Saturday, October 10, 2015

Confessions of a Wage Slave, VI

The genius of modern slavery is that the workers truly believe they're free.

Things like flex time, supposedly allowing people to work the hours they "want," despite still requiring the same 40 hours a week in some cramped, dusty office.

Or sick days, days you are allowed to be sick which, when considering the healthcare in this country, is hardly enough time, whether it be a broken bone or a bad flu.

And don't forget vacation days, the equally vile twin of sick days. Your one chance to get away from the grind is measured in days, which seems fair on the surface until you realize that every other first world nation takes vacations by the month. At least. But of course, those are smaller, less powerful countries. They don't need a steady stream of meat for the economic grinder. Besides, they're probably commies anyway...

And let's not forget that greatest of illusions -- and my personal favorite -- the Job Market.

What is it with Americans and markets anyway? A market is where you argue with some crooked-eye swindler over the price of a fish that's been sitting out all day.

Actually, that's a good description of the Job Market. You see, if you get canned it's okay because you can always find another job. Same as if you can't stand where you are now, you can always find another job. Jobs and jobs everywhere, yessiree!

Of course this mercenary lifestyle allows employers to reduce job security, benefits, conditions, demand more work for less pay -- and if you're salaried and working overtime, no pay! -- but that's okay, you can always get another job. So why establish a rapport with your coworkers? Why develop any sense of community or, god forbid, form unions? After all, you won't be there long, just until you get your associates degree or you finally sell that screenplay or until you get a better paying job upstairs or across town or only until the children finish school or only until it's time to start collecting social security or only until that comforting numbness spreads up your arm and squeezes your heart silent.

This Job market is just another backlot full of day laborers who happen to be legal citizens.

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