Adrienne H. sent along two print advertisements for Hospitality Staffing Solutions, a company that is hired by hotels and restaurants to provide service-level hospitality workers: janitors, maids, cooks, servers, and others. The ads position this type of worker as inherently problematic. The first suggests that there is a pressing need to ensure that they don’t have criminal backgrounds. The second, with the byline “you shouldn’t have to sacrifice quality for price,” suggests that low-wage employees are typically of poor-quality — interchangeable, metaphorically junk, like junk food — but that a company should have the right to pay the bare minimum and still retain excellent workers.
Hospitality Staffing Solutions clearly believes that employers have a very low opinion of the workers to whom they pay the lowest wages. I imagine it must be unpleasant to be a working class person employed by someone so inclined to think the worst about you, all while paying you as little as possible and monitoring you for the slightest infractions. Many middle- and upper-class people are privileged to escape this kind of scrutiny — a scrutiny under which many of them would look quite imperfect; they are generally considered worthy of respect and their skills deserving of a living wage. These ads suggest that working class people are not given such privileges.Lisa Wade, PhD is an Associate Professor at Tulane University. She is the author of American Hookup, a book about college sexual culture; a textbook about gender; and a forthcoming introductory text: Terrible Magnificent Sociology. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram.
SamR — June 6, 2011
It's sad that the wage for these people is not a livable wage. No matter how common a skill is or lowly the position, your employees need to be able to live.
Criminologist — June 6, 2011
Wow, what struck me also was the "attitude evaluation" they do at the beginning. Where is the money for all of the emotional labor required from these workers. so you have to work your best for little to know pay and love your job on top of it! I frequently discuss this when introducing drug testing to my students. I think I would need drugs to do this work and have a good attitude too and yet these are the same employees that we would screen for that type of work.
Howard — June 6, 2011
There was a similar depiction of software developers about 9 years ago. They were depicted as action figures in plastic packages at a toy store available in mass quantities. (interesting this was the same time that outsourcing became big in IT)
Sarah — June 6, 2011
Isn't this just an example of the general dehumanizing of working people inherent in the capitalist system? They aren't approached as humans, but more as apparatus or equipment in the engine of profit-making.
Walter Underwood — June 6, 2011
On top of that, men are shown in skilled jobs (cook, sommelier, electrician, plumber) while women are all maids, with one waitress.
Casey — June 6, 2011
"employers have a very low opinion of the workers to whom they pay the lowest wages."
That's pretty much what low wages signify, really.
Jason — June 6, 2011
The criminal thing has me thinking: if no one will hire ex-convicts, what recourse do they have except for a life of more crime? Sure, I can understand not hiring someone convicted of larceny to work the registers or keeping the paroled murderer away from cutlery, but you can have them work somewhere that will minimize possible harm from someone who has a strong likelihood of recidivism while also helping out an ex-convict who is trying to improve his/her station in life.
mel — June 6, 2011
Disgusting. I sent them an email with a link to this article. Maybe they'll think twice next time they get a pitch like this from their ad agency.
Riva — June 6, 2011
""I imagine it must be unpleasant to be a working class person employed by someone so inclined to think the worst about you, all while paying you as little as possible and monitoring you for the slightest infractions.""
You don't have to imagine, you could just ask us.
After years of retail, call centers and fast food, I'm firmly of the opinion that everyone at some point in their lives, should work as a clerk or phone rep or as waitstaff or housekeeping, just so they know what it's like 'on the other side of the counter'.
It's a great double bind. If we actually attempt to give 'good customer service' we piss off the powers that be and if we try to be good little automatons and follow the (often senseless) rules and regulations, we piss off the customer, who see nothing wrong in demanding we be fired or otherwise penalized.
Our jobs and often our very persons are not our own in the service industry. The image of the vending machine isn't far off from the feeling of knowing that you are nothing but a nameless, faceless cog, one that can be replaced with little effort or expense and forgotten just as quickly.
Scapino — June 6, 2011
"Many middle- and upper-class people are privileged to escape this kind of scrutiny — a scrutiny under which many of them would look quite imperfect; they are generally considered worthy of respect and their skills deserving of a living wage."
