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Author Topic: future social problem
charlieM
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posted 22 March 2005 12:45 PM      Profile for charlieM     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
My mom’s psychologist friend mentioned this to me.
For the past two decades there has been rapid expansion in the service industry (obviously). The majority of the employees in this industry are teens that just want a part-time job to earn some extra cash. The conditions aren’t “horrible”, but nothing above satisfactory. What is important and can result from this is the enormous turnover rate in this industry. Because of this turnover rate employees are being treated as if they are expandable (most likely because they are, for the most part). Since employees feel as if and are expendable they have no loyalty for the businesses they work at.
This becomes a problem when we are reminded, "the youth are our future". How or how will this lack of employment loyalty affect the world of labour in the future, when we have all the kids grown up and working as tradesman, teachers, accountants, etc. There has yet to be any psychological work done on this issue.

[ 22 March 2005: Message edited by: charlieM ]


From: hamilton | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Amy
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posted 22 March 2005 12:48 PM      Profile for Amy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
This is really interesting to me because, well, I've had a couple rather low loyalty jobs and I can't help but thinking it's going to impact my future, career-wise.

I've got to write a paper right now, but I will be back at some point in the next day or so to talk about this.


From: the whole town erupts and/ bursts into flame | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
charlieM
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posted 22 March 2005 12:57 PM      Profile for charlieM     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Amy:
This is really interesting to me because, well, I've had a couple rather low loyalty jobs and I can't help but thinking it's going to impact my future, career-wise.

I've got to write a paper right now, but I will be back at some point in the next day or so to talk about this.


great I'll be looking forward to it. I have had some low-loyalty jobs as well. I worked in a very popular dairy parlor "the stoney creek dairy" you may have heard of it. I was actually fairly loyal there, until they got a new manager who made EVERYONE feel expendable. Right now I work at mcdonalds...enough said..


From: hamilton | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
robbie_dee
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posted 22 March 2005 01:58 PM      Profile for robbie_dee     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The job market for many adult workers treats those workers as "expendable" now, too. So I guess you could say the lack of loyalty shown to young workers is just teaching them what to expect from their work as they get older. I do also expect this has a negative psychological effect.

[ 22 March 2005: Message edited by: robbie_dee ]


From: Iron City | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
The Other Todd
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posted 22 March 2005 06:16 PM      Profile for The Other Todd     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by charlieM:
My mom’s psychologist friend mentioned this to me.
For the past two decades there has been rapid expansion in the service industry (obviously). The majority of the employees in this industry are teens that just want a part-time job to earn some extra cash. The conditions aren’t “horrible”, but nothing above satisfactory. What is important and can result from this is the enormous turnover rate in this industry. Because of this turnover rate employees are being treated as if they are expandable (most likely because they are, for the most part). Since employees feel as if and are expendable they have no loyalty for the businesses they work at.
This becomes a problem when we are reminded, "the youth are our future". How or how will this lack of employment loyalty affect the world of labour in the future, when we have all the kids grown up and working as tradesman, teachers, accountants, etc. There has yet to be any psychological work done on this issue.

[ 22 March 2005: Message edited by: charlieM ]


So long as there ready hands to do cheap labour, the employer won't care.

So long as people don't bother getting educated and organized or even paying attention to stuff like this, labour power will keep getting cheaper (and weaker); workers will feel it's easier to just move to another job (hoping it'll be better paying) rather than getting all nasty and militant.


From: Ottawa | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
blacklisted
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posted 23 March 2005 12:05 AM      Profile for blacklisted     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I meet people everyday who are embarking on careers in the trades, most having had fairly ugly experiences in the low-wage service economy. many have been exploited in the non-union trade sector as well.
most have a very cynical view of the impact employment will have on their lives. there is little talk of loyalty or commitment to an employer.
that may ,in the long run ,be a good thing.people need a social connection , and in an increasingly shallow and predatory capitalist context , work may become less important in defining personal worth.
with less performance anxiety related to work performance, possibly the level of alienation and isolation will motivate an appetite for social justice related involvement.
or maybe i should have another hit and quit worrying about it.

From: nelson,bc | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged
Coyote
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posted 23 March 2005 12:17 AM      Profile for Coyote   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
in an increasingly shallow and predatory capitalist context , work may become less important in defining personal worth.
I have enough of a working-class sensibility to hope that this does not become the case. I feel that labour, work, and the pride one takes therein is a crucial component of life and one that can be very positive.

