their company.

I'll need a calculator. And a pencil. Maybe I should get two pencils, in case I lose one. And I'll want a chair to sit on...


From: `,_,`,_,,_,, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 478

posted 14 September 2005 11:07 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
No. Maybe you'll want a pretty good computer and printer and fax, or you'll lose business to all those other accountants who have them and can submit electronically.

And you'll need a decent filing cabinet and system if you want to keep your clients coming back year after year.

And you'll want to be a member of certain groups and services so that you keep being updated on Canadian tax law.

And ...


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
guilty-pleasure
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posted 14 September 2005 11:14 AM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Okay. I'll get a loan then. Kiss my ass, "boss man"! I'm the boss now!

Anyway, the assumption that work=working for someone else to be a bit odd, and yet entirely unquestioned in most discussions of unemployment, greedy capitalists, horrible workplaces, etc. I alwyas wonder why people who think "all bosses are alike" or "managers are untalented parasites" or "my boss is stealing the surplus value of my labour" don't just do what the hell it takes to work for themselves.

Sure, you might have to get a loan, absorb some risks, and chance losing it all, just like a boss, but isn't that better than grousing and complaining that the nature of working for some big company isn't what you wish it was and there's no sign of it changing? I mean, should I spend the next 30 years whining that my boss is taking a cut of my labour, or should I do what it takes to be self-sufficient and tell my boss to kiss off?


From: `,_,`,_,,_,, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Willowdale Wizard
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posted 14 September 2005 11:47 AM      Profile for Willowdale Wizard   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
the FAQ on the site are interesting:

quote:
Q. Everything on this site beats around the bush about how you have to "change your attitude", and how you don't really need money to eat and stay out of the freezing cold, and how you can do anything you want without incurring expenses. Once I quit my job, where does my next meal come from? Where do I live after I get evicted from my apartment or after the bank forecloses on my house?

A: What kind of life do you WANT, deep down in your heart? If you already know what kind of life you want, do you really believe you can do it? What would you REALLY do to have it? How much money would it take to sustain it, and would you be willing to learn to live more simply in order to be job-free? What would you be doing if money were no issue, if you didn't have to "earn a living?"

Having answers to these questions will help you come up with a practical plan to design a life free of wage-slavery.

What kinds of things are you willing to do in order to ensure that you can stay job-free?

Eat at a soup kitchen? Live with friends? Move to a rural area, build your own mortgage-free home, and grow your own food? Sell your car or other possessions?

You don't HAVE to do any of these things, but they are options, at least.

Maybe a friend would be willing to let you take over her spare room in exchange for your part-time services as a groundskeeper, and no money would change hands yet you'd have a place to live.

We don't advise you as an individual to quit your job suddenly with no "backup plan." Almost all of us who have achieved some measure of freedom from wage slavery have done so by compromising, "doing our time" in jobs before managing to escape partially.

We don't presume that no one should do anything that resembles work. There is a difference between work and jobs. We are not "anti-work"; we are anti-wage-slavery. People can do work, and make money, without being wage slaves. You can even have a "regular" job without being a wage slave, although our bureaucratic, profit-at-any-cost oriented society makes it quite difficult.



From: england (hometown of toronto) | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
thwap
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 5062

posted 14 September 2005 12:14 PM      Profile for thwap        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
I know they work for somebody else's money of course, and may even have to put up with somebody else's nonsense if they want that money, but they aren't subject to some "boss" berating them, they don't have to beg and beg for a Saturday off, they don't have to share the profits of their labours with a manager or stockholder, and most importantly they don't have to sit around waiting for a position ("job") to open up somewhere before they can work.

Why the emphasis on working for someone else in a pre-configured "job" with all the attendant negatives? What's to stop an "unemployed" carpenter who can't find a company that wants to put him on the payroll from simply working for him/herself?


Aside from these tiresome generalizations about babbler attitudes, I'm also confused about what you're trying to say.

It seems that there are a lot of self-employed babblers here. So I'm not sure its accurate to state that all we do is whine about our bosses while never taking that brave step into self-employment.

As well, you are aware that people who become tradesmen, consultants, etc., are self-employed because that's the nature of that market, and that people with different skill-sets often have to work for others (institutions or individual employers) because that's the nature of their work?

Finally, the economy could not manage the dislocations caused by having the entire workforce seeking to strike out on their own.

There's other things that bugged me, but i notice the boss is staring at me ...


From: Hamilton | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 14 September 2005 12:26 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Aside from these tiresome generalizations about babbler attitudes, I'm also confused about what you're trying to say.

I'm not accusing any particular babblers of anything here. I'm saying that whenever unemployment, capitalists or the nature of work is discussed, it seems assumed that work = working for someone else. If I'm wrong about this, and there are all kinds of threads where babblers have suggested otherwise, I'm all ears.

quote:
So I'm not sure its accurate to state that all we do is whine about our bosses while never taking that brave step into self-employment.

Then I'm awfully glad I didn't.

quote:
As well, you are aware that people who become tradesmen, consultants, etc., are self-employed because that's the nature of that market, and that people with different skill-sets often have to work for others (institutions or individual employers) because that's the nature of their work?