Is wherever you've accumulated these wonderful working experiences accepting resumes? I'd like to trade my middle-class job for one of those.
Aoirthoir — June 6, 2011
From the article itself:
"The first suggests that there is a pressing need to ensure that they don't have criminal backgrounds."
Uh yeah. There IS a pressing need for just that, especially in these fields.
Carrie — June 6, 2011
I find this attitude incredibly offensive. People who are being released from jail or prison AND that are willing to work are MOST CERTAINLY "good enough" to cook and clean for other people in a public setting. The upper class NEEDS the working class if they want to continue with their mode of living, stop treating us like shit!
Erin — June 6, 2011
In a shameless plug for self promotion:
Check out my book, The Temp Economy, in which I examine some of the origins of this attitude toward workers by chronicling the rise of this industry--the temporary help industry. (HSS is a temp agency.)
Here's the link:
I have to say, though, that even though I've seen a LOT of temp industry ads, this one is a bit surprising...and disturbing.
Carrie — June 6, 2011
You're reading shit in to my comments that isn't even there. I'm not from "the left". I also didn't say that violent sexual offenders should be hired. I just believe that if somebody is willing to WORK instead of harming other people or leeching off taxpayers, he should have that opportunity.
Aoirthoir — June 7, 2011
"I just didn't like how the HSS ad implied that they won't hire anybody with ANY kind of criminal record."
They implied NO such thing. They even leave the choice of whether a criminal history is included in the background check UP TO THE POTENTIAL EMPLOYER. Since you misconstrue what they said I'll quote it here in FULL:
"When hiring employees, we check all references.
As the leading back of house staffing company, our reputation reides on the talen we select. So we only recruit thebest. Our process includes an attitude evaluation followed by a thorough background check including work history and references, and AT YOUR REQUEST, criminal history. A web based I-9 program ensures our employees are compliant and we process payroll through the elading national payroll processor to shield you from trailing liability.
Hospitality Staffing Solutions has vetted more employees than anyone else in our category. When you're ready for the right people at the right time for the right price, call (###) ###-#### or email us at bla@bla. You'll find we're the right solution for you."
Now your next comment demonstrates that you suffer a TERRIBLE lack of knowledge about how employers make decisions regarding criminal history.
"I object to people being denied work solely because a past criminal record exists."
Employers don't deny someone work SOLEY because a criminal record exists. I ALREADY covered what SORT of criminal record would cause someone to be denied work. But you IGNORED what I said.
So again to reiterate, TYPICALLY employers will not consider NON-VIOLENT and NON-THEFT types of offenses when hiring. So your next statement....
"Why can't somebody who did time for DUIs wash hospital laundry (AFTER riding to work on a bicycle ;) ) ?"
is completely bogus. Employers are typically NOT going to deny someone work washing laundry because of a DUI conviction. Work for a DRIVING position might REQUIRE someone with a DUI conviction being denied.
MULTIPLE DUI convictions however demonstrate a SERIOUS SUBSTANCE problem. The rates of missed work with no call offs, theft, violence in the workplace are increased DRAMATICALLY with the demographic of those who have MULTIPLE DUI convictions. If that doesn't apply to you, then best to NOT associate yourself with that lot by having mulitple DUI convictions. LEARN your lesson.
"I wish I could've spoken with you when you were writing your book. I worked for a temp agency that was a complete nightmare!"
Yeah I wish I could have also. I worked for a temp agency that was a dream. Yet, no matter how much they bent over backards to help us as temp employees, INCLUDING HIRING THOSE WITH RECORDS, they got nothing but screwed for it.
I was the temp they called when they needed me to fix things with a customer. Temp agencies are all too familiar with temp employees who do things like urinating in public, fighting or shouting racial slurs, threatening people and more. Very often the temp agency is the only one that would hire certain former convicts. And they get shat on for it, as in this thread.
Anonymous — June 7, 2011
I'm greatly surprised that capitalism is defended here.
