Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Conspiracies to Deny Effective Participation & The Problem With Unions

When I get cards in the mail about my husband's latest union meeting & knowing where our community board meetings are held, I do ask myself that question.

First off, some facts about where I live in NYC. Queens, to be precise. There are parts of Queens that should just be annexed to the suburbs since as far as I'm concerned, you're in Nassau County if you live outside the MTA subway line. You may as well be Staten Island & everyone knows how NYC residents feel about Staten Island (most of us would like them to become their own little community already).

Some of these transit nightmare parts also exist in neighborhoods where the MTA subway line runs. A portion of these are in my local community & henceforth, I don't feel great loyalty there. Why would anyone want to be someplace where you get all the disadvantages of both the city and the suburbs? Plus, if I can get to a restaurant in Manhattan more easily, why would I get on a bus that only runs every 30 minutes or so to get to a restaurant in Queens (assuming everything with the restaurants is equal)?

I already have a number of reasons I prefer going to and dealing with things in Manhattan over Queens. I'm apparently not the only person noticing better sanitation grades in parts of Manhattan I can get to, better service on the whole in Manhattan or more convenience.

Our community board meetings & my husband's union meetings are both held in transit dead zones or places where transit is a total joke.

I can't help but wonder if the location of these meetings is deliberate so people won't attend & won't participate. Would YOU participate in a meeting you can't attend virtually & would have to drive to when you don't have a car or would have to leave your alternate side street parking spot to get there?!?!?!

Is this the case in other communities? I do feel like it's totally the case in mine. Do organizers in government, unions & elsewhere deliberately set up meetings in out of the way or inconvenient spots so the average person won't participate & therefore, little Hitlers can reign?

My husband's union reps should be glad I'm not part of it because I'd be in their faces all the time & demanding accountability. I hear about so much appalling behavior going on in my husband's workplace that would turn anyone against unions.

Are you curious? I'll give you some basic examples of problems I'm aware of. First off, the no-strike clause. The very first thing anyone associates with a union is the ability to strike!!! Being a union whose workers can't strike? If it were a person, it would be a man with no testicles (literally or figuratively).

Second, a number of his co-workers who have never had to worry about being laid off in the past few layoff rounds are STILL working there after being called for discipline multiple times, being kicked out of multiple branches after being bigoted to colleagues & members of the public (one person who was offended was a city council member).

Meanwhile, a number of people there (including my spouse) work their butts off, have gotten great reviews from co-workers & management but continue to get denied for promotions AND are put on the layoff list. Do you see anything wrong with this picture? One of these people was in fact laid off while all these deadweight scumbags got to keep their jobs.

I think the city needs a citizens' accountability group for taxpayers to reel in these wastes of public money by public officials & institutions. I haven't found a local one to exist; if it does, it's surely too wussy and passive to really do what I think a good group should be doing. We'd be front & center, bringing in the media & causing a huge ruckus if I was leading it.

Furthermore, if you want to encourage citizens to participate in unions or local government maybe you should have meeting locations that are accessible to everyone, not just your golden children.

Who wouldn't suspect something shady with putting your meetings in locations no one can get to easily?

Unions in particular ought to be shaping up as well if they want public support. Stop encouraging loafing & laziness in your ranks. Get rid of the dead weight, the people who don't want to be there and the utter assholes! Jobs aren't a fucking right or an entitlement, damn it! You EARN them!!! Maybe instead of covering up for these types, they should be gone so competent people who actually do their jobs well could get promotions instead of layoffs favoring the lazy assholes.

Do I sound bitter? Maybe, but consider how you'd feel if it were your loved one losing all passion for his/her job due to this kind of bullshit. When the only way you can move upward is by sucking the right dick & you have to commit a felony before you can be fired from a job you're stinking at, you might feel better about some private businesses.

This is not to say there's no BS in private business but it seems like they have more incentives to get rid of under-performing or abusive assholes. Racists managers are a PR nightmare in a for profit company; so are sexual predators, thieves & lazy jerks. A poorly run private company will eventually go out of business. I as a consumer will certainly not support one if I hear or see that they're harboring incompetents. I would certainly get rid of incompetents in my own company in a second & I know my partners would never expect any one of us to suffer abuse, laziness or actions that would ruin our business reputation if made known to the general public. Being my friend or relative means nothing. If you aren't hacking it, you're gone.

My personal solution is somehow creating a union that considers + rewards/punishes actual work performance instead of just seniority. Even a system to clear out the dead weight quickly so those people sitting at home unemployed who'd do twice the work for half the pay could get a shot to succeed instead of some entitled, bloated lump. Yeah, I'm not a fan of tenure or teacher's unions either.

Final thought: not everyone can be the boss. If you can't be impartial, deliver the facts in a concise way & treat people with respect, then you've got no business managing anyone. I say this having fired & interviewed people. Wusses need not bother working in management.

There's a lot more to it & certainly to business ownership but I view the presence of incompetents as a malignant tumor to a business. They should be doing something they want to do & given real training for it but if after all that, they're still screwing up the answer isn't to let them get disciplinary records longer than the entire city subway line while continuing to pay them a salary & laying off competent workers with "less seniority."

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