Exactly. So it always puzzles me when someone who's chosen to work as, say, a filing clerk, seems disgruntled at the fact that they have to work for a boss, obey a dress code, share their labour with the stockholders, etc. My very point is that there are options. Working for someone else is one of them, and it comes with its own downsides, and working for yourself is another.

quote:
Finally, the economy could not manage the dislocations caused by having the entire workforce seeking to strike out on their own.

I don't think everyone wants to. Working for someone else means letting them absorb the risks, it means being able to have a day off, cash a regular cheque, etc. But for those who don't like working for someone else this "wage slavery" the article mentions there are options, and for some reason those options don't get discussed often.


From: `,_,`,_,,_,, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
thwap
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 5062

posted 14 September 2005 01:27 PM      Profile for thwap        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
You're amazing magoo,

I've just got to clarify:

quote:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
So I'm not sure its accurate to state that all we do is whine about our bosses while never taking that brave step into self-employment.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Then I'm awfully glad I didn't.


So you didn't accuse babblers of whining, and then wonder why we don't put our monies where our mouths are?

But, you do say:

quote:
Anyway, the assumption that work=working for someone else to be a bit odd, and yet entirely unquestioned in most discussions of unemployment, greedy capitalists, horrible workplaces, etc. I alwyas wonder why people who think "all bosses are alike" or "managers are untalented parasites" or "my boss is stealing the surplus value of my labour" don't just do what the hell it takes to work for themselves.

I mean, am i missing something here?

Finally:

quote:
Exactly. So it always puzzles me when someone who's chosen to work as, say, a filing clerk, seems disgruntled at the fact that they have to work for a boss, obey a dress code, share their labour with the stockholders, etc. My very point is that there are options.


Yeah, besides self-employment, there's the option of more democratic workplaces, better unions, putting useless stockholders in their place.


From: Hamilton | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
lucas
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 6446

posted 14 September 2005 01:41 PM      Profile for lucas     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
"useless stockholders"?

Ummmm, in most cases, without these "useless stockholders", the capital necessary to build that new location or that second assembly line would never be attained. It is the result of that capital which makes way for the hiring of new employees to work/manage that new location and work/manage that second assembly line. If all those "useless stockholders" all decided they no longer believed the company in question would remain profitable, they would cash out... causing the company's stock price to plummet... leading to extreme financial distress, leading to massive layoffs and potentially the closing of the doors. "Useless"... not quite.


From: Turner Valley | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Aristotleded24
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posted 14 September 2005 01:58 PM      Profile for Aristotleded24   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Amricain galitaire:
I think the person who keeps the lights on knows he or she is performing a valuable service. But I think the biggest problem with so-called "job satisfaction" that I see time and time again is managerial styles - the "top down" authority driven model that tends to dehumanise the workplace unnecessarily. People want to feel that they are needed, wanted and amptly rewarded - what's so hard about that? I think so many managers are trained to think that if they treat their workers with the slightest bit of human consideration, their people will walk all over them. In the US, many companies have a "chain of command" and management style patterned after the military.

Hear hear! Good post AE!


From: Winnipeg | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
guilty-pleasure
Babbler # 3469

posted 14 September 2005 02:03 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
You're amazing magoo

For my money, you could have stopped there.

I'm saying that a certain assumption seems to underly discussions about work and Capitalism. You're getting all wrapped 'round the axle thinking I'm smearing you, or babble, by noting this.

Am I wrong? Have I missed all the discussions about work and Capitalism where this assumption wasn't made?

quote:
Yeah, besides self-employment, there's the option of more democratic workplaces, better unions, putting useless stockholders in their place.

Yes, those are options, although the "useless stockholders" comment makes you look like some disgruntled anarchist. You don't think the workers in a worker-owned company become de facto stockholders? You think businesses grow by putting their nickels and dimes in a jar and saving up for that new branch plant?

If I were to lend you $10,000 to start up a business, I'd expect some profit for it. I'm risking my money, and I'm not going to do that out of charity. That's like suggesting that I should buy a lottery ticket for a dollar that could either "win", and give me my dollar back, or lose and take my dollar. Who'd be so stupid as to play that one? With risk should come reward, or else why risk?


From: `,_,`,_,,_,, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
rasmus
malcontent
Babbler # 621

posted 14 September 2005 02:41 PM      Profile for rasmus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I hate the social convention of asking, "so what do you do?" meaning "what's your job?" I always precise it by saying, you mean, what do I do for money? Well, sometimes I answer in a way I don't think people are anticipating.

I'd like to talk about the job of the cult. I've often thought being founder of a cult would be an easy job.


From: Fortune favours the bold | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
v michel
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posted 14 September 2005 03:20 PM      Profile for v michel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Articles like this make me weep because it always seems that I am following all the suggestions for living income-free (cutting costs, selling posessions, etc.) and yet... still require an income. For, y'know, food, shelter and so on. Odd how that works.