What surprised me was the line 'We check all references'. Funny thing is that there is absolutely NO significant correlation between references and job performance. It still surprises me how frequently it is still used.
Aoirthoir — June 7, 2011
"There are quite a few assumptions here being made. While I do not disagree that those things do happen (is there data to say how often it happens in proportion to ex-cons who are employed?)."
Recividism rates for violent offenders repeating violent offenses are incredibly high. That's not an assumption that's a fact.
"You are making the assumption that those who have not committed crimes are some how fundamentally different than those that have,"
This isn't an assumption it is a FACT. Those that commit violent offenses ARE fundamentally different than those of us who do not.
"besides for the fact that they were caught, convicted and sentenced (three things that weed out quite a few people who still commit criminal acts but have means of escaping)."
I already addressed this false argument.
"There is no proof that all of them are psychologically inclined to be untrustworthy or criminal (you can argue about more people with psychological disorders being in prisons, but that is moreso a function of our ineffective criminal justice system)."
I don't care WHY they are violent. As an employer if someone has ALREADY demonstrated a WILLINGNESS to commit acts of violence, then I can only hire those persons in a very CONTROLLED environment. Hospitality is not a controlled environment. Time, nature of the crime, and other factors also come into play. Someone that hasn't re-offended in 20 years, yeah I'm more likely to hire her that someone who re-offended 2 months ago, and 2 months before that, and 2 months before that... THAT'S how employers make these decisions.
"In fact majority of criminological theory has shown us that more times than naught criminal acts can be committed by nearly anyone, especially acts of violence (of course again them being caught, convicted, and sentenced is affected by other factors...like SES)."
Criminological theory is just that, theory. So it hasn't SHOWN us anything. In fact the real world says just the opposite. Most people aren't commiting violent offenses.
"Now this isn't to say that there are not exceptions, people who we designate or identify as having sexual urges towards young children or people who are pathological, but to blanket statement cons isn't correct in my eyes."
This isn't a blanket statement as your next reply demonstrates. Perhaps I need to clarify, though I did above, I'll get into more detail.
Violent persons are a workplace hazzard. It behooves an employer for her sake and the sake of her employees, visitors, customers and others, to NOT hire persons that have a propensity towards violent reactions. There are only three ways a prospective employer could find out about a persons history regarding violence:
1. Call their former employers. But since the law only allows me as an employer to state whether and when the person worked for me and whether they are available for rehire, that option is now OFF the table, putting employers and their employees at GREAT disadvantage.
2. I happen to know the person or someone who knows them.
3. Criminal background checks.
Now once I have a criminal background check I can look at a NUMBER of factors. And frankly BEFORE the background check I can get a lot of information:
1. Did the prospective employee inform me AHEAD of the background check of their felonies and the cause for them?
2. What was the nature of the conviction?
3. How long ago was it?
4. What were the circumstances?
5. Did they make EXCUSES blaming everyone else, or own up to what they did.
6. Did they try to MINIMIZE the seriousness of the conviction and more importantly THEIR ACTIONS that led to the conviction.
7. Have they re-offended? Have they been leading a "clean" life sense?
These are just some of the things we're going to consider as employers. And believe me in many situations we WANT DESPERATELY to give people a chance. Hospitality is one of those situations where you have to be MORE CAREFUL though. We cannot afford to chance that someone will hurt a guest, fellow employee, child, contractors and others. So if they have a violent record, well yes, that's going to weigh in as a major factor on them not getting hired. Don't like it? DONT be violent.
"Now I notice you do make a distinction between non-violent and violent. I would be curious to see some data and figures on them.
Sure. Google is your friend.
"So I'm not saying you might not have merit in your argument and if you believe those assumptions then that is perfectly fine. But just making sure that is thought about or acknolwedged."
Except as I said at the start, these are not assumptions. They come from facts and observation.
TIAS — June 7, 2011
I just noticed this - "We always hear this kind of nonsense from the left, but then when such persons are employed and commits acts of, you know rape, we’re suddenly in a RAPE culture."
You seem to be pretty dismissive of "the left" here, AOIRTHOIR. In fact, you seem to be pretty dismissive of what other people are saying, period and not engaging anybody else in good faith.
