Julie Berogan, April 7, 2014
I agree, working at McDonald’s or any other fast food joint isn’t the greatest work experience nor what one strives to make into a career, unless you’re SpongeBob Squarepants; but it’s not bad. My introverted 19 year old son, a full-time student at PPCC and sponge-like at times, works part time at one of the local Golden Arch franchises. Although the work is robotic and menial, a mindless assembly line, he’s learned a lot of life lessons this past year of his employment. Often times the lessons learned are what not to do.
Working at McDonalds is his first job. Not bad, for a first job. He applied to several fast food restaurants when seeking employment and McDonalds responded first to the outcry for minimum wage ennui. Perceiving the J.O.B. for what it is, a way to stay Just Over Broke, and put some gas in your tank so you can make it to classes, he donned the red shirt and began his adventure.
Many of his co-workers are his age and according to him are surprisingly lazier than himself, trying to do as little as possible and looking for more ways to avoid work, looking busy, rather than doing actual work. I find it somewhat satisfying as a parent when life comes full circle and your child gets to see the world through a more mature set of eyes. Some of the people my son works with are career fast foodies and have no desire to do anything else. These Squidwards, who have worked everywhere from Pizza Pie Hole, Weenie Hut, to Taco Sombrero, also say McDonalds isn’t bad, in comparison. I’m grateful for these individuals who motivate my son to want more than a room in his parents’ basement and a high score on Call of Duty when he’s over thirty. Sadly, some of the employees are former high school classmates that have given up on pursuing a degree and drop out of college to work more and get less. Less out of life ultimately. My son recognizes the lies they tell themselves to make it okay like, “I’m taking a semester off to save money,” knowing most will join the lifetime foodies and never return to college.
His job does come with a couple “perks”: all the free soda you can drink while on the clock, and a meal valued at no more than three dollars for a shift of five or more hours. Amped up on the free sodas he’s sucking down during his shift, he safely returns home and downloads the day’s happenings in fast food hades. I suspect the caffeine plays a part in the overly dramatic, fully animated retellings which usually involve some moral digression he observed or experienced during his shift. Always humorous and entertaining, often they lead to a life lesson. Reminds me of SpongeBob episodes.
The Krusty Krabb is the epitome of every minimum wage fast food restaurant job. You have a crabby boss that’s always stressed out and red in the face. Your co- workers with seniority are out for themselves and looking for any opportunity to make themselves look better by making you look bad. Unlike Mr. Squarepants who sees his work as the best job ever, and happily prepares the krabby patties, most fast food employees aren’t exuberant or striving to attain the golden spatula. In fact, they don’t even want to be there. Watching the clock becomes an activity. The minutes melt away like the grease on the patties. Attitudes reflect that minimum wage loosely translates to minimum effort.
At my son’s store, being a good robot and filling the orders in under a minute, 45 seconds to be exact, on a consistent basis merits a shirt promotion. This shirt promotion comes with more responsibility, more stress, longer hours, and a whopping twelve whole cents more per hour. This measly twelve cent raise that comes with a title of seeming importance isn’t even enough to pay the bills. Experience has shown my son that for some this is just enough to drop out of school and join the chronically miserable and stuck.
McDonalds isn’t bad. In fact, it’s good for us. It has provided an opportunity for our son to come out of his shell and practice his work relation skills in a hostile environment. It’s fast paced and you learn quickly or get burned, like most work environments regardless of pay or title. It has been a dose of reality and a reason for him to stay in school and get good grades. I’m Lovin’ It!
Apr 8th, 2014
Redefining the Word: Work
America’s definition of work is a job that brings home monetary compensation. This becomes a core problem for a major demographic. The other problem with this definition of work is it leads to comparing jobs by monetary compensation alone. Thereby making lawyers, professional sports players, and military officers better than teachers, firefighters, and military enlisted. At the core America’s problem is one of economic inequality.
During a TED Talk, Mike Rowe, from Dirty Jobs on Discovery Channel, stated that America no longer has enough people in the pipeline for such basic jobs as pipefitters, electricians, welders, and plumbers. This in turn makes it impossible for the basic infrastructure of America to be fixed in any sort of way. How did we get here? It’s all due to a lack of parity in the workforce, from a young age we are told “get an education.” This minimizes jobs that are still required for society to continue to function on a daily basis.
America as a whole needs to come to grips with what is true, every able bodied person that has a job, is a productive member of society. We are no longer a caste society like our forebears, no one section of society can prosper without the others. From the food service industry to Wall Street, in order to achieve success everyone is required. We need to accept that at different times of their life, people will have varying jobs; this does not affect their self-worth, nor does it diminish them in society.
America’s current generation of is one of the armchair czar, where we criticize everything without knowing anything about it. This has been proliferated by the advent of technology in our everyday life, from Twitter to Facebook, instant gratification at its most instant. The more we use these technologies the more likely we are to dismiss those who do not. Twitter is considered a viable means of getting the word out on important issues but even it has its own drawbacks, such as easy online bullying in the classroom. Looking down upon those without the current technology causes a disparity between the haves and the have-nots even further pushed by those without access to these needed technologies due to a lack of internet use. America uses the internet largely for entertainment purposes from online gaming to keeping up with friends, friends who wouldn’t otherwise be friends if it weren’t for the cyber social connection from Facebook. In many countries internet access and cellular phone usage is extremely cost prohibitive, in America almost anyone can get this access to internet via prepaid phone technology, or discounted internet access through current internet providers. The gap is still extremely large between the two demographics, mainly due to the next barrier to internet access a viable computer that can access and parse the data in a timely manner, gone are the days where we would wait over 2 days to download something, if an internet user cannot get the information they want in a short amount of time, it is assumed to not exist, or even thought to be missing entirely from the internet. Even though technology is one barrier to the existing economic gap, it can also be a bridge. With the advent of automation, fast internet speeds, and lower cost per unit produced automation can make basic everyday needs cheaper for the average and below average consumer.
When America can replace all blue collar workers with automated drones, which can do the same job more efficiently, safer, and the obvious bonus as unpaid labor, then this blue versus white collar society will become a much better place to live. Innovation in the field of automation has been highly frowned upon due to the fact of replacing hard working humans, with machines, but the pros outweigh the cons. This also frees up previously blue collar workers to attend college, and then pursue a career that cannot be outsourced to automation. Many argue against automation due to perceived unemployment effects. Their argument is that those displaced by automation, will not be able to find new jobs in this new economy, but to this I say many will find new jobs that do not require repetition or that require human interaction. To those who say that we will eventually outsource all jobs to automation, I say that I cannot wait for the day when no one has to work and can instead spend all their time doing whatever they want. Maybe in the future we will have a new economy that is not run by money and greed, where everyone is truly equal, both in actuality and on paper.
Apr 8th, 2014
Work is imperative in today’s society not only to support the working individuals but also to support the economy; the majority of people in America spend most if not all of their time either at work or on call. Why then is there a social stigma of populations not enjoying their time at work? Throughout the media there is an underlying theme of misery in the work place, it’s understood that no matter what you do as a career you will never fully enjoy your time there. Why is this? If a person is going to spend a large portion of their life doing something, shouldn’t they at least get some type of enjoyment out of that action? In addition there is an ongoing issue in America with a lack of motivation and productivity in companies, which can be directly linked to lack of enthusiasm in the work place. So it can be said that to increase productivity and general happiness of a working group, at least some interest in the career or job is needed. If someone hates their job, they are most likely not going to give 100% of their energy to their company.
Allison Kade represents the opposite side of the spectrum in her article “Since When is Work a Moral Imperative”. She believes that although work is a large portion of one’s life it does not directly correlate with happiness. That a person who does their job simply for the money, might be just as happy doing their passion on the side and slugging through their job because it pays well. I can certainly see the value in choosing a job simply for the financial security aspects, but I also believe in compromise.
Apr 8th, 2014
Working hard and yet still being lazy is a major problem in society today. When people have reached a certain position in their work sites, they will often forget how much work is sacrificed to meet their goal. They will not acknowledge what their priorities are in the company but will perform less work forcing others to pick up where they are slacking. Hiding behind technology and using the internet to solve real world problems is not the job of a hard worker in American society. Herz says that these lazy people give responses to issues without comprehension, but we are assuming that they are hard working.
There are Americans that care about our needs and true altruists who will encourage us to challenge our limits. However, many Americans are finding easy ways to keep their jobs by throwing others under the bus. It is human nature to rise up, be competitive, and belittle someone’s hard work. There are those hard working Americans who will give you the respect you earn from being a hard worker in the company. Although they may respect your work, they still possess the initiative of how to make themselves look better than you do.