From: O’ for a good life, we just might have to weaken. | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Doug
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posted 23 March 2005 03:00 AM      Profile for Doug   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by robbie_dee:
The job market for many adult workers treats those workers as "expendable" now, too. So I guess you could say the lack of loyalty shown to young workers is just teaching them what to expect from their work as they get older. I do also expect this has a negative psychological effect.

[ 22 March 2005: Message edited by: robbie_dee ]


The career planning training they had at my work a couple of years ago pretty much pounded in that point with a hammer. Using nice language about you being your own brand name and such, but still rather depressing.


From: Toronto, Canada | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Rufus Polson
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posted 23 March 2005 03:52 AM      Profile for Rufus Polson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I remember on The Simpsons, Homer told one of his kids something along the lines that if you're treated really lousy at work, you don't organize or go on strike or anything. You just go in and do a really crappy job--it's the American way.

I suspect in the absence of organized resistance, doing a really crappy job and ripping off company property will be the main ways tacit resistance will happen. And maybe a certain amount of vandalism and sabotage.


From: Caithnard College | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
catje
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posted 23 March 2005 04:05 AM      Profile for catje     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
That passive agression sounds more or less like what people I know in low-wage jobs are doing. For myself, I've escaped that particular ghetto, at least for now, and find I've adjusted pretty easily to 'decent' jobs. It helps that they're in a different industry altogether, so I expected everything to be different, including my own attitude. Then again, I ascribe very strongly to the Buddhist idea of Right Livelihood.

However, those 'decent' jobs are changing as well. More and more permanent positions are being replaced by contract work. That is what I think is really changing in the working world.

With regards to the service industry itself, I heard a story on cbc-1 awhile back about how the hotel industry is having a huge problem recruiting management positions. Because they treat their entry-level workers like crap, no one stays long enough to claw their way up the corporate ladder. Will this actually change the attitudes of the hotel industry to the people who keep it going? Probably not. They'll just parachute inexperienced kids with Tourism/hospitality degrees straight into management.


From: lotusland | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 23 March 2005 09:15 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
catje wrote:

quote:
More and more permanent positions are being replaced by contract work. That is what I think is really changing in the working world.

I think that's the extension of the opening post that we need to look at.

That teenagers start out with low-loyalty jobs in the service sector isn't all that new: I did that forty-five years ago (trained as a cashier for Dominion in 1960, when I started grade ten).

It's the expansion of the sector itself (implying that a lot of people will have no other jobs to look forward to) that is a concern, coupled with catje's observation, that many other kinds of work that didn't used to look like service jobs are now being treated that way. The work itself inevitably suffers; contract workers inevitably lose out in lots of ways; and feelings of workplace cohesion or craftworker pride and commitment are severely eroded.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Timebandit
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posted 23 March 2005 11:16 AM      Profile for Timebandit     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Coyote:
I have enough of a working-class sensibility to hope that this does not become the case. I feel that labour, work, and the pride one takes therein is a crucial component of life and one that can be very positive.

I think I have that sensibility, too, Coyote, but I haven't had a particularly strong streak of loyalty to the employer, per se. More to the job itself. Does that make any sense? When I do something, I like to do it well, but it doesn't necessarily mean that, if I'm not treated well, that I will stay and continue to do the job. Or a job I don't especially like, I will do well in, but will leave for something else if an opportunity arises.

I really do best working for myself. Maybe that's the effect of growing up in a household where my father and grandfather were both self-employed. I'm a third generation entrepreneur.


From: Urban prairie. | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
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posted 23 March 2005 01:44 PM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Zoot, I thought you were a filmmaker, not an entrepreneur.

Like many people in cultural work, I'm largely "self-employed", that is not eligible for UI etc - although I have been for many years in the past. Even temporary contract work has become far more contingent than it was 15 or 20 years ago - when I could almost always rack up enough weeks of work seen as "salaried" to collect UI in the summer. This alas is no longer the case. The loss of that cushion and other benefits is scarcely compensated by the ideological claim from the powers-that-be that we are "entrepreneurs" - though most of the cultural workers I know hover around the poverty line and thereabouts. No more than calling WalMart workers "associates" rather than employees compensates them for the benefits and protection unionised retail workers enjoy.


