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Dead weight seems to be a given in most workplace situations. With the union the dead weight is safe and supervisory incompetence is the norm. (Claims of manager incompetence can be answered with claims of union disgruntlement)

In the union your consideration theoretically comes from your seniority, where it’s theoretically merit in the other world. In practice it’s a lot more arbitrary in both.

In the non union world the dead weight and the incompetent perceive themselves as being threatened by the ambitious and intelligent workers. In the union the dead weight think the ambitious and intelligent workers are trying to make them look bad.

In both places working too hard and doing too much makes duffers and twits worry. In both places if you work over and above it begins to be taken for granted

With no union, there’s nothing to protect the duffers from some ambitious manager when a worker shows they can do the work of 3 or 4 of them… The manager may ditch all of them and keep the hard worker and there’s your new normal.

In the union, on the other hand, the dead weight threatens the whole union when someone comes along and claims the dead weight justifies ditching the union and bringing in low paid contractors to save money.

But it’s harder to dislodge a union than it is to ditch non union workers. This sets up an interesting conflict since more and more jobs are non union. In a workplace where competence and ambition are a threat, they’ll hire only non-threatening people. Eventually a situation like that is bound to deteriorate.

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Comment Preferences

  •  sound like your job? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jabney

    I've worked there

    when I see a republican on tv, I always think of Monty Python: "Shut your festering gob you tit! Your type makes me puke!"

    by bunsk on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 11:10:50 AM PST

  •  There's really no such (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bunsk, Chi, JeffW

    thing as merit.  [okay, I'll admit that's a bit of an exaggeration, but not much].

    The notion of merit is kind of like the notion of 'free market.'  People are finally realizing that the 'free market' simply doesn't exist--and that the powerful have alot of control over the market, just like they have over employees.

    The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

    by dfarrah on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 11:27:55 AM PST

    •  No such thing? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bunsk, debedb

      I once actually had a co-worker tell me "slow down, you're making me look bad".  It was during a data entry project staffed by a temp agency, at the end of which I turned in almost five times as much work than he had.  It wasn't my problem he looked bad, it was his.  (He didn't help himself by having a lackadaisical attitude about his efforts.)  I was later offered a full-time position at a much higher rate of pay, he was not asked to return.

      My diligence and determination frequently paid off in life.  Such didn't seem to be the case with those who spent time surfing the internet at work, spending lots of time at the coffee machine or cruising the office, pretending to be busy.

      "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the universe." -- Albert Einstein

      by Neuroptimalian on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 09:09:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, I've seen what you're (0+ / 0-)

        talking about.

        However, I've also seen bosses who goofed off and allowed their favorites to goof off.

        So, obviously, you weren't working for one of those.

        And it's great that your effort paid off.  I've been in at least 2 situations where I've worked extremely hard, being very productive, working late, working holidays and weekends, and it didn't payoff, while the goof offs were rewarded.  I've even seen employees fall asleep on the job who were  protected by their co-workers.  Then again, I was once promoted to supervisor and the supervisor I replaced was demoted because she spent so much time goofing off.  You never know what you'll get.

        If you want to believe in the merit fairy, fine.  And if you want to believe that all you have to do is work hard/be productive, and your fate is secure, go ahead.  Sooner or later, you'll likely come across the situations I've described.  It is quite an eye opener.

        The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

        by dfarrah on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 11:49:47 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I grew up believing that... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus, BrianParker14

    unions were the only recourse for incompetent management.  All of my working experience has shown that belief to be true.  If we had competent and fair managers, we wouldn't need unions.  But recent shenanigans in Wisconsin and Ohio have once again proved that companies and governments don't have competent and fair managers.  

    •  unfortunately (0+ / 0-)

      competent management is not part of the deal, implied or otherwise. We have no contractual right to it that I've seen. I was suggesting the union is an excuse to retain bad managers. Bad managers keep the union tied up with petty grievences. I had the best results when I sat down with the boss's boss and brushed aside the bs. Sometimes you can convince them it's less hassle to cut you a little slack. That's not always possible, and it's much more tricky and dangerous in the non union world.

      when I see a republican on tv, I always think of Monty Python: "Shut your festering gob you tit! Your type makes me puke!"

      by bunsk on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 04:14:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I"m a union construction worker (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bunsk

    We carry the old guys because we know they in turn carried others in their day. I"m not going to make a 65 year old man push a rivet buster all day....and someday, some kid will do the same for me.

    socially conservative, economically radical, interracially married old school democrat. yes we exist.

    by WesEverest on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 05:02:37 PM PST

    •  that's different (0+ / 0-)

      there were those guys; no problem with them if they're not jerks about it. That's the union and it's blue collar. They put in their time. There were other dead weight types too, though. In the non union world the dead weight are mostly ass kissers or relatives of the boss. Especially in the white collar world.

      when I see a republican on tv, I always think of Monty Python: "Shut your festering gob you tit! Your type makes me puke!"

      by bunsk on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 06:13:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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