Also, that's not what people talk about when they talk about the rape culture.
Anonymous — June 7, 2011
I live in Europe. I know for certain that in Holland you can say whatever you want. And still...no correlation. It's extremely subjective.
Jannie — June 7, 2011
Wow, what a firestorm from 2 ads. I'm sorry, but it appears few of you work in the hospitality industry. If you did, you might know that HSS is one of the good guys who takes care of their clients as well as their employees.
The point of both ads is to contrast HSS with the competition. Most hotels hire supplemental staff when their to full time staffers can't meet seasonal or higher than normal demand. It's much like temping in other agencies. The dirty little secret is that most of the staffing companies in hospitality do NOT screen their employees and leave the hotels open to trailing liability. What is trailing liability? It can be anything from hiring illegal workers to not paying them their earned wages to not paying on workers comp claims. If the staffing agency defaults on any of these, the hotel is responsible for making it right.
For a hotel, that's a big incentive to hire HSS. But it's also an incentive for workers. HSS workers know they'll be paid and know they'll have workers comp claims paid. They're also screened to ensure they are I-9 compliant (legal workers).
The imagery is to prove a point. If you aren't careful, you can get violent felons working in your hotel, but not with HSS. And HSS doesn't see their employees as interchangeable, pre-packaged junk. They give good people an entry level job with the chance to advance. They pay some of the highest wages in hospitality staffing because they screen and hire the best people. Staffers want to work for HSS. Hotels want to hire them.
As for the comment about housekeeping, that's the largest portion of a hospitality staffing company's workforce. Male housekeepers are called stewards and are included in the housekeeping department. Other unskilled jobs for men include dishwashers and waiters.
I'm sure the company meant no offense. They were using industry shorthand, knowing they wouldn't need to explain much of this to their intended audience.
Everyone, have a nice day!
Jannie — June 7, 2011
Yes, I understand how someone seeing these out of context could leap to a faulty conclusion. But these ads aren't intended for a broad audience; they are speaking specifically to hoteliers who understand the shorthand.
Context is everything. Without it, there's no fair way to judge any piece of communication. We all see things through the lens of our unique experience. Without the context to ground a comment or an ad, we assign value to it that may or may not be there.
All I'm saying is let's not rush to judgment because we risk getting it wrong. Condemning one of the good guys hurts us all.
Aoirthoir — June 7, 2011
"When you create an image, there is a message that you intend to send and a message that is received and they do not always match."
As a person who ACTUALLY manages employees, I got exactly the message they intended. That HSS protects me, their employees, my employees, my customers, the guests and children of a hotel. Pretty that they are looking out for all of us.
"The point of sociological images is to consider and explore some of the latent messages that may have been completely unintended"
The PURPORTED latent messages. How about the "latent" message of the original article challenging the ads which says that those of us that have experienced violence in the work place should just shut our f'n traps because its more important that VIOLENT criminals get hired...
"(although many of the most offensive images ARE intended in a negative way) and to consider what these images mean in the larger culture."
Or to MAKE UP what they mean entirely.
"The average viewer of these images will not do research on the intent of the advertisement nor will they be privy to insider language and buzzwords."
Right. So if they are going to comment on the industry that THEY KNOW NOTHING ABOUT they should research. It USED to be called journalistic integrity. That applies at LEAST to the author. For the rest of the commentors, they could take the stand that if an ad isn't actually offensive, they'll assume the best and not try to CREATE hidden nefarious meanings where there are none.
"To analyze and consider the ways in which these images evoke responses from average workers who might see the ads,"
To MAKE up ways these ads might evoke responses from works that have never ACTUALLY worked in this industry and faced workplace violence and so are d'mned glad that a company is looking out for them.
"it is not necessary to know the advertisers intent, it is important to consider the reactions and messages received."
This is the most important and factual thing you've said. See, the INTENT doesn't matter. What matters in these cases where there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING BUT FACTS stated in the ad, it's more important that what we FEEL is considered. BUT, ONLY what WEEEEEE feel. NOT other workers who've actually suffered violence at the hands of violent convicts.