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Timebandit
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posted 23 March 2005 02:28 PM      Profile for Timebandit     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Zoot, I thought you were a filmmaker, not an entrepreneur.

I'm both -- most filmmakers are. I have a small, incorporated company which I use to produce my films and to run any contract work that I do through -- like the documentary series I host/comment on for a regional broadcaster, or a for-hire web project, consulting, writing, etc. One has to find a way to cobble together a living. Granted I would prefer to be making all my income from my own projects, but it doesn't always work that way.

In any event, I can, and often do, take on work outside my own films, but I also can refuse work that I think will be bad, which, if I was an employee at a production company, I could not do. Maybe it leaves me a little poorer sometimes, but I can maintain a standard of quality work. That makes a big difference to me.


From: Urban prairie. | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 23 March 2005 04:28 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yes, young people are learning about maximizing worker desperation for the sake of narrowly defined economic efficiency and maintaining a mediocre economy. They are learning that it's easier and cheaper to stay at home and donate their time to McCapitalists than to pursue higher education. North American's enjoy the lowest rates of unionized work force in the developed world as well as some not so flattering social statistics among our young people. We need to lower the voting age and implement proportional representation so that young people can be recognized as people by our conservative politicians, too.
From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Amy
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posted 23 March 2005 06:36 PM      Profile for Amy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
So, now that I'm done two of my three papers of the week, I can add to this thread. Starting in grade 8, we were taught how to make resumes in school. We had to compile our volunteer experience and sum up our 'marketable' skills in professional sounding words. One of the big things we were told was that without volunteer experience we would never get an after-school job, because it meant that we weren't showing initiative. What I later found out was that the volunteer work had to take place at very particular places, otherwise you were seen as a risky hire by anybody you were hoping to work for.

I volunteered because I wanted to, with PFLAG, a "world issues" film festival, an independant (and self-funded) youth centre, and a soup kitchen. It seems that, if I wanted any of my unpaid work to actually help my future employment situation rather than doing any of that, I should have been picking up garbage from the sides of the highway and the like. I've learned to have two templates for resumes: one that shows commitment to issues that I care aboutto submit for jobs that I will acutally enjoy, and another for shit-jobs like retail ones that will help pay the bills and where the boss will only care in that I will help make them money.

I tried for so long with a resume chock-full of things that showed dedication and commitment to get employment anywhere, and finally managed to get my first job with a summer work project in the interior of BC called YouthLinks. It was absolutely wonderful, but it only paid an honararium of 100 bucks a week- definitly more a 'for the experience' type thing. Once I had a bit of paid employment on my record, it was easier to find a job. It was a contract job with federal funding, but it was a job.

Next time I had to look I had two paid jobs on record now and it meant that I could take off that volunteer experience that was so detrimental (and you can imagine the number of times I heard something along the lines of "oh, we'd love to hire you, but our funding just got cut". Volunteer work oriented to social justice seems conducive to working with non-profits and the like.)

I got a job in retail, again for minimum wage, this time at a pretty big company where I was just a number. I was available for overtime every time but once when they called me in, and my sales were always in the 'top range'. I make a point of being a good worker, but any time my hours would reach 25, I'd get bumped back down to 12. It's not just me that they did this to. A young woman (lives on her own) who was hired at the same time as me (last may) still works there, and at one point, rather than increasing her hours, they hired on another part-timer (a highschool student), and kept her hours down at around 12-16. I am partly convinced that they do this because highschool students don't know labour regs. near as well as 'older' folk do.

Quite frankly I'm fed up with working for people that will hire me and end up making a profit from me. It winds up, more often than not, with them treating me like crap. I would like a job/career where I do either something that is relatively enjoyable (and I'm pretty flexible with what I enjoy) and/or where the employer values me. Maybe I'm a bit idealistic here, but I don't think it's impossible. I always try my hardest at work, until of course it gets to that point where I realize that the employer wouldn't care if it was me or just someone dressed in the same clothes as me who came in for my shift. That's happened twice. The first time, my contract was up. The second, I quit.

(wow, long.)

