I was writing a book about breaking workers' spirits. "Broken Spirit," found on cooldadiomedia.com and plunked on its own page. It all got tripped up about six months ago when I went 75-percent blind. Then, the Go Daddy Internet people who I do a lot of work with, changed their portals and I have had to move 7000 essays, pictures, and postings to Google BlogSpot and WordPress.
Be all that as it may, the new American work culture is so bleak, it's collective bad behavior just jumps right out of its own pants like projectile diarrhea. You'd think current employers would want to hide, camouflage, and obfuscate their latest shenanigans. Nope, it's low hanging fruit in this era of trying to survive as a worker.
My current employer of nine years has not pinched out a pay raise of even a nickle since 2007. Some of my co-workers were in Fifth Grade then. Turn-over is rampant. No pay increases, no breaks, no lunch, no benefits. The work crew changes over every five weeks. I usually look up from the production line and count a dozen people who have only been on the job for a couple weeks. Then, there is me.
Hours and hours of re-training new workers that will not stay longer than a month. It costs the product, it costs the customer, it runs off older surviving workers like me, and it is....., insane. All along the way, my employer crosses the fingers and hopes they will never have to give me a penny of pay increase for the trouble.
What's wrong with me? Why don't I quit too? Two-mile commute; my blindness has not caused my employer to even flinch; no one has been interested in hiring a guy with 50 years of work experience and three college degrees for awhile. At least in Janesville, Wisconsin, anyway. I might as well be an ape on a tire swing as far as Janesville is concerned. Janesville..., a tired city fraught with service jobs, nepotism, and a destroyed industrial base.
Where's this essay going Dadio? The good readers ask.
It's the little things that finish a guy off. It's what the Nazis, Communists, and Fascists did and still do. They took and take away the simple lives of the Jews, free spirited peoples', entertainers, arts culture, and countless other groups and their simple pleasures one by one. Eventually, they even took and take away the aforementioned beleaguered people's lives.
What a leap of connection it is then, when I mention that Human Resources came to me today, actually sat me down in a formal "sit-down," and took away my small work locker.
"Dadio!," you fair readers gasp. "Comparing a surrendered locker to the Holocaust?" Hear me out fine readers. It's the lowest end of tyranny. What's left..., they going to come and kill my kitten next?
After nine years of me having the same small place of respite to park a needed tool or two in (my own tools by the way), keep a soda bottle, and hang up my keys, room must be made to appease all the nieces, nephews, friends, and relatives as they come to work through the revolving employment door. They will work for a couple weeks, embarrass the management class they are related to, then move on, vanish, and/or miss work and get fired. Maybe, even get in a fight or two.
Really..., my locker? Just when I think they could not possibly have anymore tricks to break a blue-collar spirit, I never in a million years thought of confiscating a simple small work locker.
OK, after all these years, my good employer seems to want me gone anyway; so..., what the fuck! Their whole shtick falls apart if workers stay longer than a year and a half. These employers are just a microcosm of a greater pandemic of un-empathetic work places in the abysmal Janesville and Wisconsin and American, work culture.
Game on then good employer. The last straw has been laid on my back. "Cry Havoc and let Slip the Literary Dogs of War."
Just one caveat to those who have fired a lame work culture shot over my bow.
Never piss off an old man that buys ink by the barrel.
Note: This blog "Blue-collar new norm America: Dadio's handy manual to break workers' spirit" - book version Category is a work in progress. These original vignettes are being edited for book form. Go to the Cooldadiomedia Web site and the Broken Spirit Page for an ordered chronology of the book vignettes (chapters).