"It is reactionary in that it asks the question, "how do you react to this piece" and tells us how the author reacted to the piece."
It is reactionary in that it proposes ONE SIDE of an issue (the side of the convicted violent offender) while ignoring other important issues like, ya know, THE F'N FACTS. That is what makes it reactionary.
In fact it being REACTIONARY is something this piece holds in common with most violent offenders. A violent offender often becomes involved in violence because they REACT, without thinking. They TYPICALLY do not pause when they are upset about something, THEY ACT. Some of us grew out of that when we left kindergarten. But some folks, like many that commented on this piece, express the idea that we who no longer immediately REACT and actually CALM OURSELVES if something upsets us and DONT go around HURTING people's bodies, that we must just ACCEPT the others. NOPE. NOT gonna happen. DONT be violent, or if you are STOP being violent, EARN trust back and we WILL ABSOLUTELY give you trust. But you've EARNED the distrust and that's going to take time to repair.
"After seeing a larger cross section of reactions, then we can analyze who reacted in certain ways vs who reacted in other ways. Then we can discuss the impact these types of ads have for our larger culture."
If not discuss we can certainly make up.
"This is not leftist nor saying the company is a horrible company."
Actualy quite a few people said JUST THAT.
"It is asking what does this image tell us about our culture, our attitudes towards workers in a rapidly changing, profit driven economy,and ultimately, our self as we see what we react to compared to others."
If that's all it was doing that would be one thing. Asking such questions means we give multiple views. We don't just accuse. The piece and the commenters are not "asking what does this image tell us about OUR etc etc.." rather the piece and the commenters plainly TELL us what it means, not about US, but about THIS company, companies using them, and businesses in general.
Sarah — June 7, 2011
Wow, some really emotional responses here! I can empathize. I would have a strong emotional response if I had been attacked in the workplace too.
Asking questions and multiple viewpoints is the ideal. We need to give each other room to interpret images in different ways. To say that messages are "purported" or "made up" ignores the fact that each individual will perceive certain images from different perspectives based on their worldview, personal experiences, etc.
It's okay to perceive things differently and to share your perception or interpretation of that image with others. If that's not okay, then we are limiting people's ability to express their ideas, perspectives, and interpretations - even if they differ from ours.
Village Idiot — June 7, 2011
From the original article: I imagine it must be unpleasant to be a working class person employed by someone so inclined to think the worst about you, all while paying you as little as possible and monitoring you for the slightest infractions.
Oh, it's not so terrible all the time. According to acquaintances of mine who work in related fields (and who share too much), there are occasional moments of profound, giddy satisfaction such as watching abusive patrons enjoying their clam chowder or imagining them brushing their teeth. And by the way, you might want to avoid the clam chowder tonight (possibly forever) and if you never tip the housekeeper then I strongly suggest that you buy a new toothbrush ASAP.
SNNQZD — June 8, 2011
[sung] Can you feel the love tonight?
Tasteless ads. A shame that a familiar name has selling power even in infamy.
And me without a copyright on emoticons for bile.
Buffy — June 8, 2011
Sadly hospitality workers, much like all service workers, are disposable and interchangeable. To some, they're not even really human. They do work that others don't want to for a pittance. It's not easy work but since it's "unskilled", (it doesn't take four years of college--it's only dirty and back breaking) it's OK to treat the employees like crap and pay them peanuts.
These people are easy to ignore--unless they don't do their job properly. If they don't do their job quickly, precisely and with the expected level of kiss-assery they can easily be replaced with another generic peon.
Aoirthoir — June 8, 2011
"You are so fucking awesome it's hard to type straight. Still, neither I nor in all probability most other people give a shit, though it's mildly amusing that you automatically assume anything I said had anything to do with sexual assault"
I did not presume anything. You said explicitely it was based on Fight Club.
"(or you for that matter, though you do seem to be quite the self-appointed scolder of... just about everyone, apparently)."
You don't like being scolded for promoting sexual assault you have an easy out. Don't promote sexual assault.