Apr 8th, 2014
Military Work Ethic
Why are more and more employers hiring military veterans? Perhaps it’s their increased technical training or the ability to work well with a diverse group of people. Or maybe it is because veterans have more discipline than their civilian counterparts. These young men and women are pushed to the limits both physically and mentally, enabling the person to achieve far more than the average citizen and thus appealing to the civilian workforce. The reason veterans continue to surpass civilians in this aspect is because the military promotes to its members a strong and rigorous work ethic.
Being a prior active duty service member and current reservist, I’ve experienced firsthand how the military molds its members to the military lifestyle from day one, basic training. A vast majority of these new recruits have never left home and have just graduated high school. Military members spend upwards of eight weeks away from everything they have known and loved to be put through, what seems to be at the time, impossible tasks and demanding training. This starts to develop the strong work ethic. Recruits learn fast that disobeying superiors only gets them into a world of pain so they start showing up fifteen minutes early, shining their boots, and physically pushing themselves to their limits. It doesn’t take long before that young member of the military becomes clean cut and squared away, knowing exactly how to act and speak with the finesse of a person in their 40’s. After this, they are sent on to learn their trade.
All branches call it something different, but every military member will go onto a specialty training school, where depending on their job, can last for many months, to over a year. It’s here the service members begin to obtain more freedom than they had in boot camp. They receive increased responsibility with harsh punishments for failing to abide by the rules or what was expected of them. While in school, members are required to participate in physical training, go to class for eight hours a day, and eventually go back to the school house to study more. Probably the most difficult thing to begin to understand is being a service member 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Name another job that requires someone to behave as though they are always working and being watched. It’s that service member’s duty to learn everything they can about their job so upon graduation, they can go off to their next duty station with an immense amount of knowledge and technical skills.
At a service member’s duty station is where the real work ethic is applied. Depending on the duty station and type of job, a member can work anywhere from a normal 9 to 5 civilian job, shift work, or they can be deployed working 12 hours a day with only 12 hours off, 7 days a week for months on end. It’s not just the job the member has to focus on as well, they must also do everything that is required of them by their branch including, general military training, both online and in a class room setting, physical training to maintain standards, and always monitoring their uniforms to make certain they are always looking 100% their best. Of course like any other job there is also room for advancement. In order to achieve higher rank in the military, the member must go above and beyond what is called of them including, in my experience, extra duties both at the command and department level, volunteer work, mentoring, and exhibiting exceptional leadership. Combine all of this together and you get one well rounded service member that has the experience and respect of a high placed manager. The military is a great job to have with enormous amounts of opportunities, but sometimes that life isn’t for everyone.
Transitioning out of the military is an incredibly overwhelming challenge. Veterans must now take their training and knowledge and find a way to apply it to the civilian workforce. While a difficult trial, employers are learning the benefit of hiring veterans. An article written by Barbara Hagenbaugh for USA Today states there are many reasons firms are seeking out prior service members. These reasons are advanced leadership, security clearances, relocation costs, diversity, stress management skills, and patriotism. The men and women transitioning out of the military have often times learned what it takes to be a leader and exude respect and leadership skills. Hiring companies have also learned the benefit of not having to pay for background investigations, knowing most military veterans have a security clearance and have proved they can be trusted. Individual employers are becoming aware of the advanced experience veterans can bring to the table and this realization is going nationwide with websites such as showyourstripes.org. Showyourstripes.org is a website “launched by Clear Channel…to generate awareness around the issue of veteran unemployment, encourage businesses to hire skilled veterans and help those transitioning out of the military find jobs.”
The secret is out. Most military veterans have a higher work ethic than their civilian counterparts because of learned habits and training formed by the person’s respective branch of service. Military veterans have been tested in ways others haven’t and many have prevailed. Not only do service members learn the various regulations, but they are also taught how to become a leader. Military members have a stronger, more dominant work ethic not only because the job requires it, but because without a driven work ethic, the United States would not be the great country it is today.
Apr 8th, 2014
After 32 years I thought I would go out and find myself a job. I mean why not, right? I raised all my children plus some, and thought it can’t be that hard. How wrong I was thinking this because in every interview I was told I did not have enough “paid” experience.
I then decided to attend school where I was labeled a displaced home maker. Seriously! Why is being a stay at home mom labeled displaced? According to the Investopedia a homemaker has many jobs which qualify her to hold a job anywhere in society. However society does not accept this as a job where you gain experience. So I thought I would investigate this and see just how much experience a typical homemaker could earn if in fact you were paid for your work and experience. What I found was nothing but astonishing.
A typical day for a homemaker will typically begin at 053 and usually won’t end until well after 2200. If you were to hire outside the home the following is what a typical employee would earn. When it comes to meal planning and cooking the American Personal Chef Association reported that a personal chef makes any were from $200.00 to $500.00 per day. This would include the chores that come with the job. This could include shopping, preparing, cooking and cleaning up. Then if you added in the driving and delivery time you can add another $5.00 to $10.00 per day.
What about a house cleaner for your home? With all the typical duties in a home this could include making beds, doing laundry, to wiping walls and mopping floors. A professional maid or house cleaning company can come in bi-weekly for a small 1,300 square-foot home would cost anywhere from $59.00 to $124.00 bi-weekly. If your house is larger it could cost up to $ 180.00. And if you want the stove or refrigerator cleaned, that is extra.
What if you have children? The National Nanny Association in 2011 reported if you paid for a full time nanny you could get paid between $600.00 and $900.00 per week. If you have children then you become a full time driver. If you were to hire a private driver you could pay up to $4,168.00 a year. This is not including all the extra driving like friends houses, play dates and ice cream runs.
Then when you think you’re all done you add in a personal laundry service and lawn service. This does not include being a private banker, counselor, lawyer, coach, tutor, and so many other jobs that comes with running a home and having a family. Your total earnings in a year could total $96,261.00.
So why is being a homemaker not accepted in the world of employment. With so much experience in all the fields we have mentioned and the salary they would make, why is it so hard to get a job? This is the downfall. You have no “paid: experience, which is what the employers are looking for. They do not except “homemaker” as employment history. As a homemaker you are not eligible for social security when you age. Why? Homemakers do not have an income. It is hard to get credit cards, loans or cars with no proof of income.
So next time you go into apply for that job you want just remember how much experience you have and how much your salary is, hold your head high and let them know that a displaced homemaker has many degrees. You are experienced enough. Maybe it is time that society in a whole realizes and accepts it as employment.
Apr 8th, 2014
Do Bosses Take Any Responsibility for Their Companies Action?
Why is it that most managers no longer seem to accept responsibility for an unsatisfactory product from an employee? According to Christopher Herz’s article “Absence of Action”, he states that employees who question their managers should be prepared to be deceived by a boss when a mistake happens because “those who hold the title” will make sure that their hands are not on the product(par.6). Many Managers unfairly blame employees, which leads to an ineffective workplace.
Most workers experience bosses who blame their employees for an inadequate product. Bosses are people who are supposed to make decisions for the company, but instead they may choose to sit in their office and do absolutely nothing. The company expects good employees; this includes good quality bosses as well. Companies should train all their employees because they should be prepared for mistakes to happen, and they should learn how to fix the problem. Herz argues that managers live in “fear of being found out to be utterly useless and easily replaceable” (par.12). It is this fear that makes managers blame their subordinates. Even though companies train their staff it is not guaranteed that the workers will all be effective. Managers are the ones that should know when to take reasonability and not blame their employees because at the end of the day the responsibility of product rest in the hands of the managers. When supervisors use harsh words putting down their employees when something goes wrong demoralizes employees. For example, at my serving job, I was working in the morning with one of my supervisors, and I took an order for a resident, and it was an egg over medium with toast and jelly. That morning, we were busy, and I was running around trying to set tables for lunch time, take orders, and take food out of the kitchen. When I was outside of the kitchen taking an order, my supervisor came out with the egg on the plate. She told me it was burnt because I had left it on the window to long. She humiliated me in front of everyone. Now I have a sense of fear because I am terrified of making another mistake and being fired; therefore I am now passive. Being passive has caused me to be according to Christopher Herz in “self-preservation” mode because now I am considered an average worker and no longer creating any opportunities to be a threat to any other employees (par.8). In result I am insecure and not confident in the work that I do every day when I walked into my job.