Although for my money, living with a friend in exchange for services as a groundskeeper has to be the single most ridiculous "tip" I have read anywhere, anytime. Good laugh!


From: a protected valley in the middle of nothing | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
thwap
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posted 14 September 2005 03:52 PM      Profile for thwap        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
I'm saying that a certain assumption seems to underly discussions about work and Capitalism. You're getting all wrapped 'round the axle thinking I'm smearing you, or babble, by noting this.

Am I wrong? Have I missed all the discussions about work and Capitalism where this assumption wasn't made?


So, it's not a smear, it's just stating the facts? All discussions about work and Capitalism assume that all bosses are bad, all workers are angels, and that we're all oppressed workers, and then ...

quote:
I alwyas wonder why people who think "all bosses are alike" or "managers are untalented parasites" or "my boss is stealing the surplus value of my labour" don't just do what the hell it takes to work for themselves.

But by no means are you saying that we all complain about work, and yet we don't have the gumption to do something about it.

It's all clear to me now. No it isn't. I'm going to have to assume that your incomprehension is manufactured, because you're just not this obviously dense.

Regarding yours and lucas's paeons to the importance (and even the nobility) of stockholders. Have a look at the action on any stock exchange and ask yourself how much of it is for useful Initial Public Offerings and how much of it is "secondary trading" (ie., just a glorified version of trading bubble-gum cards).

You'll find that its more about bubble-gum cards, and bubble-gum traders aren't all that important a factor of production.


From: Hamilton | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
gopi
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posted 14 September 2005 04:23 PM      Profile for gopi     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
My very point is that there are options

On the topic of options, I'd be curious to know if the internet has had any positive effect on self-employment.

I know at least ten people who devote hours and hours of their time to internet businesses - everything from occasionally selling junk on ebay to running an enormous online bookstore. All of these people could not survive on the money they make from these businesses.


From: transient | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Reverend Blair
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posted 14 September 2005 04:41 PM      Profile for Reverend Blair   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
On the topic of options, I'd be curious to know if the internet has had any positive effect on self-employment.

I don't have spend money on stamps or wait for the untrained staff at the 7-11 post office to figure out how to sell me an international reply coupon. That's a positive effect.

It does seem to have created a culture where a lot of people think that you should work for free or next to nothing though. That's a negative effect.


From: Winnipeg | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Cougyr
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posted 14 September 2005 04:56 PM      Profile for Cougyr     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
D. JoAnne Swanson is a freelance writer . . .

That's not a job? That would be absolutely grueling for me. The real salt mines. Everybody is different.

I'm retired and I love it. The first thing I did was to throw away my wristwatch. Why anybody would actually want to work, particularly in the modern marketplace, is beyond me. I think one should go straight from high school to retirement.


From: over the mountain | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 14 September 2005 05:32 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
But by no means are you saying that we all complain about work, and yet we don't have the gumption to do something about it.

I think I found the problem. You're confusing people who think "all bosses are alike" or "managers are untalented parasites" or "my boss is stealing the surplus value of my labour" with you, or with all babblers.

If it applies, it applies. If not, not.

It's like saying "what's with people who wear socks and sandals". Maybe you're one of those people. Maybe you aren't. It's certainly not an accusation.


From: `,_,`,_,,_,, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
radiorahim
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posted 14 September 2005 05:35 PM      Profile for radiorahim     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Trust me, Mr M: at the moment, in Toronto, there are NO unemployed carpenters

During the early 1990's recession it was different...there were all kinds of unemployed construction workers.

People in these kinds of trades work their asses off with lots of overtime when the industry is in good shape, and sock money away for the times when the industry is in the toilet.

I find the linked article on the smug side. Its the old "if I can do it anyone can" attitude.


From: a Micro$oft-free computer | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 14 September 2005 05:41 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by vmichel:
Although for my money, living with a friend in exchange for services as a groundskeeper has to be the single most ridiculous "tip" I have read anywhere, anytime. Good laugh!

Hey, if Kato can do it, why can't you?


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 14 September 2005 05:49 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
'Cuz if you leech off OJ now, you have to help him search for 'the real killer'. Granted, most of the looking is on the back nine, but still.
From: `,_,`,_,,_,, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
steffie
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posted 14 September 2005 05:52 PM      Profile for steffie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I guess what I got out of the article is the part about following your passion. My efforts are to combine the *freedom* of doing what I love with an appropriate pay for it.

Many of my friends think I should go out and get a job at the hospital washing floors or serving meals just because the pay is very good. I try not to offend them when I ask, "But why would I want to do a job I don't like?" They think I am pretentious or something for sticking to my guns.

P.S. I delivered the resume today in person; got that little rush while I was doing it. Follow the rushes, I say!


From: What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow / Out of this stony rubbish? | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
scooter
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posted 14 September 2005 06:19 PM      Profile for scooter     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Andy Social:
Good on the writer if she can survive on the revenue from freelance projects and odd jobs...

The Canadian Media Guild will soon take care of her. No more work from the CBC unless she gets a fulltime job.

