Wednesday, July 31, 2013

As much as possible with minimum effort

Years ago I worked in management for a grocery company. I had a high school education and had worked my way up in that company for several years. I worked ridiculously long hours with few days off at the expense of my family, friends, social and spiritual life, etc. Detailing the fact that I greatly lacked balance in my life at that time will remain reserved for future discussion.

For now, suffice to say that the examples that my parents had set for me with their own hard work contributed to my work ethic and my view of the world as well. My dad had been a policeman since  before I was born. He worked tough assignments and many off-duty details to make ends meet. When he "retired" he continued to work. My mom, a "house wife" (they call them stay-home parents or homemakers these days) was the hardest working woman I had ever seen.

Being a manager in that grocery chain was something that I was proud of accomplishing, but it was far from what one might think of as financially successful. Let's just say that I tried not to think of what my "hourly rate" might calculate to.

One day in the "cash office" as I was doing the nightly accounting, I overheard 2 of the cashiers discussing their "benefits". No, they were not discussing vacation, sick time, or hospitalization. They were talking about government benefits. They were talking about how much more they could make from certain government "programs" if they made sure not to "go over" a certain number of work hours, and they also discussed whether or not it would be more beneficial to them to "get fired and just have some more babies." Um, I was shocked. I guess I led a sheltered life regarding such things.

A few years later and in a different store location, a young man asked if the store was hiring, and I intended to interview him. But he asked me if I would just sign his unemployment form (which he handed to me) stating that he had asked for an interview and that there were no positions available. I said "But I have several openings." He responded that any job I offered to him would not pay much more than his "benefits" were paying him for just staying home. I noticed that the form allowed a detailed "comment" from me. The young man was pretty upset with me when he saw that I documented his words on the form.

During the past several years I have been saddened that many politicians have "pushed" what I perceive to be an increasingly socialist agenda on this country.

My reasons for opposition to this are not the focus right now. What is the focus is that I have come to believe and am starting to "come to grips" with the reality that I am the one in the minority now. It seems that this really is what a majority of people in America want today; "as much as possible with minimum effort."

Thanks Mom and Dad.

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