There are too many managers who blame their workers when a product is not up to standard, which causes an ineffective workplace for their employees. When managers do not take ownership for their actions, then most employees will lose respect for their bosses. When there is boss who loves to blame employees for substandard products cause’s employees to dis trust their leaders because they know when ever something goes wrong it will automatically be their fault. Employees need their bosses to recognize their strengths and not always their weaknesses. Supervisors who pay attention to their employees’ strengths will have employees with confidence and security. When mistakes are made, managers should support their workers and use the opportunity to teach people how to be successful. Being successful in a company is so important because without success then a company will fail. Most managers are successful because they award their employees for their accomplishments, but they also point out what was wrong, and try to find a solution to fix the problem. For example, companies in China are teaching their employees new acquired skills, instead of the basic skills, which is creating more jobs and production is successful because their employees are trained for anything unexpected to go wrong. Acquiring a new skill is rewarding to any employee because they are no longer a basic employee, they are an employee with so many opportunities.
Supervisors are only as good as the people that work under them, so when a manager gives their employees the right guidance and respect then they will have a staff that is effective and successful.
Juan R. Cabada
Apr 8th, 2014
This is a very interesting and eye opener to all youth as you emphazise the importance of education so that you don't become a statistic to minimum wage.
Apr 8th, 2014
“Since when is work a moral imperative?” Response
When reading the article “Since when is work a moral imperative?” at first it’s easy to agree with the statements that the author, Allison Kade, has made. If we further explored the ideas that Allison Kade presented, then perhaps we would feel ourselves sway in a slightly different direction. The author shows in her writings that you should not mix your passion with your livelihood, because it could completely smother the flame of your passion with the stress and the need to provide. Allison Kade fixed the unbalance in her life by becoming a freelance writer, where she can manage her own time and have more free time to live. Well that’s great for her, but not everyone has the opportunity to set their own hours. So then we must ask, how thick is the line between living and surviving? Is it really black and white because it’s not so hard to believe that there is a lot of grey area in between as well. Are folk’s morals and values considered? For example, just because Joe doesn’t like his nine to five job, sitting behind a desk typing codes into a computer all day, does not mean that he is just surviving. Joe gets to go home every night, dinner on the table, bills paid, and a healthy family. He fulfills his values and morals doing what he has to do to be a good man.
As the German philosopher, Immanuel Kant, once said, “A good person is someone who always does their duty because it is their duty. It is fine if they enjoy doing it, but it must be the case that they would do it even if they did not enjoy it.” Basically how to look at this is if you don’t work hard for your place in society and earn respect by your actions, how will you ever be rewarded for the things you have accomplished? There are certain people labeled ‘workaholics’, these folks have thoroughly dove into the work part of their life, completely forgetting that life should be equal parts of responsibilities, and why you have those responsibilities. Are you working to live, or living to work? Consider this, what if one of those ‘workaholics’ was like that because their work is their passion. They live vicariously through their work and perhaps this individual has no family at home, no one that they are causing suffering to by not being around, in this person’s eyes they are living the American Dream. Some people simply need to find a balance in their life, between work and play, others need to re-evaluate their morals and values to determine what they need to do next in life. As for the lucky few, they live somewhere between dream and reality.
Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, “Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.” After reading this quote a question appears, just because your work is not your passion, does that mean that you cannot have passion for your work? Take for example, my passion is to be a hairstylist. Though I know I cannot make a career of it, nor will I ever be able to retire. So I took a step back and walked away from my passion and looked for a career that could fulfill my values and morals. Currently I am in school to be a Social Worker knowing this isn’t exactly what I could call my passion, but I feel passionately about it. The values and morals of what Social Workers were built off of, match my own. Having compassion for other human beings and helping others when they call out for guidance, so not only does this career support my family financially but also it supports how I strive to live my life. How far will you search for the answer to happiness in all parts of your life? Are you willing to sacrifice for the ones you love as well as your future? Can you find passion for all parts of your life, including work?
Apr 8th, 2014
Apr 8th, 2014
The Value of Work
What is the value of work and how does it define who we are based on the generation we fall into? The older generation defines the value of work significantly different compared to what the younger generations’ definition of work value. The value of work means a different thing to each person, but when comparing as a whole each generation is relatively the same. Work value is proven in how hard each person works or what they put into a job, it is proven in their daily performance at a job. In the article by Catherine Pearson on the Huffington Post, Teenagers’ Values: More Materialistic, Less Interested in Work Than Ever, younger people want to work less but still reap the benefits of hard work. How is that fair? It’s not. The value of work is not defined by how much you can buy with your most recent paycheck, but the skills you obtain from that job. The younger generation wants to enjoy all the materialistic things in life, whereas the older generation wants to gain experience and walk away from their job feeling proud of the hard work they have put into it. They want to have a sense of accomplishment compared to the feeling of fitting in with the newest trend.
Most teenagers’ motivation comes from the idea of wearing the latest fashion trend, or having the coolest new accessory. When walking into a job, the idea of learning a new skill or being successful in the corporate world means nothing. The value of work has gone out the window. The motivation for most of the older generations is growing themselves as a person, learning a skill that will help them be successful in their current job, or just the idea of being an active part of society.
Hard work is less appealing to most teenagers, so they will walk into a job, do as least as possible, and walk out with the same paycheck as the person next to them who has put their whole heart and soul into the same exact position. As decades continue on teenagers have more of an appetite for money and materialistic things, and less of an appetite for hard work, which makes being successful or skillful fall on the back burner. Teenagers don’t realize that gaining skills do not only help you in your current job, but will help you throughout life. Those skills will help you be a better leader, a better person, and a better worker.
After being in the Army for about 5 years I saw this work trend. People who had been in for a few years, had a family, and took care of their responsibilities, were the ones, who worked hard, didn’t get into trouble, and put their effort into being successful. When you compared this to a new private in the Army, not all but most, only wanted the paycheck to buy the biggest TV, or the newest Xbox game; they didn’t care about paying their bills, and responsibility went out the door. It was a perfect example of those who had been in for a while, were in an older generation compared to those who were fresh out of high school and had no sense of responsibility.
As someone who falls into the younger generation, I feel my views and value of work are parallel to the older generation. I know the difference between hard work, or as it is said working hard for your money, compared to showing up to work, getting that paycheck and blowing it on the newest trend. My parents taught me how the value of work, what hard work means, and when you work hard you obtain the skills that will help you throughout your life. The value of hard work will help you achieve your highest goals, and help you to realize what is really important in life. Those skills will be good as a parent, a working citizen in society, and as a person in general. Those skills and values will help you to be successful in life.
Apr 8th, 2014
Work and no play equals dullness
In today’s society the question still remains “why do people work? “ , is it simply for the money or people just merely do it for the pleasure of feeling responsible and independent, it could even be for both. However with that being said the issue of why American’s take less time off floats in the air jus the same, carrying many reasons for such actions along enabling people to have their different outlook on this touchy subject.
One of the many reasons the little time off taken by American’s is the obvious fact that they see vacation/ time off as a waste of money that could be earned if they were supposed to work. American’s tend to also have a fear of criticism coming from co- workers in the work environment pertaining to how many time off one takes. Unfortunately I must say that is utterly disgraceful for people to be judging and pointing fingers in the workplace, it is not one’s business to throw criticism out at their peer for what they want to do. i
In fact a workplace is supposed to be a place of professional behavior, where the work should be given to a person, they complete their task and head on out with their goodbye’s for the day and that’s it. Discussions should not be made about an individual who takes “a lot of time off”, there is a reason behind every action so therefore it should not concern anyone else. Unlike the British they tend to use all their vacation time because it’s a win win situation for them. They are more fortunate than us American’s in a sense where they are granted paid time off and can take as many as they wish without being looked down on , for the American’s case yes they are allowed time off but the downside is without the luxury of getting paid .
Due to the information received from my readings and research, it came my attention that there should be a change in the work forces to make people have a feel of comfort when taking their time off. This is so because some people might see vacation time as it being an opportunity for trips and fancy dinners, not all the time it is so. There are numerous reasons as to why people should take time off, for the most part it’s just a way of relieving oneself from the busy life. A few other reasons are; increased productivity, brain vacation, time for family and the list goes on.
If one is to work continuously around the clock every single day, that person will have no sanity left in them after all the work and for what, an extra hundred dollar in their account. A person’s health and humanity should be more important than any amount of money that could be earned in this world. Not to mention their time with family, there is a famous saying that “family comes first”, so nonetheless an individual should have some quality time with its children, mother or whosoever.