From: High River | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
thwap
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posted 14 September 2005 07:00 PM      Profile for thwap        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Okay then. You didn't mean discussions on babble.

I'm glad that's cleared up.

So it's just that people who have to work for someone else due to the nature of their work, or whatever, shouldn't complain about their workplaces, they should work for themselves, except that they can't.

Glad I had this discussion.


From: Hamilton | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 14 September 2005 07:06 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Okay then. You didn't mean discussions on babble.

Oh it can be on babble. Or elsewhere. Pretty much anywhere people talk about "The Revolution" like it's going to happen.

To be clear: if that doesn't sound like you then I don't mean you.

quote:
So it's just that people who have to work for someone else due to the nature of their work, or whatever, shouldn't complain about their workplaces, they should work for themselves, except that they can't.

Close. More like "people who don't want to work for someone else shouldn't choose jobs that necessitate working for someone else".

Where's the "have to" part? It's not like the state assigns you a job. You got to decide what you wanted to do, no? Remember back in school? The guidance counsellors? Asking you what you wanted to prepare yourself to do for a living?


From: `,_,`,_,,_,, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Amricain galitaire
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posted 14 September 2005 09:42 PM      Profile for Amricain galitaire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well you can prepare for and think you'll love a career all you want and as I found out times and businesses change. The newspaper field ain't what it used to be and I don't know if I'll ever work in it again.

Let's be clear here though, Magoo, I don't think I was whining - I don't whine. I might bitch but my attitude is always there's a short threshhold to that and then its time to go and find something else . I think many people switch jobs quite often until they find the right fit - nothing wrong with that.

I've just noticed certain threads that run through the employment arena in the 25 + years and dozen and a half jobs I've had in my life and the biggest one is simply treating people decently. Some companies view their employees as trusted partners, others don't. Another thing I've noticed is, at least here, we really don't train people to be supervisors - not of the job but of people. Companies train people to occupy supervisory positions but not on how to treat the people under them. And that to me, is the biggest flaw in the system. Too many people are hired who do not know how to handle authority and too many of them are too insecure not to abuse their authority.

This is by no means the case everywhere but it seems to predominate in lower strata and service jobs. Read either of Barbara Ehrenreich's books (she's got a new one out - "Bait and Switch") and that's exactly what I'm talking about.

I agree that many people would like to be their own boss. Now I'm just going to speak of the US here - its a daunting task and quite a risk. Remember that old little bugaboo we deal with - health insurance? That's the big one. The other one is the tax hits you take for being self-employed - I know, I was self-employed from 1997-2002 and if I hadn't been married, well, it would have been brutal.

Did I enjoy it? Absolutely! Making one's own hours and work schedules is great. But for most people who want to strike out on their own, the tax laws and regulations and lack of affordable health insurance make it very difficult.

But its great that people still try and I love to hear of success stories of decent people who took the risk.

I agree the writer was glibly smug. But I don't think most people have any problem working for someone else. Its just there's an awful lot of ill treatment and dehumanising in many jobs that the bottom line can't justify. All people want is to be treated with decency and respect.

If I don't, I leave. But I know many people can't do that especially in certain industries where jobs are very tight.


From: Chardon, Ohio USA | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
steffie
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posted 30 September 2005 07:14 PM      Profile for steffie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I didn't get the job. I didn't even get short-listed. Damn it!! How am I supposed to feel "free" from work when I am shackled to an unfulfilling occupation? The only jobs I am free from are the ones I really want to have.

I'm so f*cking angry and hurt right now that I wish I could slap that author right upside the head right now and shout, "Wake Up!"


From: What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow / Out of this stony rubbish? | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 30 September 2005 07:41 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm sorry steffie. Most of us have probably been there. During my last stretch of unemployment (which seemed like forever, but was in reality about four or five months), I went through that two or three times for jobs I was DYING to get because they seemed ideal.

What's even more of a let-down is when you DO make the short list, or it's down to you and another person, and then they choose the other candidate. (In fact, it happened for the job I have now - I was apparently just barely their second choice, but the first choice ended up unable to take the job at the last moment, so I got a call a little less than a week after I was told it wasn't me, and I took it.)

But now is a great time to re-read the last two lines of your earlier post:

quote:
Later, even after the practical mind has moved on to other pursuits, there is still a glimmer of sad hope that meekly bleats, "Why don't they (he) want me?"

But it is the hope that drives me on to try for every position that become aware of, daring "them" to yet again reject me.


That's a hard attitude to maintain while looking for the perfect job, but a great one to strive for, nonetheless.

Good luck on the next one.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
blake 3:17
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posted 30 September 2005 07:49 PM      Profile for blake 3:17     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
It seems that there are a lot of self-employed babblers here. So I'm not sure its accurate to state that all we do is whine about our bosses while never taking that brave step into self-employment.

This reminds me of what a dear friend said once. "Most people have their own businesses, don't they?"

Nopesies.


From: Toronto | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged
steffie
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posted 30 September 2005 08:06 PM      Profile for steffie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Thanks, Michelle. I will try to keep the faith (in myself.)

