Monday, October 01, 2007


I grew up in a socialist household. The idea that life should be fairer than it is seemed to be a theme. However, we were not to expect life to be fair. We were to do our best to help it be fairer for others. Or at least that is how I see it as I look back. It may all just be how my 7 year old mind comprehended being forced to share things I didn't want to with people I didn't like.

You would think that because of all this, my family (mainly my parents - do NOT get Ky going) would have been more pro-Union. However, early into his career, Dad became middle management and my mother was always more focused on the fact the job needed to be done rather than anything else that may factor in. When I entered The Union for the first time (and yes, I tend to speak of The Union like some speak of The Man) my parents laughed and asked what they would think of the fact that once during a strike in the office building where she was working, my mother snuck in when no one was looking and took all the books home with her so she could get the accounting done on time.

I am a fan of unions. Anyone who has seen Newsies as many times as I have knows the importance of joining together and making a stand. That was then. Today, I find The Union so frustrating. Rather than protecting the rights of the worker against the evil boss, it protects the worker from getting his ass fired for being mediocre while still maintaining status quo. There is little work ethic and pride in one's job any more. Why? Because work your ass off all you want, you are still not being promoted over the lazy ass who started 3 weeks before you. That's why. Unions, when originally they were so desperately needed, have become nothing more than a way to manipulate government and agency.

I shouldn't be so negative. I recognize all the good unions have done. I am not only a part of The Union, but I am relatively active in it. And going to be more so. What was I thinking?? I now have an elected position within The Union that means I will be spending the better part of two years at meetings and doing paperwork about those meetings. When I agreed to the "nomination" (a coworker grabbed my shoulders, herded me to the sign up sheet, put a pen in my hand and the rest is history) I didn't think it would be a big deal. Now? I am not so sure.

However, because I am my mother's daughter - I will do the job because it is mine to do. And because I am Ky's sister, I will do my best to make Pete Seger, Paul Ochs and Bob Dylan proud.


  1. Quick edit before Ky and Maryanne see this. It's Phil Ochs.

  2. I used to be involved in The Union. Until - when I was a little bit of the way up the ladder - I was, wait, told, to choose "sides". There was some brouhaha going on and apparently I couldn't think for myself over each issue and then act accordingly I had to choose a side and then vote as they did on that issue as well as every subsequent one. So I quit.

    I certainly had the card playing part of being in the union down pat but the drinking part never did pan out. They should have mentioned when I started getting more involved that you need to be a heavy drinker to make it in the union. Or at least in the union I'm in.

    What is the main problem with unions? They have become what they started out to combat.

  3. I couldn't agree with you more. Where I work, it's just one sad example after another of how The Union has become the antithesis of what it was meant to be.

  4. Lynnie: There, now Ky will never know.

    KB: The drinking has slowed down - at least in our sector. They are all getting too old!!!

    Gwen: Exactly!

  5. I do know. It still says "Paul." Love you anyway.
    Also, I love how our family boasts socialist values, but lives an incredibly capitalist life, filled with sugary beverages and with cheap clothing made by children.

  6. Hey, we shop at Value Village and get paid shit wages. AND I have no natural sunlight in my current office space. If that doesn't scream socialism, I don't know what does


Crap monkies say "what?"