America is known as the “no vacation nation” according to the article read, and without a doubt some people from the industrialized countries turns heads this way saying that American’s are greedy so that why we won’t take time off. Of course it might be true for the minority but it is more of the fear, for instance a person may believe they will eventually be fired from the job if they take too many time off or they will be more vulnerable to be cut from the work force if their bosses look at the total amount of time off compared to other workers who take less.
I believe that the work places should take the no discrimination policy more serious, where of anyone was to get caught showing the slightest judgment towards their co – worker should be penalized, not in a case where they are fired but more of a stern warning that if they continue they could be. These little things have to be realized more and actions should be taken by everyone in order for the world to change starting from these little places.
Apr 8th, 2014
By Juan R. Cabada
When did America steer-away from hard work ethics and decide in a compensational manner to support its citizens with pittance Government checks? The sweat, enjoyment, and hard-work that made this nation one of the greatest is - absent. Today’s youth no longer possess the determination towards hard-work because many learn to live off Government checks.
Many immigrant families around the world tend to look or idol America as the country to make dreams come true. Where freedoms become sacrifices, future innovations are hardly replicated and the country where children can earn a college degree - according to Sriya Chakravarti from the Expats Dream: The Green Card. Twenty to forty years ago, in American history, it experienced a shift in culture as citizens began working at an early age with random occupations (yard work, grocery store, clerks...etc.) as with many immigrants bearing hard work. It became a common value of determination to make the future a better place for our children so they do not “experience” what affected our view on life previously. A seasonal manual labor opportunity to become independent children as to be wiser and have a broader vision than previous taught was something we looked forward to. According to Mrs. Chakravarti, economic slowdown is a problem variable that causes many promising immigrants to return to their country without having experienced their potential in American culture. Webster dictionary defines work as “the labor, task, or duty that is one’s accustomed means of livelihood.” In other words, it’s what we do to make some money – Allison Wade in Since when is work a moral imperative? According to Mrs. Wade, a high percentage of the work force confuses work-for-money with work-for life. Individuals are affiliating work as a component of life as if it’s the most important thing to live for, if that’s the case, then it better be worth the 60 hours a week. The previous youth, compared to present, were determined to discover what hard-work can do for us in the future. In her conclusion, Mrs. Wade comes to two realizations and I quote: 1) it’s ok to separate livelihood and passion, even when you thoroughly enjoy your livelihood. 2) it’s better not to force your passion to be your livelihood”. Many of us tend to make our occupation as important as life itself, bill pay and mortgages, and when you make it routine that’s when we deviate from having a passionate occupation.
Today’s youth is shifting from a passionate occupation and replacing bright ideas with self-preservation. Self-preservation was absent when hard work united this nation, but in today’s America, it is a land where production takes a backseat to self-preservation and nothing is produced except – excuses. In The Absence of Action, According to Christopher Herz, discovers that “Americans are getting paid to do jobs that can be done better and cheaper by those who are eager to put their backs into an honest day’s work, where the middle class becomes marginalized, leaving only memories of high scores and funny YouTube videos we forward to each other”. Present and future expectation of hard work does not fall within the same realms as past generations since there tends to be an increase of siblings living off their parents’ insurance plan while millions of Americans access food stamps. The Government has aided with deteriorating the definition of putting in hard work as it provides Government checks to those abled-bodies individuals. A high percentage of unemployed individuals can become employed, if the issue wasn’t leaning towards finances, but too many simply decline an opportunity because they would wait for a better opportunity. Take for example, Social Security and Unemployment Disability, two programs designed to support individuals who can’t or struggle to find appropriate qualified skills in a given period. According to Mrs. Nina Easton, author of America’s new work ethic, 83 million citizens are on the pay rolls of Social Security. Economists from the Congressional Budget Office acknowledge that “people choose to work if there are opportunities, but receiving disability insurance almost always looks more appealing while an added 3.6 million of citizens receive unemployment benefits”. David Autor, Economists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, states the following, “Government programs provide strong disincentives to work that result in a large number of work-capable individuals voluntarily exiting the work force, applying, and ultimately receiving benefits”.
America has been through good and troublesome times with our economy, even with an economic decrease or unemployment rates, we as Americans need to put our pride and egos aside to relearn hard work ethics that appears to have been delayed for decades. Government assistance should strict its temporary safety net to those 12.7 million individuals sitting comfortably instead of rolling their sleeves and aiding for an economic growth.
Apr 28th, 2014
Ms. Robin Schofield
March 2, 2014
America Work Ethic
Pride, achievement, meaningfulness, relationships, financial stability, all motivating factors that mold an individual’s work ethic. These attributes are only a sampling of reasons employees either put all they have into their work or simply give the minimal effort necessary to get by. In the Huffington Post article, What Can We Learn from the French written by Josh Sawislak, we see a comparison of the work ethic of the French compared to the rest of the world. Though it would not hurt Americans to learn a few lessons, for the most part, our work ethic is just fine.
Mr. Sawislak speaks to his first hand knowledge of the pride in work felt amongst not only professional French workers but also that of the common laborer. He describes a common misconception that the French worker is “lazy” and compares this to the negative connotation often times associated to the American Government employee. But are the French lazy? Mr. Sawislak thinks not. In fact, he believes it is not poor work ethic that contributes to this common stereotype, but rather a dislike of the management style they are accustomed to. He quotes the fact that less than one-third of French workers believe they have a good relationship with their management. This poor association accounts for a forty percent dislike of top management amongst French employees. So it is the poor labor-management relationship that leaves French worker “lazy” and only exerting themselves to the extent necessary to earn their paychecks. Though they may be a prideful people, trust in management is an obvious negative factor in the work ethic of the French. Do Americans find themselves facing a similar situation? I would argue the contrary.
I believe that the American workforce is one that puts time and effort into its managerial skills. Top management are often well educated and experts in their career fields. Not only do they have Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, they also undergo specialized training in the art of management. Business owners, CEO’s and investors understand the importance of effective management and spend the money to achieve this goal. From Apple to Wal-Mart, GE to Ford, one can look into the finances of such companies and see the value placed in the education of management. This is easily seen in a work ethic that is a direct result of the good labor-management relationship in America.
American companies do not only seek out college educated individuals for management positions but also promote from within. Walmart’s 2013 annual report estimates that approximately 75% of U.S. store operations management started with the company as an hourly associate. The experience these individuals bring from years spent working the sales floors, cash registers and late night stocking shifts in invaluable. Who better to lead than someone who has been there and done that? This gives the new associate someone to look up to and only improves upon the labor-management relationship. Similar promotion strategies are also prevalent in the U.S. military. Senior ranking leaders that make life altering decisions may have once spent time perfecting a bed corner or cleaning a latrine. Again, it is easy for the American worker to relate to a manager that has once done the “grunt work” they themselves are being asked to perform. This knowledge alone can give someone that extra motivation that comes through in their ethic.
In conclusion, I agree with Mr. Sawislak that it is key that employees and managers “work together to set expectations, define performance criteria and metrics, and most importantly communicate issues and concerns.” If a manager can manage and a worker can work with both doing so in a good relationship, work ethic is not something that is asked for but rather something that occurs without effort. This effective labor-management relationship is what sets the American work ethic apart.
Apr 28th, 2014
Education: Does it Improve Your Quality of Work?
Society tends to believe that acquiring an education for a job is important, but in fact it is not true. The gateway to further achieving your individual career goal is education. Knowledge is a powerful tool that can be obtained through education. Pursuing a career can take a significant amount of personal life in risking career progression with personal time outside of the occupation. A career is what an individual strives for rather than a obtaining a job that passes time as one may end up with less interest in the work being done. We all have experienced at fast food environment, but it’s a job and not a career. The fast food business is usually a starting point for High School students, drop-outs or individuals who wish to build a type of stepping stone for the future. The fast food industry is not the environment to make a career since the majority of employers seek experienced or a college degree candidate to be considered. This is why education is so important, so people can change their lives for the better and improve their situations.
As the unemployment rate inclines to an all-time high and the availability of jobs seek qualified individuals leads to an article by Randy Trask “How Adult Education Can Help Close the Skill Gap.” The article states that the unemployment rate of individuals without a High School Diploma is 12 percent compared to 8.8 percent for those individuals with a Diploma or GED and the rate of a Bachelor’s Degree is at 4.1 percent. Examining the numbers above shows a dramatic decline within the unemployment rates from an individual not graduating to an individual pursuing a higher education. The numbers and statistics show that having a higher education level is better than not having one at all. Obtaining a higher education has statistically showed to provide a broader job opportunity compared to those individuals without a Diploma. As the article of Randy Trask states that in 2012, 60 percent of employers require a college degree or some type of professional certificate.