I think self-employment is the answer.


From: What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow / Out of this stony rubbish? | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 30 September 2005 08:48 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Maybe this will cheer you up. One summer when I was a student I applied for a great job doing some web development, and the pay was $15/hour awesome for a student for the whole summer. I really thought I'd get it.

They phoned me to tell me I didn't get it, and woke me up to do so, on my birthday.


From: `,_,`,_,,_,, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
steffie
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posted 30 September 2005 09:04 PM      Profile for steffie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Magoo: Bummer. Do you think that enough rejections can callous one's perseverence?
From: What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow / Out of this stony rubbish? | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
steffie
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posted 30 September 2005 09:05 PM      Profile for steffie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
okay wtf. The page did not refresh when I posted, therefore I kept posting to see if I could un-stick it. See how lame I am?

[ 30 September 2005: Message edited by: steffie ]


From: What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow / Out of this stony rubbish? | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
steffie
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posted 30 September 2005 09:05 PM      Profile for steffie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
oops

[ 30 September 2005: Message edited by: steffie ]


From: What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow / Out of this stony rubbish? | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
steffie
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posted 30 September 2005 09:06 PM      Profile for steffie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
oops

[ 30 September 2005: Message edited by: steffie ]


From: What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow / Out of this stony rubbish? | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 30 September 2005 09:24 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Magoo: Bummer. Do you think that enough rejections can callous one's perseverence?

Well, they called me two weeks later, with a $10 an hour job, that quickly turned into a $15 an hour job, which I kept during the school year, that turned me onto another job, which led to my teaching gig, and then I came back to the same job after I graduated, which led seamlessly to the job I have now.

In hindsight, maybe that should have been the part that cheers you up.


From: `,_,`,_,,_,, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
steffie
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posted 30 September 2005 09:36 PM      Profile for steffie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Thanks. But what's cheering is not the fact that others have succeeded, but that others have similarly suffered. Dunno why this gives me comfort. We are all in this together?
From: What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow / Out of this stony rubbish? | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 30 September 2005 09:37 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by lucas:
Ummmm, in most cases, without these "useless stockholders", the capital necessary to build that new location or that second assembly line would never be attained.

That must be why stock market transactions aren't even calculated into GDP - which includes as a component, fixed capital investment of exactly the type you describe.

It's just that, surprise surprise, a great deal of this kind of spending is done out of retained earningts (so that the corporation is in effect the saver and investor), or from long-term debt such as loans or bond issues.


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
lucas
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posted 03 October 2005 10:13 AM      Profile for lucas     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
True. Yet the value of the entity after the re-investment of the capital from retained earnings is reflected in the net asset value, which impacts the trading price of the equity should the market determine the investments made to be sound. Typically, dependening on the sector in question, large scale developments may depend on secondary offerings which rely on people investing in new equity. As for the LT debt or bond issuances, while most credit facilities are with a bank(s), many bond holders (or even debentures) are held by individuals. Again, without whom additional development of the existing entity would simply not be possible. Frankly, I think that the retail market is large part of many corporation's growth model these days.
From: Turner Valley | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 03 October 2005 10:28 AM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The author's following statement is critical: It's time for us to make a crucial distinction between "jobs" and "work". Work--particularly the kind that is motivated by interest, social welfare, connection, curiosity, learning, beauty--can be satisfying, fulfilling, fun, and honorable.

If this were the standard adopted by everyone, who would perform the excruciatingly mundane tasks that must be done in order for there to be an orderly society?


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
kuri
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posted 03 October 2005 10:30 AM      Profile for kuri   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Why do people volunteer in soup kitchens, Sven? That's mundane isn't it? People still do it.

[ 03 October 2005: Message edited by: kurichina ]


From: an employer more progressive than rabble.ca | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 03 October 2005 10:40 AM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I have a niece who just graduated from college with an art degree. She is now working at an assembly plant where she does one of those "excruciatingly mundane" tasks. Does she need to do that forever? No. But, someone will have to. She said that the experience has been "humbling".

In youth, there is an idealized view of "work": It must be fulfilling, intellectually stimulating and deeply meaningful. The young performance artist, the writer, the activist, etc.

The reality is, there are a lot of things that have to be done, like cleaning toilets, changing oil on vehicles (or, if vehicles are banned, cleaning up horse shit), picking up and handling garbage and a zillion other tasks necessary for society to function.

Yes, in a utopian world, no one would have "jobs" and everyone would have "work". Unless we can harness technology (robots?) to handle all of the mind-numbing tasks that have to be done, there will always be "jobs". Even then, there will be a significant percentage of people who won't be able, intellectually, to do "work". They will end up being marginalized and truly unemployed (both in a "job" and a "work" sense) in that kind of world.

[ 07 October 2005: Message edited by: Sven ]


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 03 October 2005 02:59 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
I have a niece who just graduated from college with an art degree. She is now working at an assembly plant we does one of those "excruciatingly mundane" tasks. Do she need to do that forever? No.

Ya, as soon as that 'Art degree' kicks in she'll be farting through silk, eh?