[ 23 March 2005: Message edited by: Amy ]


From: the whole town erupts and/ bursts into flame | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
blacklisted
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posted 23 March 2005 10:55 PM      Profile for blacklisted     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
a long time ago i realized that the job i had belonged to someone else, a capitalist. he ,in turn rented my skills by paying me an agreed upon sum for my time. i ,in turn retained possesion of my craftsmanship, training and experience.
the alienation of work occurs when the fulfilment of aspirations is materially focused and work becomes ,not a cumulatively positive growth experience, but merely exchange of time for money.i joined a union to find a socially constructive role that included my work environment in a more fulfilling and responsible context.service industry jobs seem to offer very little beyond minimal return , both socially and economically. i hope that ,in the search for a more meaningful experience more people will react proactively and relegate these jobs to the minor importance they deserve. taking control of that market through organizing a populist social resistance is one way to feel stronger and less a victim.
more on alienation
http://www.kul.lublin.pl/efk/angielski/hasla/a/alienation.html

From: nelson,bc | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged
charlieM
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posted 24 March 2005 12:18 AM      Profile for charlieM     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by skdadl:
catje wrote:


That teenagers start out with low-loyalty jobs in the service sector isn't all that new: I did that forty-five years ago (trained as a cashier for Dominion in 1960, when I started grade ten).


The amount of dominions (or any grocery store for that matter) at that time, is nothing compared to the amount of corporate service jobs there are now.


The mass amount of teens in these service jobs is the problem.


From: hamilton | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
charlieM
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posted 24 March 2005 12:23 AM      Profile for charlieM     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Fidel:
Yes, young people are learning about maximizing worker desperation for the sake of narrowly defined economic efficiency and maintaining a mediocre economy. They are learning that it's easier and cheaper to stay at home and donate their time to McCapitalists than to pursue higher education. North American's enjoy the lowest rates of unionized work force in the developed world as well as some not so flattering social statistics among our young people. We need to lower the voting age and implement proportional representation so that young people can be recognized as people by our conservative politicians, too.

They are learning that it's easier and cheaper to stay at home and donate their time to McCapitalists than to pursue higher education.

They are learning that indeed, I have witnessed that first hand. However, I am an example of a person who has learned very specifically what i DO NOT want to end up doing for my entire life by working there (mcdonalds). It has been a very important life lesson for me; without any ambition and/or education I'll end up managing a McDonalds to survive.


From: hamilton | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Amy
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posted 24 March 2005 12:59 AM      Profile for Amy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by charlieM:

The amount of dominions (or any grocery store for that matter) at that time, is nothing compared to the amount of corporate service jobs there are now.


The mass amount of teens in these service jobs is the problem.


It always amazes me when I hear people of my parents age tell me about how they left school and went right into industry, and stayed. If that was an option for me, things would look very different. There is also a huge number of parents in these service industry jobs now, too. In the town where I'm going for the summer, the industrial workforce has been cut in half over the last decade or so and the same goes for the town twenty minutes down the road. The towns aren't getting smaller, but the Walmarts and the Costco type places are setting up shop, seemingly to take advantage of the floundering workforce.


From: the whole town erupts and/ bursts into flame | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
catje
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posted 24 March 2005 01:32 AM      Profile for catje     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
One of Utah Phillips's many weird and wonderful stories is of asking a homeless man he'd ridden the rods with how long he'd been a bum.

Well, since 1947. "I said to myself back in '47: If I cannot dictate the conditions of my labour, I will henceforth cease to work. I realized long ago that the only true life I had was the life of my brain. So why should I hand that brain to someone else for 8 hours a day for their particular use and expect to get it back in an unmutilated condition? Fat chance!"


From: lotusland | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
robbie_dee
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posted 01 April 2005 09:13 AM      Profile for robbie_dee     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Eyes on the Fries: Coming of Age in the Era of the McJob (CampusProgress.org)

quote:
Katie Salas, a 24-year-old student at City College of San Francisco, has had 20 jobs in the last five years. She has worked in restaurants, shoe stores, clothing stores, bars, Macy’s and a museum. Katie has been forced to work unpaid hours off the clock, was denied vacation days and was lied to about receiving commissions that never showed up in her paycheck. While working at the Cheesecake Factory, the pace was so frenzied that breaks were rare. She and fellow employees would fight over who got to clean the bathrooms just so they could sit in the stall and rest. Though City College is a two-year school, she is in her fifth year because she can only afford to take two classes per semester.

Welcome to the new service economy, where hundreds of thousands of young people are spending hours making decaf lattes, folding jeans, grilling burgers or unpacking boxes of books and records for minimum wage.



From: Iron City | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged

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