More employers are requiring higher education to be considered for employment, in other words, no degree will lead to working flipping burgers at a high degree temperature stove. Randy Trask predicts that in the year 2020, the number of employers requiring an adult education will have increased to 78%. An education allows for the opportunity to search many professional fields while having the pleasure to easily change occupations into something more of an interest. This success has shown to increase the happiness level of individuals compared to those struggling in a passionate less employment. A select few make life decisions based on circumstances that they see the need to dropout and eliminate a future for education because they need to fulfill the present circumstances.
A common circumstance that prevents many youth to pursue a College education is the financial burden it can produce on the individual and their family. This belief may be true for some, but there are various resources within the community to assist individuals in obtaining a College Degree. Many schools use the FAFSA system when a student applies for college as it provides financial assistance for low income individuals to pay for classes, books, and supplies. A relatable but false belief that many individuals struggle to understand about receiving a college education is they believe getting a degree is too difficult or stressful. They may not know that many colleges offer a variety of classes every day and possible weekend and summertime classes to better suit the schedule of busy potential students. . There are endless reasons why individuals don’t pursue, negative or hopeful, but they should know that a college education can improve their future in so many positive ways. The most important thing an individual can do for themselves is obtain a Professional Degree to show employers they have the necessary skills for employment.
Minimum wage employment should not be considered a career. However, it should be distinguish as a stepping stone for someone who has career goals, but also identifying the minimum wage employment as helping them save for college. Therefore, one day being able to enjoy a fulfilled career in the future and understanding that their past job gave them motivation to keep succeeding. Having determination to obtain a college degree can mean the biggest difference in your daily life. This leads you to continue your goals and show your future generations the power of hard work motivation, and how knowledge can take an individual farther in life.
Apr 28th, 2014
The Division of Work and Leisure
Work is not meant to be fun, work is not meant to be an enjoyable activity that a worker is ecstatic to do daily. Work is supposed to pay the bills, provide you with the means to live; your passions are supposed to keep you sane. Most people find that leisure activities use money and time to accomplish. Labor was never meant to be a hobby, labor was never meant to be leisure. Merriam-Webster defines work as "the labor, task, or duty that is one's accustomed means of livelihood." (Kade) Ms. Kade goes on to say that work isn’t something a person is always passionate about, with exceptions, but that something you might be passionate about might not always pay the bills. I agree with her completely. I have enjoyed parts of my job in the past, but for the most part, day in and day out, I just bit the bullet and went in to my job that paid the bills. It helped that I was legally contracted into my job, I couldn’t quit no matter how much I hated my job, and I loathed it most days. In my daily toil I learned the value of quality time and activities when I had time off.
“How many little kids are told that they can be anything they want? When it doesn't work out, we still try to sell it to ourselves and others.” (Kade) As a parent I would never tell my children otherwise, but as a realist working a dead end occupation and going to school to work a better paying but eventually unsatisfying job later, I know that dreams don’t pay the bills. When I was a kid I wanted to be a cowboy. The median income for ranch hands in the United States is $33,000. (Ranch Hand Salary) That’s 46% below average salaries in the United States. Raising a family on that low of a salary is rough. If I had followed my dreams our lives would be very different. I would enjoy what I do, but I wouldn’t be making enough to support my kids. I wouldn’t be able to tell them to follow their dreams with a straight face because following my own put us all in a tight monetary situation.
According to Mike Rowe, America is in a War on Work. He makes a good point when he says that most Americans are moving away from skilled trades, working with their hands and getting dirty. What trips people up is that everyone wants to be the movie star, the heart surgeon with a 100% success rate, the worker with the satisfying and glorious end result. No one wants to be the garbage man, the janitor, the worker bee. According to Mr. Rowe, in his experience working with these people, they are usually immensely satisfied with their jobs, they have high job satisfaction. These people working the dirty jobs see the end result of their efforts actually matter, regardless of the glory. Generally, most people harbor preconceived notions that these jobs are downward spirals with no satisfaction. Instead of finding something that a person thinks they will love doing, they should find something that they can do well and focus on being the best they can be at the job they have. This isn’t just true in our current economy, it has always been true. If possible the person can then try to tailor their job around their leisure activities, their “free time.” Ms. Kade states that she is an editor at a magazine that now does freelance work for that magazine, giving her more freedom to work on her passions. If possible an employee should try something like that. If not that’s just not possible then that individual should find time for their passions so their work doesn’t burn them out. Ms. Kade states that she knows a man that enjoys dancing, but he works as a software developer because that pays well where dancing wouldn’t. She states that many people have the “let’s make it work” conversation with themselves, asking if their passion could realistically make them a living. Ms. Kade’s friend is a freelance software developer, which pays well, and also affords him time and opportunity to pursue his passion because he is able to work less, make enough money, and still have time to dance.
Very few people are lucky enough to find a job they love that can pay the bills. That is fine. A job by very definition isn’t supposed to be fun; it is supposed to be a job. A savvy person weighs their time between functioning and enjoying their life. I’m finding this out more and more every day, and I’m just fine with that.
Kade, Allison. Since When Is Work a Moral Imperative? . 12 November 2012. 11 February 2014 .
"Ranch Hand Salary." n.d. Indeed. 12 February 2014 .
Jul 18th, 2014
Work has always had a negative connotation to me. Who wants to go to work? It’s not an enjoyable act and the only worth that it has it to provide income for necessary goods to live. The only positive aspect of working is earning extra income to do things you enjoy. That’s the problem, isn’t it? Working to get money to do something you enjoy instead of enjoying what you’re doing. I believe that worldwide, this could be a relatable problem and that people don’t enjoy to work but people work to do things they enjoy.
Earning money is a necessary part of the world today. In most societies across the globe some sort of currency is required to be able to provide somewhere to live, something to eat, and to do extra activities. In the society I have grown to know, work is not enjoyable. Work is just a necessity that all adults have to put up with until retirement. Responsibility is annoying. Most Americans go to work for five days a week and then have two days off. These two days are filled with joy, relaxation and the things that Americans want to be doing. The other five days are spent miserably counting down until the weekend.
I used to live life on my two days a week that I had free from work, regretting the work week to start on my final day off. That is the least content I have been in my adult life. I personally have learned to find serenity with the situation I am in, whether the work I do is something I enjoy or not. I work hard to get to where I want to be and sometimes it can be frustrating, but that isn’t at the forefront of my emotions. I positively look at what I can in my life to better enjoy what I’m offered and in turn make my own life successful.
As Mike Rowe has stated that he’s learned over his career in the TV show Dirty Jobs, the people who are doing what we deem the nasty jobs, are the happiest. Societal expectations and perception are lead causes of what we deem successful with careers, but not personal happiness. Happiness is determined from within an individual. Rowe, for instance, has done over 200 jobs with people that are considered to have the dirtiest jobs in the country. He claims to have realized that his perception has been wrong about jobs, and he hasn’t focused on the people. The happiest ones are the ones he meets who make their jobs enjoyable from within.
Passion is considered to be something to chase after, like a job. Why can’t passion be something that you adjust to and learn to love what you do? Similar to happiness, passion is relative to the individual. My passion is to be a teacher and to put myself through school to get to that point. I am in the financial industry right now for my career and I enjoy what I do. I’m helping people every day. It may not be what I foresaw for my future but I am helping people. This is something that can be adjusted. Positivity can always be found if sought after.
It is never too late to learn how to make yourself happy. Find what makes you happy and do what you can to find happiness in what you’re already doing. Raising children in a work to live world isn’t healthy for their happiness. Raising a child in a world where you live to work and love to live is what should be taught. Once the happiness and joy is found from within, hard work is sure to follow. We can always teach others how to lend their knowledge of happiness to others. Work is a hand in hand development throughout the world.
Individuals learn their happiness and have control of their own emotion. What can be said if each individual then shares their happiness and knowledge with those around them? Mike Rowe touches on his presentation that some of the happiest people he’s known also contribute to the good of the world around them while keeping true to their own happiness. The balance that these individuals have in their live’s is the key to their success and happiness. Happiness is in the eyes of the particular individual. Happiness is also a perceived societal notion that people hold on to to get them through their work week.
American people can learn from the small population of individuals who have learned to enjoy what they do, no matter what situation they’ve landed themselves in. If each individual takes responsibility of their own happiness and then searches to spread their knowledge of how it can be obtained through enjoying your life, working and not working, the whole world would function prosperously through work that was previously considered dirty, and clean work.