From: `,_,`,_,,_,, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
steffie
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posted 03 October 2005 07:09 PM      Profile for steffie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Farting through silk! LMAO!

An update: Reeling from my failure as a "writer", I have now secured a contract working with aboriginal youth in a remote community, about an hour from where I live.

This "job" (rather, pleasurable work) will use all my many talents in the realm of English: reading, writing, and literary comprehension, as I help K-8 students with the same.

***It's also paying me as much for ONE DAY as I am making in ONE WEEK where I am now working!***

My lesson? That as one door slams shut in my face, another inevitably opens. Cheers, everyone.


From: What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow / Out of this stony rubbish? | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
kuri
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posted 03 October 2005 07:13 PM      Profile for kuri   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Congratulations, Steffie!
From: an employer more progressive than rabble.ca | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
Yukoner
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posted 03 October 2005 07:20 PM      Profile for Yukoner   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Good to heat the awesome news Steffie!
From: Um, The Yukon. | Registered: May 2004  |  IP: Logged
steffie
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posted 03 October 2005 08:34 PM      Profile for steffie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Thanks. I'm on cloud nine.
From: What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow / Out of this stony rubbish? | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 03 October 2005 09:52 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
According to the ILO, the global economy needs to create only another 1600 million jobs before we reach full employment. It's a good thing that capitalism will never be able to deliver on that cold war promise.
From: Viva La Revolucin | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
jas
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posted 03 October 2005 11:03 PM      Profile for jas     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Sven:
I have a niece who just graduated from college with an art degree. She is now working at an assembly plant we does one of those "excruciatingly mundane" tasks. Do she need to do that forever? No. But, someone will have to.


Why are you assuming someone will "have to"? That's a 'pragmatist's' view, but not necessarily the reality. You are assuming an industrial, mass production ethic. I think the idea behind not doing work you hate (or even more, finding work you love) is suggesting that, if enough people did this, over time society would change. Consumer demand would change, which would change industry. Unpleasant jobs would be higher paid because fewer people are willing to do them. They might even be job-shared. There would be the potential for the economy to change. Yes, people might still drive cars for example, but the demand for cars would be different. People would be re-evaluating their need for new and 'better' consumer products. Maybe smaller manufacturers would spring up, meeting a new and different kind of consumer need. Smaller economies would spring up, with different ways of exchanging value. Etc.

[ 04 October 2005: Message edited by: jas ]


From: the world we want | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged
Amricain galitaire
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posted 03 October 2005 11:59 PM      Profile for Amricain galitaire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by steffie:
My lesson? That as one door slams shut in my face, another inevitably opens. Cheers, everyone.

Yeah Steffie!!!! You're making the world a better place in your new job and no amount of money can bring that satisfaction.

I hope it becomes very fulfilling for you. You deserve it.

Hey, we opened the bookstore last Friday after an 8 week install. Steffie it really is true that you gotta roll with what life brings ya. I never thought I would enjoy working in retail, but I absolutely love this job. A bookstore, especially ours, is a great free speech zone. And my socialism/communism section I'm in charge of already needs restocking!

Seriously, good on you Steffie. Keep us posted.


From: Chardon, Ohio USA | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Timebandit
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posted 06 October 2005 01:08 PM      Profile for Timebandit     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
In youth, there is an idealized view of "work": It must be fulfilling, intellectually stimulating and deeply meaningful. The young performance artist, the writer, the activist, etc.

The filmmaker?

I can't make pretensions to youth anymore, but why not shoot for work that fulfills you?

I know a welder who loves being a welder. Hard, dirty work, but he really likes it. To him, it is stimulating, fulfilling and meaningful.

The reason your comment piqued me is that there is an implication that such professions are somehow easier than some of the other jobs you mentioned. I have cleaned toilets for a living, for example, and it would have been easier to continue to do that than it would be to make films. I work longer hours, I work harder (mentally, and sometimes physically -- try a few weeks of 14 hour shooting days and let me know where the exhaustion level's at) and I have far less security. I do, in fact, work harder at doing my own thing than I would have had to had I stayed in any of the jobs I held before I went "job free" (which strikes me as a very silly phrase).

I really dislike the implication that we artists are all grasshoppers singing in the sun while others toil around us doing what is necessary. Our work is as much real, and many of us have taken our turn at other jobs. I'm trying to find an appropriate word for what bothers me most, and the word that floats to the top of my mind is "snobbery". There is a genuine snobbery to the notion that arts work is not "real" work.


From: Urban prairie. | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
guilty-pleasure
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posted 06 October 2005 02:10 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I would think that for most artists, their art is very definitely work. At the same time, I have to agree that in the rosiness of youth, it seems imperative that one's future job be "a 10" in every respect.

As kids we wanted to be cowboys, astronauts, or Crime-Solving Princess Ballerina.

As teens, it's rock stars, sports heros or famous Hollywood actors.

As young adults, I think there's still a tendency to expect a "dream" job. And I see nothing wrong with hoping, wishing, praying, or trying your ass off to get that job.

