Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry


I watched Norma Rae. I'd never seen it before. It's good. It's an interesting perspective, especially for someone like me, who works in an industry that's very unionized. We hear these horror stories about union workers, how their bosses aren't allowed to give them annual reviews of their work, or how if you see a light out and change the lightbulb yourself you get in trouble, because that's someone else's job you just did.

I see good things about unions too though. When I was 14 or so I read The Jungle and was horrified by the idea of a society where your job could be as dangerous as the employer wanted it to be, and if you got hurt you just lost your job. No worker's comp. Those were unions that fought for stuff like that. That's justice.

There's such a huge emphasis on safety at my company and that's how it should be. Everyone takes an ergonomics class where they teach you how to spot the first signs of a repetative motion injury. My own boss got on me for stretching across two desks to use a PC and an RS machine at the same time (I thought I was just being efficient, he said I'd have no shoulder in three years of I did that. sillyness.) So unions... I'm not in one. I think there's good and evil there, we see the evil, but there's much more good.

Speaking of bosses, mine asked me what my "career goals" were. I think he just went through some training class... "Have you hugged your direct reports today?" or something. I was confused.

My career goals? Like, don't break anything, don't kill anyone, don't end up in jail? I told him I'd think about it.

It's airplanes. You can design. You can certify. You can manage. Three basic paths. They ask me, "why are you back in school, taking more classes, getting another degree?" I'm not even sure about that. It seems like a good idea. I've always been in school. It's good for me, it feels good. Really, that's how I've lived most of my life... I pretend to be all logical all the time, and with little daily decisions, I am. But you get to these big decisions where you can't be informed enough to be totally logical about it so you just go with your gut feeling.

my gut feeling is that... I need a few more years at the bottom of the food chain to think about all of it.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 6th, 2004 07:56 am (UTC)
I too enjoy school - I just like going and learning. Some people just don't understand. I can't do it as much these days as I'd like to due to my travel schedule, which is very annoying.

As for unions, when I was a teacher, I was in one. They did do a lot of good (i.e. maternity leave was adopted in the mid-80s, prior to that there was no guarantee if you went on maternity that you would have a job when you returned), they fought for fair pay and a fair work environment. Sometimes the union leaders get a bit mouthy and cocky and give the union a bad name, but generally, it was a positive thing. I was on the executive for our branch for 1-2 years - it was an interesting process.

The best part (I thought) was the salary grids. If you worked x years and had y amount of schooling you earned z. Everyone in the same boat earned z. The bad thing was that there were no bonuses if you were an awesome teacher, but you also knew that your colleague with the same amount of education hadn't negotiated a better deal than you had.

I'm not unionized now, but sometimes wish I was so.
Mar. 6th, 2004 07:59 am (UTC)
I think spacefem needs to write a mission statement. Then again, I think everyone should write a mission statement. It's too easy to lose track of what is important to you and what your primary goals are when you get stuck in the daily grind.

It seems kind of weird that your company would question you about getting more education. I would think they would want to say "We had X number (or X percent) of engineers working on this plane who had Masters degrees or PhDs." It would make them look more qualified.
Mar. 6th, 2004 08:30 am (UTC)
well yeah, the actual company is happy that I'm taking classes, as are most superiors and all that. it's mostly friends asking what my long-term-plan with the masters degree is, and from that standpoint i'm not really sure.
Mar. 6th, 2004 03:36 pm (UTC)
I think unions were initially a very necessary part of establishing a safe work environment. Now my opinion is mixed. Unions are beneficial for those who belong to them, but I think they've perhaps been too effective in that they've priced companies out of the market if they use American labor.

Mar. 6th, 2004 03:39 pm (UTC)
Since you like feminist and rights films, have you seen Iron Jawed Angels? It reminds me that activists just won't tend to go to those extremes to get their fair rights anymore.
Mar. 6th, 2004 06:52 pm (UTC)
totally want to see it! it's not on video yet though, as far as I know. not on netflix anyway.
Mar. 6th, 2004 07:06 pm (UTC)
I can upload a copy to your server, if you want. Just send me the FTP info.
Mar. 8th, 2004 08:49 pm (UTC)
I sit on the board at our local union, and we're not like that.

Norway is very strongly unionised.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

Latest Month

July 2018
Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Tiffany Chow