Jul 27th, 2014
Work Learn and Enjoy
We are all taught early in life from our parents, teachers and bosses to work hard. However, the majority of people cannot help but to think that working hard in today’s society is a Catch -22. People work hard for many different reasons, but the reality is getting rewarded from working hard is why we all do it. Hard workers have developed a sense of unfairness between the working class and the lazy undeserving class. However, our government’s participation in helping people undeserving is certainly a clear definition of why Americans today continue to lose interest in achieving their own success, in today’s society. People whom work hard get so overly aggravated about the ideal of working hard and how it never seems to pay off. Most of the people, in our country whom do not work are supported by our government. Many people are impressed and disgusted with how our government effectively provides a celebrity like lifestyle for people whom do not deserve it. With all the negativity in today’s society, working hard may not always pay off the way a person anticipated, but there are silent benefits gained from working hard which helps a person build their core values.
Silently working hard helps people develop the beneficial skill of being positive. The way a person decides to perceive working hard will determine the outcome; a person can have a positive attitude or a negative attitude. There are cause and effect reactions for the choice of everyone’s attitude. When working hard it is recommended for people to apply a positive attitude. Being positive during working hard gives a person the ability to concur all tasks, with ease. People find out fast that a negative attitude is devilish and has the powers to paralyze a person’s work ability. Failing obstacles is what reminds people to maintain a positive attitude, while working hard. There is no person on earth that wants to be known as failure. Working hard allows people the practice to apply and maintain a positive attitude. Many people fail at being successful, due to their negative attitude. However, blocking out all negative thoughts and seeing the sunnier side of a hard situation gives people the ability to be more efficiently successful in life. All the practice of being positive soon becomes effortless because practice makes perfect. People tend to notice that being positive makes them more favorable in many ways allowing them to stand out above their peers.
Self- discipline is silently learned through life’s experiences of hard work and people who are known to be self-disciplined are typically more knowledgeable and favorable. Working hard builds a person’s self-discipline. Self-discipline is a skill that teaches you how to get up on time without having your parents yelling at you. It also teaches you to manage money so that you will be able to pay your bills on time without borrowing money from your parents. You will notice that a person who has good core values is very self-disciplined; they do what has to be done first, then what they want. Many people say that a person’s self-discipline is like a muscle, the more you use it the stronger it gets. When a person’s self-discipline muscle is weak, they are more likely to become a lazy bum, waiting on the next free hand out from the government. No one wants to be associated with people who lack self-discipline, because they appear to always be out for what’s in it for them. I am pretty sure we can all name a few people that come to mind, that reminds us of a lazy bum.
The ultimate benefit you learn from working hard is becoming more familiar with how you want to provide for your future. We all have visions of our own American Dream, and there is no way to live that dream, if you are not willing to work hard to provide it. Having the ability to provide, and learning the truth of hard work can only be learned through experiences of working hard. It is important to be able to, stand on your own two feet and not rely on anyone else. There is a point in time in life we must all grow up. Some people never learn how to provide and find their selves lost with no sense of direction in life. To provide is a person’s choice, being able to provide a roof over your head and food to eat is rewarding. Besides no one want’s to live with their parents forever. A person’s ability to provide tells a lot about who they are and what they believe in. However, you cannot provide anything if you lack the skills of having a positive attitude along with being self-disciplined. The way a person provides is based on their experiences of working hard. During working hard, a person learns what they enjoy and what they do not, also it will benefit them in choosing the way they want to happily achieve their American Dream.
Many people disrespect the value of working hard, because of not being paid enough or for whatever reason. However, taking a second and reflect many people will notice that every experience in their life, good or bad makes them, who they are. Success is determined within a person’s willingness to want to improve and the dedication they reveal while doing so. Being a person with good core values will only allow positive to surround them and however deflect any negativity, whenever it approaches. However, while working hard if fortune or fame was not earned, think of the simple silent rewards gained from the experience of the journey.
Jul 27th, 2014
There is a perception in the workforce that younger workers lack initiative, work ethic, and portray a level of entitlement. Is this perception legitimate or are there other factors that accentuate different ways of thinking?
We are witnessing an unprecedented time, wherein multiple generations are simultaneously employed in the workforce. The dates differ slightly depending on the source, but in general the generations are labeled as Traditionalists (aka Silent, b. 1925 – 1946), Baby Boomers (b. 1946 – 1964), Generation X (b. 1965 – 1978), Millennials (aka Generation Y, b. 1979 – 1995), and those born after 1995 are generally labeled Generation Z. Based on information from the US Department of Labor, the workforce is roughly comprised of Traditionalists (2.32%), Baby Boomers (31.59%), Generation X (33.11%), Millennials (32.98%), and Generation Z (3.87%).
Without delving into psychology, understanding the generations is relevant because each one has a general set of values and traditions bestowed upon them based on the influence of social and cultural events. Factors such economic and political aspects, experiences based on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, and the teachings of the family unit (morals, ethics, religion, etc.) are equally as influential. While many explanatory variables can be easily identified, others not so readily, but each generation shares a commonality with the previous.
While early Traditionalists experienced the Great Depression, most experienced World War II and the associated effort, and then the Korean War, and were strongly influential during the civil rights movement. They are hardworking and traditionally loyal to the company. They prefer a hierarchy style of management, as well respect and status that is earned through years of experience. They hold a wealth of vital employment/industrial knowledge while simply seeking respect for decades of experience. They often resist modern technology for lack of understanding. Many of these workers are on a second or third career or just working to make ends meet. They are particularly concerned with retirement, health benefits, and a flexible work schedule.
Baby Boomers, until recently, long held the largest generation population in the workforce. Being post-World War II, they were heavily influenced by the civil rights movements, Kennedy assassination, landing on the moon, and the Vietnam War. They hold some similarities to Traditionalists in the work force, such as hardworking and loyalty. This generation coined the term workaholic, sacrificing home life for work success. They enjoy challenges and competition, equating work and status with self-worth. They are known for strong work ethics, face-to-face communication skills, and work experience. Also like Traditionalists, they are concerned with future stability, retirement, pension, and expect respect.
Generation X has recently become the largest generation in the workforce. They were influenced by things like free love, the end of the Cold War, the space shuttle Challenger disaster, cable television, video games, and the exploitation of the franchise concept. This generation started a shift in some of the characteristics previously seen. Their work ethics are steady but not necessarily loyal to any one company. They are independent and have a good relationship with management, but shun the hierarchy approach. They grant respect based more on merit and performance, not tenure or “experience”. They were introduced to modern technology at much earlier ages and are more fluent in its use than their predecessors. They desire more of a work/life balance and any ability to work from home. They often challenge the status quo and push for change and improvement. They emphasize charitable contributions and eco-friendly solutions.
Millennials are the largest generation since the Baby Boomers and will likely constitute half of the workforce over the next five years. Their influences include rapid advances in technology, the space shuttle Columbia disaster, the internet age, the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and the war on terrorism. They are determined and focus on growing in their particular field. They share some view of Generation X such as viewpoint on respect and do not put emphasis on job titles. They do not have much loyalty to the company and continuously seek better opportunities. They view work as the means to an end for their lifestyle. They lack understanding of the world before computers, cell phones, and instant communication. They are not overly concerned with things like retirement, but rather with instant gratification.
Generation Z is just beginning to enter the workforce and their values are yet to be seen. Factors that are likely to be influential are the war on terrorism, social media, and other “firsts” (such as first African-American president, legalizing of marijuana, embracing ethnic diversity, etc.). Early research speculates that this generation will be the most diverse in American history and the dismissal of the “American Dream” - prosperity and success through hard work, allowed by constitutional freedoms.
From just these summaries, one can grasp that there are general similarities in values from one generation to the next. However, such similarities significantly diminish as you pass to the subsequent generation (for example, Traditionalist to Generation X). Similarly, those that are born on either end of the generation often share some of the adjacent generation’s characteristics as well as their own generation.
Basically, there are differences in experiences, values, ideas, and approach from generation to generation. Younger workers currently embrace the latest technology that older generations are not even familiar with. As we get older, our focus changes to considering higher responsibility, security and planning for the future, rather than living-in-the-now and instant gratification. To say that younger workers lack initiatives, work ethic, and have entitlement symptoms may just be the logical transition in age and priorities. The older generations have the responsibility to pass on knowledge, experience, and values.
Aug 3rd, 2014
Prof. Robin Scholfield
The author was successful in making me feel better about “certain” jobs. Working should make you feel proud in what you do because what you do can make a difference tomorrow. In, Lovin’ It by Julie Berogan, her son working part time at McDonalds was robotic and menial, a mindless assembly line, and learned a lot of life lessons and most are what not to do.