But if you don't get to be a New Yorker columnist, or if National Geographic doesn't need another globe-trotting photographer, or if the local art gallery doesn't return your phone calls, what are you going to do instead?

Everyone has to do something when they grow up.


From: `,_,`,_,,_,, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Rufus Polson
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posted 06 October 2005 03:28 PM      Profile for Rufus Polson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Sven:

The reality is, there are a lot of things that have to be done, like cleaning toilets, changing oil on vehicles (or, if vehicles are banned, cleaning up horse shit), picking up and handling garbage and a zillion other tasks necessary for society to function.

Indeed. And I might add that this would be just as true in jas' deindustrialized society. There's always boring work, and it has to be done. The best answer I've seen to this from an egalitarian point of view is the Parecon people's balanced job complexes.


From: Caithnard College | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
maestro
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posted 06 October 2005 04:15 PM      Profile for maestro     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Worthwhile to remember that a lot of production in a capitalist economy is waste, and must be paid for by those who strive at menial labour.

The whole insurance industry, most of the legal industry, all of the stock market industry are unnecessary drags on the commonwealth. They produce nothing, yet are a necessary part of capitalism.

Eliminate those, and everyone has to work a lot less.

I'll also point out that it is the artisitic community which provides the ideas on which are culture and science are based.

No surprise that the first people to feel the wrath of the despot are the artists. That's because they are constantly probing, finding and pointing out the flaws and hypocrisies underlying the systems of a society.

Now, artists will do what they do regardless of consequences, even unto death, so the capitalist impulse to turn art into profit will ultimately fail.

But let us not make the mistake of thinking that the lawyer is an essential, and the artist a luxury. The exact opposite is true.


From: Vancouver | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
lucas
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posted 06 October 2005 05:13 PM      Profile for lucas     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The whole insurance industry, most of the legal industry, all of the stock market industry are unnecessary drags on the commonwealth. They produce nothing, yet are a necessary part of capitalism

I find comfort knowing that if my house burns down, that the insurance I purchased will build me a new one or that the 19 year old guy who totaled my car last year, through his insurance, was able to replace it with a similar car. The stock market allows for capitalists to raise the capital necessary to expand or start a business. These businesses are the ones who build the buildings, transport the food, lift then refine the oil/gas used to heat your home, manufacture then sell the paint that artists need to provide the ideas on which are culture and science are based.

I am at a loss as to how eliminating the industries of which you spoke will mean we will have to work a lot less.

No surprise that the first people to feel the wrath of the despot are the artists. That's because they are constantly probing, finding and pointing out the flaws and hypocrisies underlying the systems of a society

Everyone I know must be an artist then. My artist friends in the meantime support themselves by the careers in the legal, insurance and capital market industries.

[ 06 October 2005: Message edited by: lucas ]


From: Turner Valley | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
maestro
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posted 07 October 2005 12:17 AM      Profile for maestro     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
From lucas:

quote:
I am at a loss as to how eliminating the industries of which you spoke will mean we will have to work a lot less.

Responding to my post:

quote:
The whole insurance industry, most of the legal industry, all of the stock market industry are unnecessary drags on the commonwealth. They produce nothing, yet are a necessary part of capitalism

lucas, if you had read a little closer, you would see that I said those industries were a necessary part of capitalism, and they are.

However, capitalism itself is not necessary. Those industries are only necessary in a capitalist system. There are plenty of other ways of arranging an economy which don't require insurance, lawyers (corporate), or a stock market.

However, to give you an idea of the costs of those parts of the capitalist system are, we have good example in private medical insurance as practised in that great market economy, the US.

According to a Harvard Medical School study published in the New England Journal of Medicine:

quote:
August 20, 2003 - A Special Article published in tomorrow's New England Journal of Medicine finds that health care bureaucracy cost Americans $294.3 billion in 1999.

The $1,059 per capita spent on health care administration was more than three times the $307 per capita in paperwork costs under Canada's national health insurance system.

Cutting U.S. health bureaucracy costs to the Canadian level would have saved $209 billion in 1999.

...The authors found that bureaucracy accounted for at least 31% of total U.S. health spending in 1999 vs. 16.7% in Canada. They also found that administration has grown far faster in the U.S. than in Canada.

Between 1969 and 1999, administrative and clerical personnel in the U.S. grew from 18.2% to 27.3% of the health work force. In contrast, the administrative/clerical share of Canada's health labor force rose modestly, from 16.0% in 1971 to 19.1% in 1996.


Not the least of those costs is the insurance that medical practitioners have to buy to stay in business. Because Canada operates a co-operative system, insurance for doctors is lower here.

In any case, this gives you an idea of the bureaucratic overhead of a market driven system.

US $209 billion worth of production that could have been spent elsewhere, in a single year.

I suppose you could argue that Canada does have 'insurance', but in that it is not a profit driven system, it is insurance in name only. It is readily available for all, regardless of ability to pay.

You spoke of house insurance - but why do you have house insurance? Because if it's destroyed, you're the one who has to pick up the pieces.