"Maybe the chowder had an unappetizing amount of salt (or habanero pepper) added, or maybe I was referring to hocking up a lung oyster, or maybe I was just leaving it open ended like a Rorschach Chowder Blot"
Nope. We knew exactly what you were saying. You can backtrack now all you want.
"and you've dutifully nutted-up and "
Typically ableist language here.
"projected your personal sexual issues into it,"
Sorry but you don't get to claim that you know people in the hosptality fields who do things to people's food when the client is rude, state with your own words that people should not eat chowder if they are rude, state plainly that what they did is based on Fight Club, a movie wherein they put semen into the chowder, and then claim that YOU were NOT talking about sexual assault WHEN YOU WERE. Finally when someone objects to this attrocious comment of yours and UNLAWFUL conduct of your friends, claim it was OUR sexual issues. ANYONE putting semen into a customer's food is the one with the sexual issues.
"though I really still don't give a shit."
Yes you do. Otherwise you wouldn't retort.
"Oh, and sorry to hear about you getting your ass kicked by an employee,"
No you are not.
"but I'd like to hear their side of it before passing any judgment"
Sure. That's a perfectly legit response. It actually is. However, whether I PERSONALLY have been on the receiving end of violence or not, the fact is that workplace violence IS A FACT. Protecting people from that workplace violence is a duty of the employer.
"as to who was at fault since for some strange reason I suspect I may be able to empathize with the employee"
Sure. Again, not knowing me or my situation, you have no reason to agree or disagree with me. This does not dismiss the actuality of workplace violence though and the NEED for criminal background checks.
"(it might've been self-defense!)."
Sure. Maybe it WAS self defense. Again not knowing me I don't expect you to believe or not believe any even in particular I make a claim about, because a claim is just that, a claim.
Now, wouldn't you agree that IF it was indeed self-defense, then we assume that **I** was the one being violent. If that is the case that does not change the fact that employees DESERVE to be protected by their employer. SO, a person who is guilty of workplace violence to the degree that a person needs to defend themselves, should be DULY arrested, tried, adjudged guilty, convicted, incarcerated and that this person should EARN trust in the future. That said person should be subjected to a criminal background check and when it comes up that they have FORCED people to DEFEND themselves at work because THEY were VIOLENT, well they should not feel ENTITLED to CERTAIN kinds of work.
All of those same rules apply to everyone who chooses to be violent with others, even if that person were me.
"Or maybe they took offense to being summarily labeled an ableist rapist victim-blamer or something?"
Hmm. So if we don't like what another person says we're allowed to resort to physical violence? How typical of an ableist, victim blaming sexual assault supporter like you.
"I suppose it could also be that you're just making all that irrelevant anecdotal crap up to help you make your point,"
Let's say I WAS making up all that anecdotal stuff from MY life. That in NO WAY dismisses that workplace violence is a SERIOUS problem for OTHERS. See, I AGREE that you should not just accept my claim of being on the receiving end of workplace violence if I don't provide YOU with evidence.. You don't HAVE to accept it. Whether you accept MY claim, the facts are that people DO face violence in the workplace and they SHOULD NOT HAVE TO.
See, you can dismiss me, but you cannot dismiss others. I won't allow it.
"whatever the heck it is. Or maybe we both are? It's the internet after all, so who can tell?"
Exactly, who can tell. You cannot.
"And for that matter, why are we bothering at all? (I know why I am, but why are you?"
WOW you FINALLY admitted you cannot know me.
"Actually, don't answer that please; let's leave it a rhetorical question so as to spare others the self-righteous pontificating sure to follow)"
Sorry you don't get off that easy. WHY would I say I have been on the receiving end of workplace violence? Because I have. Whether YOU believe it or not is irrelevant. In fact in no way am I suggesting you HAVE to or even should. I believe in a little thing called evidence. I don't provide evidence to people that victim blame like you. So don't believe me.
However, this not believing me is really an attempt to dismiss workplace violence and the NEED for criminal background checks. You do this DESPITE your having said plainly that you've got friends that admited to sexual assault and violence in the workplace. So your having first hand knowledge of these kinds of things demonstrates you're ACTING disengenuous.