Having a job or any type of a job today, everyone should be thankful. Making money on your own and not worrying about paying your buddy back for borrowing. But in the case of the 19 year old son, overall I know he was miserable. Yes, he was making the money but he was striving for less. The author compares his life to the cartoon character’s life of Sponge Bob Square Pants “who sees his work as the best job ever and happily prepares the krabby patties, most fast food employees aren’t exuberant or striving to attain the golden spatula.”(Par 5) He also had co-workers who were lazier than himself who desired no more than an item on the $1 menu. This paints an overall picture on how today’s society is. The author states about her son’s co-workers, “trying to do as little as possible and looking for more ways to avoid work, looking busy, rather than doing actual work.” From prior experience, you will always have those who will bust their butts and those who will ride on the bandwagon to receive the same credit.
Having a job or working, as a man, gives me pride because I can honestly say that I can provide for my family. I will strive to earn that extra dollar or walk that extra mile for my family. McDonalds can be a good place to work, you just have to have the right people and that goes for any job out there. You can be in the highest paying job but if the environment is not right then you will not be in the right mind set. I would rather work with people with a positive mindset with minimum wage than work with people who are robotic and menial and have a mindless assembly line.
Nov 24th, 2014
I would have to disagree, The American work ethic is not good for American high schoolers. As they start jobs in fast-food chains they gain a false sense of security. They make money as their parents continue paying for the bills and all of their needs. This way of work can effect how they work and live in their futures. In Amitai Etzioni’s article, “Working at McDonalds” it explains just how bad this can all be. The high schoolers are working jobs they don't learn anything from. Not only that, but these jobs are taking away time from their school work and interfering with their education. The work they do is just repeating itself over and over until the high schoolers are working like mindless robots. They repeat their one job repeatedly for hours a day. In these jobs, the workers aren't able to have any creativity or ideas. They just follow the specific rules they are given. Two-thirds of high school juniors and seniors are working part time jobs like these, which will cause them problems in the long run. In “Working at McDonalds” according to the Charper-Fraser study, only 20% of high school workers work 15 hours or less a week and the other 80% work from 15 to 30 hours a week. In these jobs, the high school workers are being supervised by other high schoolers, and not an adult figure. An adult figure is needed for high schoolers to learn from. High school workers won’t learn anything from other high school workers except blind obedience. I must conclude that this false work ethic in highschoolers is leading to a dark future for them.
Nov 24th, 2014
It is indeed unlikely any teen will need to know how to prepare fries or milkshakes later in life. I was a teen fast-food worker, and I even performed my so minutiae well I was eventually promoted to supervise other young workers. My fast-food job had little direct impact on my development as a leader though, since I was simply monitoring the tedious activities of those doing the same work I had done just well enough and long enough to get promoted. See, my promotion was out of necessity, to fill a void left by a graduating senior, not a recognition of my competencies to manage and direct people. The extra money was welcome though since it afforded me new clothes, cooler shoes, allowed me to go to the mall to get weird, attention getting haircuts. I definitely wasted money on things I did not need.
However, I think there is more to take away from fast-food work than just trivial skills, poor study habits, and a tendency to be irresponsible with money. Thanks to my teen job, I learned how to manage both my time and money. Regarding the latter, I opened a savings account at 15 years old and saved for the car I would need for college in a few years. I put aside a specific amount each month before buying any non-necessities. Earning money meant working hard, but also managing my study time, since my parents would only allow me to work as long as my grades did not suffer. I was actually grateful for the “routinized” job, it never bled over into studies, work stayed at work. My grades even improved after beginning work as a teen because I was motivated and focused on my goals. I did not intend to work fast-food later in life, so I took away the important skills and lessons, the universal ones which helped me succeed after high school. If anything, working in fast-food as a teen let me know I had to work hard if I did not want to have to do it as an adult.
Mar 13th, 2015
I believe that these jobs teach good work ethic, responsibility, and time management. All of these skills are necessary for college as well as the workforce, and teaching these skills to this generation will be necessary to ensure their success. If these teenagers come into an adult life with no previous work experience, they will have a hard time keeping up with the people that have. Now why does working as a teenager instill a good work ethic?
When teenagers are gainfully employed, they learn the value of work and the rewards it can bring. These teens have an environment where their actions have truly meaningful consequences, both positive and negative. If they get a bad grade in one of their classes, there is little to no repercussions given to them, but in the workplace, if they perform their duties poorly, there are legitimate consequences. If an employee makes food orders wrong, or is rude to a customer and the customer complains, the consequences may be termination. On the other hand, if the employee is performing at an exceptional level by being friendly and doing their job to the best of their ability, upper management can recognize them and the employee might get a raise or even a promotion. This process of action and reaction teaches teens that exemplary work can be rewarded and mediocrity is not. Through this process, they are educated that they have to care and put their best foot forward in order to succeed; being lazy will not facilitate success in the future. Work ethic and responsibility are two things that go hand and hand, and these low paying jobs can build a solid foundation for them to grow.
Teenagers have to learn the responsibility of working and minimum wage jobs are a great way to show them how to deal with responsibility. Before they have to go into their chosen career path, working at a place like McDonalds can teach them what work is all about and what responsibilities’ working requires. It is now the teenagers role to make sure they arrive on time, and although this seems trivial and an easy thing to accomplish, it is not. Making sure you arrive at your job on time and on the correct days is a new skill for them to master. Up to this point, it was their parents that facilitated and kept track of their schedules. They also made sure that their children were held accountable for these schedules. Now, teenagers have to keep track of their own schedule and hold themselves accountable. Another new responsibility they must learn is to be able to perform their duties with little to no supervision. Throughout their lives, their teachers, coaches, and parents all were making sure that they were not sidetracked and were on task. In the workplace, it is primarily their own obligation to do this. They now have to learn how to deal with customers, take and fulfill orders, and make sure the orders are correct. These are all very beneficial skills to have in day-to-day life as well as more professional careers.
Being able to communicate effectively with people is a skill that is invaluable in the modern world. When I was 15, I worked as an Assistant Technology Coordinator at a high school. While employed in this position, I learned that I had to be responsible for the work I was doing. I had to make sure that that the computers were updated and configured properly every time I did it. If there were problems with the computers that I had worked on, I had to take responsibility and go and fix it. Doing this taught me how to be efficient with my time and focused on the task at hand. It also taught me how to manage my money. I opened up my first checking account and learned it was much easier to spend someone else’s money, other than my own.
One of the greatest things that a teenager gains while working and going to school is a sense of self-worth. It is human nature to want to be productive. When working for a company, teens are building new skills that help add value out in the marketplace. When they feel good about the job they are doing, it adds to their self-confidence. The more confident they feel, the better they want to become and they hold themselves to a higher standard than before.
Some people argue that working while in school is a distraction and leads to lowers grades. Although this might be true for some, I believe it is teaching an extremely valuable lesson. It teaches them how to balance their time, and if they are doing poorly in school they need to see that they need to rein in the time spent at work. But if they are doing fine in school they know they can continue working the same amount. Being able to manage one's time between things is very valuable because in the real world you have multiple obligations all the time and teaching teenagers how to deal with this allows them to be more prepared for adulthood. When I was working as the assistant technology coordinator I was also enrolled in high school and doing both taught me how to prioritize activities during my day. For example, I cut out more frivolous activities such as watching TV so I could get my schoolwork done effectively. It also teaches the responsibility and work ethic having a job requires. Increased self-esteem, learning responsibility, work ethic, and time management skills are all very valuable lessons teenagers gain from working.
Mar 14th, 2015
Opportunity vs. Comfort
I agree with your statement that these jobs aren't bad; they are essential. Those who believe that U.S. citizens work too hard and too often fail to realize that working isn’t always for pleasure; it is to maintain and build a certain standard of living that may not be as easily accessible to some as it is to others. People who work overtime, multiple jobs, and ungodly hours are often individuals who require the additional income just to survive. Why do some people believe that working too often is a choice that should be taken away?
One of those people is economist Daniel Hammermesh, who was interviewed by the Huffington Post about “Why Americans Work Around the Clock.” Hammermesh said that American culture has become accustomed to places being open 24/7. He continues by saying that this culture is only sustained by those who choose to work the night shifts and the weekends. Hammermesh sees people working these shifts as a problem, he says that Americans need to realize enough is enough when it comes to work, as well as saying Americans also need to recognize that these services may not be as necessary as they believe. He goes on to say that the only way this issue will be fixed is for the U.S. government to at least implement taxes on goods and services given at night and on weekends. His ideal scenario is for the U.S. government to limit and prevent overtime, as well as imposing penalties on employers for allowing employees to work nights, weekends, and overtime hours. He ends this thought by stating that Americans who do not work these hours should stop wanting services to be available around the clock.