If we dealt with housing the same way we deal with medicare, we could cut out completely the home insurance business, and put that work to some more productive purpose.

And don't forget, you may have to call a lawyer and sue your insurance company if they drag their feet in paying, a situation that happens every day.

All of the above also applies to automobile insurance.

Another large overhead cost of a market economy is the number of lawyers required to keep businessmen from stealing from each other (and from us).

This is only necessary because we operate an economic system that relies on exploitation. A good part of the legal talent available is spent trying to keep the exploitation within pre-arranged bounds.

So try to think 'outside the box' as they say. If you cannot bring yourself to accept that there are any other possibilities, then yes, all those things you say are correct.

Just remember they're only correct within a capitalist economic system.

[ 07 October 2005: Message edited by: maestro ]


From: Vancouver | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Mandos
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posted 07 October 2005 12:37 AM      Profile for Mandos   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
But the devil's-advocate objection is that if we dealt with housing the way we deal with medicare, we'd all have the same home regardless of what we really wanted.
From: There, there. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Mandos
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posted 07 October 2005 12:38 AM      Profile for Mandos   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Oh, and, Canadian medicare is an insurance scheme, effectively.
From: There, there. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
maestro
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posted 07 October 2005 05:59 PM      Profile for maestro     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
But the devil's-advocate objection is that if we dealt with housing the way we deal with medicare, we'd all have the same home regardless of what we really wanted.

Well then, the devil's advocate would be wrong. If you have cancer, you get treatment for cancer. If you have heart disease you get treatment for heart disease.

In fact private insurance can be much more restrictive. Not letting you choose your own family doctor for instance. Mandating the treatment for particular conditions regardless of what the prescribing doctor suggests. Mandating how the doctor deals with a diagnosis, etc.

Your statement is ridiculous on the face of it. What we do get 'the same' is quality medical care.

quote:
Oh, and, Canadian medicare is an insurance scheme, effectively.

As I said, one could argue that Medicare is an insurance scheme.

However, private insurance is based on acutarial tables and calculations of risk, with premiums set accordingly. Some are precluded from insurance by their position within a high risk group.

None of these apply to Medicare. Premiums are heavily subsidized, and are not based on actuarial tables or risk. No one is precluded from coverage by their personal risk factors.

No one has to sue Medicare to get payment for the medical services they have received.

Medicare is insurance in that Canadians are safeguarded from risk, a strictly semantic argument.

[ 07 October 2005: Message edited by: maestro ]


From: Vancouver | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
jas
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posted 07 October 2005 09:54 PM      Profile for jas     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Originally posted by Sven:
quote:
The reality is, there are a lot of things that have to be done, like cleaning toilets, changing oil on vehicles (or, if vehicles are banned, cleaning up horse shit), picking up and handling garbage and a zillion other tasks necessary for society to function.


Originally posted by Rufus Polson:
quote:
Indeed. And I might add that this would be just as true in jas' deindustrialized society. There's always boring work, and it has to be done. The best answer I've seen to this from an egalitarian point of view is the Parecon people's balanced job complexes.

Yes, there are different models for dividing labour. Given that we all have to clean our own shit-encrusted toilets and make our own coffee and take out our own garbage at home (although I guess some people expect their partners to do it), presumably we could also do this at work - if everyone at work is physically able to. It seems like a sane response to what is often a gendered and racialized division of labour. The rationalization of production creates a rationalized work force. In a craft or small-industry based society you don't need that rigid division of labour.


From: the world we want | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 16 October 2005 09:56 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Zoot:
The reason your comment piqued me is that there is an implication that such professions are somehow easier than some of the other jobs you mentioned. I have cleaned toilets for a living, for example, and it would have been easier to continue to do that than it would be to make films. I work longer hours, I work harder (mentally, and sometimes physically -- try a few weeks of 14 hour shooting days and let me know where the exhaustion level's at) and I have far less security. I do, in fact, work harder at doing my own thing than I would have had to had I stayed in any of the jobs I held before I went "job free" (which strikes me as a very silly phrase).

I really dislike the implication that we artists are all grasshoppers singing in the sun while others toil around us doing what is necessary. Our work is as much real, and many of us have taken our turn at other jobs. I'm trying to find an appropriate word for what bothers me most, and the word that floats to the top of my mind is "snobbery". There is a genuine snobbery to the notion that arts work is not "real" work.


Zootster, I said that many people believe that work must be "fulfilling, intellectually stimulating and deeply meaningful" or one is wasting one's time. I gave examples of work that is often viewed as meaningful; the "young performance artist, the writer, the activist, etc."

What I didn't say what that artists' work was effortless.

Let's take a film maker and a manual laborer working in an iron factory. Both may "work hard" but if the film maker produces films that are intellectually stimulating to others, more would likely say that the film maker's work is more "fulfilling, intellectually stimulating and deeply meaningful" than the iron worker's work (filling molds to make pig irons, for example).

The point of my posting was that many young people believe that in order to be happy, they have to have work that will "save the world" or create somthing lasting to be remembered by. The fact is, most work is not of that sort.


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged

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