Turingtested — June 8, 2011
So I feel like I'm going to get slammed for this, but here goes: I'm a 25 year old worker in a grocery store, and I am absolutely replaceable. I have 0 special skills. There's a reason this work in underpaid and we have to love it: 50 other people are standing behind me, willing to work harder for less.
Moreover, I don't deserve more money. I do nothing special. I could train any of you as my replacement in about a day, if you tried hard. Some jobs are just low status.
My life is not worth less than anyone else's, I just do a very low skilled job.
PS-I will happily give the mods proof that I am who I say I am, I realize this comment seems a little trollish, which is not my intention.
Aoirthoir — June 9, 2011
"It's all about you, as usual. Were you feeding a family at the time? No? I thought not."
So now you get to answer for me? Yeah I WAS feeding a family. I started working FULL time when I was 12 years old. From age 11 to 18 I didn't go to school at all because my mother was living with an escaped convict. At age 12 we were telling people that I was 16 and thus hirable. Which no one believed, but none cared about either.
So yeah I was responsible for feeding my family and yes I HAVE been there where WE didn't eat, even me, WHEN I WAS the one earning the money for the food.
"Are you elderly but lacking a pension or enough social security to get by without being a Mal-Wart greeter or something? Again, no."
So, because I went days and longer without food, it doesn't count because I am not elderly?
"Otherwise you wouldn't have said "piss off" unless you already had a comparable or better job to go to immediately."
WRONG. I had faced abuse from employers, and parents my entire life. I decided at one point that hunger was NOT as bad as abuse. So those few occasions when an employer crossed the line I WALKED.
"As you may have noticed, life at that level is hand to mouth and when feeding more than just your own mouth is at stake"
Yeah actually I HAVE been at that level.
"or you're not young and relatively resilient your choices are a bit more constrained to say the least. It's almost like you're being... wait for it... ableist! "
Now you are just desperately graspin to make anything up.
"But don't take my word for it:"
I don't NEED to take YOUR word for it. I LIVED THIS.
Ricky — June 9, 2011
JADEHAWK 6:23 PM ON JUNE 7, 2011 | #
"not “adequate”; just because the alternative is worse, does not mean something is “adequate”. that’s ridiculous.
and no, the culturally ubiquitous and condoned mistreatment of low-level workers is not the fault of low-level workers.
Capitalism isn’t capable of recognizing any rights, other than maybe property rights (and even those need to be enforced outside the market. You’re lying to yourself if you think no one is getting abused in a capitalist system, which is a system that inherently disadvantages those who start out with less power (in this case, power=money)"
I disagree, I think capitalism is capable of recognizing rights, or rather, people in a capitalist system are capable of recognizing rights. I do agree however that those rights must be enforced outside of the market, ultimately all rights are backed by force or a credible threat of force. That is an unfortunate reality. I also agree that people do not start out with equal amount of power. Capitalism is a real system that works in the real world, not some Utopian fairy tale. As far as I know there is no system in which people enjoy having the exact same advantages, but capitalism comes closer than any other.
"JADEHAWK 6:25 PM ON JUNE 7, 2011 | #
and no, capitalism doesn’t give you the choice to say “piss off”. because saying “piss off” means starvation, since capitalism doesn’t have any safety-nets built in."
Actually the real world capitalism that I am talking about does have safety-nets, both private and public. But even if were talking about the mythical "pure" capitalism that doesn't have any safety nets, the choice is still there. I can refuse to work for anyone I choose and reasonably expect to not be murdered for that choice. That is not the case in more authoritarian systems, especially those that consider themselves communist and fascist.
And in some of those systems even if I do not say "piss off" and I just do my job like a good little subject, I may still starve to death. Just look at North Korea, or any former Soviet state.
Amanda — June 26, 2011
How about evaluating the treatment and opinion of nurses. As a nurse, I feel that we are quite undervalued. Doctor's are treated like the bringers of revenue; you show me a hospital without nurses and I'll show you a hospital without revenue. But nurses are treated like servants without valuable skills.