My stance on this issue is vastly different than Mr. Hammermesh’s. Governmental limitations will do absolutely more harm than good; the people who are working these hours are the ones who need the additional income. They aren’t working these jobs because they are “workaholics” they are working these jobs to put food on the table and to keep the heat on in their homes. To impose penalties on these hard working individuals will just degrade the standard of living that they worked so hard for. Yes, Americans are accustomed to places being open every hour of every day. However, this culture is what allows those overtime and night hours to be available. Without this culture, there would be less of a demand for more employees to work these unpleasant shifts, resulting in fewer job opportunities for those who are in need. Hammermesh does not realize that his ideas would harm the same people that he is trying to help.
Hammermesh’s final point in the interview was short and to the point: minorities, the uneducated/unskilled, and immigrants are usually the people who work overtime. He concluded this statement by saying this fact shows inequality in the United States. He stated that it is unfair that they are the ones who have to work these jobs.
Again, I disagree with Hammermesh’s opinion. Minorities, the uneducated, and immigrants working unfavorable job hours is not inequality. They may choose to work these hours because that’s what works the best for their schedule. They might be enrolled in school, which takes up most of their day. However, they will still need income to pay the bills, so they may work nights and weekends when they do not have classes. Immigrants may not have had much money when they immigrated to the United States, so they are working overtime in hopes of being able to build a better life for themselves and their families. Working these unfavorable hours shows initiative and willpower, these are the people who have the drive to achieve their goals, no matter where they come from or what they had to work through. How many stories have you heard of people who started at the bottom of the barrel, and worked hard for years to finally be in an immensely better situation? These hard workers are considered to currently be ‘at the bottom of the barrel,’ but that isn’t the end of their story. Again, Hammermesh’s suggested ‘overtime restrictions’ will only harm these determined workers, it will not help them by ‘relaxing them.’ It will decrease the amount of jobs available, making it difficult for them to rejoin the workforce and may result in them dropping out of school because they can’t afford to take classes during weekdays while having no opportunities to make income at night or on the weekends.
The people who believe that working too often is a choice that should be taken away, like Hammermesh, create solutions based on how they think the world should be, rather than how the world really is. Everyone wants to live in a utopia where everyone is relaxed and everything is perfect, however it is not reality. To consider deterring opportunities because someone may not get seven hours of sleep each night is shortsighted; to survive in the real world you have to do some things that you’d rather not do. No one wants to work on the weekends or at night, but some people have to. Some people are thankful for these opportunities; to take those chances away is to limit the likelihoods of someone at the bottom of the barrel to rise to the top. Don’t think that restricting someone’s freewill will fix society’s problems, your ideal society may be infinitely different from someone else’s. This doesn’t mean that one of you is wrong, all this means is that someone’s pursuit of happiness should not be limited based on what one individual believes is the right thing to do. In conclusion, judging others based on when they work and deciding to change the laws ‘to help them’ will do nothing but cause problems. Generalizations should not be made about any group of people, and laws should not be passed based on those generalizations.
Mar 23rd, 2015
Muddying Up the Fire Department Hiring Pool
I wrote this essay for Eng 121, as an argument piece about the low skilled labor jobs occupied by an enormous amount of young adults and the problem that it is creating for the fire service when it comes to hiring. I can state that I focused on the effect it’s had on the fire service, but it could be argued that it affects all skilled labor jobs in the same way.
Fire fighter has been my chosen profession for 20 years. During that time I have witnessed positive and negative changes in the fire service. I would like to focus on the negative change brought about by young adults’ work histories. Non-skilled after school jobs, paired with the trend in society to de-value skilled labor has adversely effected the hiring pool that fire departments draw from. This hasn’t been an overnight change, but a long term trend.
“As many as two thirds of America’s high school juniors and seniors now hold down part- time paying jobs, according to studies.” (Etzioni 2). Largely these jobs are non-skilled, repetitious jobs that don’t necessarily teach skills like mechanical aptitude, and critical thinking. A large portion of people seeking jobs in the fire service are younger adults that have held these types of jobs, or have recently graduated from college and are entering the job market. The nature of the work in the fire service and length of a career make it appealing to start when people are relatively young. The lion’s share of applicants for firefighting careers are aged 25-27. People over the age of 30 don’t often seek this type of employment. That’s not to say it doesn’t happen, this group just makes up a smaller percentage of applicants. The work history of younger applicants often doesn’t offer any tangible skills to potential fire department employers.
The fact is, fire departments predominantly hire younger people. Odds are increasing that these younger people have held down a non-skilled job. More applicants lacking some sort of skilled labor makes it harder to find potential new hires with the needed skills that are required to be a fire fighter. Jobs held by teenagers can “undermine school attendance and involvement, impart few skills that will be useful later in life, and simultaneously skew the values of teenagers” (Etzioni 3). Obviously school attendance and teenager’s values are important, but I’d like to focus on Etzioni’s claim about learning few skills that are useful later in life.
A career in the fire service can’t be considered anything but a blue-collar, skilled labor career. Fire fighters are tasked with more diverse demands than just about any other job. Fire fighters are required to operate machinery, throw ladders, have an understanding of building construction, manipulate and use hand tools, maintain our certifications with continuing education, drag heavy hoses around a fire, care for the sick and dying, and numerous others. These skills require a level of mechanical aptitude and problem solving that many adults don’t have. Fewer adults having a work histories that include a skilled trade are a contributing factor. While teaching a fire academy, it was readily apparent to myself and the instructor cadre which students had skilled labor in their background and which ones didn’t. Students without this background were forced to play catch up a fair amount of the time.
Many applicants that don’t have skillful backgrounds, do persevere and succeed in their careers. However, we are seeing a greater number of applicants let go before they complete their probationary year than ever before. New fire fighters were rarely terminated before completing their probationary year, averaging 1 per year, in 1995, the year I was hired. That number is up to 5 per year, from 2010 to present.
Adding to this increase in the number of terminations is a lack of critical thinking or problem solving. Critical thinking is a cornerstone of the fire service. Part-time jobs held by future applicants often are cookie cutter type jobs that offer no real problem solving development. Non-skilled jobs are exactly that, non-skilled. Employees show up, follow very simple and explicit directions about how to operate and away they go. Jobs of this type don’t teach critical thinking. The fire service, in contrast is nothing but a problem solving endeavor. The newest of fire fighters can and will be put in situations that require them to think critically. The decisions they make can have dire consequences if the wrong course of action is taken. Critical thinking, like mechanical aptitude can be learned on the job, but this process takes time. Some employees get it quickly, and others take more time. A problem arises when fire fighters are put in situations, before these skills are learned, that require them to think critically.
An argument can be made that the predominate age group of applicants seeking fire service jobs, is right in the wheel house of college graduates entering into the job force. Critical thinking and problem solving are fundamental pillars of college curriculum. Anybody who has taken an on-line course, or any college course for that matter can attest to this. A college education does give a good basis in critical thinking. Graduates that don’t have a background in some sort of trade or craft may still lack the other needed tool, mechanical aptitude.
Researching firefighting at the Bureau of Labor Statistics, will show that education requirements for most fire service jobs is high school graduate or an equivalent. Fire departments generally don’t require a degree to seek employment. Critical thinking learned in school may not offer much advantage without a trade history as well. Oftentimes firefighters need to accomplish tasks that are more physical in nature, such as throwing and working off ladders, using power saws to vent a roof on a house fire, or using extrication tools to extricate trapped victims in a car accident. Yes, these activities require problem solving, but they rely just as much or more on the ability to manipulate and use tools in difficult positions.
I’m not saying that never having held a job requiring skilled labor makes applicants unacceptable for the fire service. I’m also not saying that having a college education alone makes them bad applicants. Certainly there are plenty of success stories in the fire service from the above categories. What I am saying is that the trend of non-skilled jobs, even coupled with a college degree, increases the number of poor applicants seeking a career in firefighting. Young adults interested in becoming fire fighters, would be better served to avoid the easy to get non-skilled jobs. Future applicants should learn a craft, become skilled workers, and get their education, make themselves the best applicants they can. If more applicants prepared themselves in this manner, I believe we would see the number of probationary fire fighters terminated trend back towards the 1 per year it used to be.
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