Tag: Work

Anti-Capitalist Meetup: When a Socialist Becomes the Boss by MrJayTee

It wasn’t that hard when I was a grunt. As long as my job was constructive, something that made the world suck less, a regular job was OK. I was a working class guy, the Man was the Man, and never the twain would meet.

Now, I’m the boss. Sure, it’s a non-profit, but I’m still in a position to hire, fire, and order people around. It’s also important to note that “non-profit” doesn’t mean nobody is taking home too much money. It doesn’t mean the work really helps anyone. Non-profits are, if anything, more worried about their reputation than for-profit businesses, who don’t need to appeal to the goodwill of the bourgeoisie for sustenance. I have confidence in the decency and mission of the outfit I work for, but as anyone who has spent time in the non-profit/NGO world understands, organizations change and non-profits can be quite ruthless. They are every bit as flawed as the human beings who run them.

For better or worse, I help run this one.

Now, instead of separating myself from the Man, I find I am the Man. I manage several dozen employees who depend on me to be competent and fair in my decisions, which critically effect not just their working life, but their homes and families, and even their long-term employability anywhere.

What’s a good socialist to do?

Feds issue new guidelines for Trans employees

While we struggle along a state at a time on the right to nondiscrimination in the workplace, having just reached 14 of them and having ongoing efforts to increase that number in Connecticut and Massachusetts, the Federal Government has issued new guidance about the employment of transpeople (Guidance Regarding the Employment of Transgender Individuals in the Federal Workplace).  Attached was information about How to Reconstruct a Personnel Folder due to a Change in Gender Identity and an FEHB Carrier Letter authorizing change of gender on insurance and health records (but noting that sex-specific care such as mammograms and prostate exams should still be covered).

The guidance comes from the Office of Personnel Management, directed by John Berry.

It is the policy of the Federal Government to treat all of its employees with dignity and respect and to provide a workplace that is free from discrimination whether that discrimination is based on race, color, religion, sex (including gender identity or pregnancy), national origin, disability, political affiliation, marital status, membership in an employee organization, age, sexual orientation, or other non-merit factors. Agencies should review their anti-discrimination policies to ensure that they afford a non-discriminatory working environment to employees irrespective of their gender identity or perceived gender non-conformity.

We Energized Each Other: Finding Engaged Allies Where We Work

Whatever our situation, we need allies to work successfully for change. We need people to talk with, brainstorm ideas, lift us up when we’re down, and build power by acting together. Many of us involve ourselves in local and national political issues, but what about our workplaces? How do we shift these contexts to help create a more just and sustainable world? Unionization is one key approach. Had the Deepwater Horizon workers been unionized, they could have challenged the dangerous shortcuts that BP was taking without fear of being capriciously fired. Instead, many may well have held back from expressing their concerns for fear of losing their jobs. But whether or not our workplaces are unionized, we need to find engaged allies if we want to make a difference.

Put America Back To Work

Just one of many ways, and not only as to the VA facilities but Federal and State buildings etc. as well. And boy could I make a huge list of overlooked and ignored infrastructure needs!

I did this a number of years back, but it wasn’t because of a collapsed economy. I came off some eight years on the road, mostly in the northeast some midwest and a few southern states, building and supervising the building of stores in the new enclosed Malls that had grown out of strip malls all over. I just happened to have hit a call for a carpenter to lay a couple of VCT floors at the VA facility in Syracuse and was one of two hired. After we finished that we were asked to stay on and work out of their maintenance office and shop doing repairs and preventive maintenance. We ended up working there for a year plus. The other carpenter, older then myself, stayed on, I left to go back into commercial Rebuilds and continued in Commercial and Residential for the years since, up to the collapse of it all and the to little going on now.

What is Work?

An old friend of my family had a favorite saying: “Work is something unpleasant done for money.”

I lost touch with the fellow long ago, but the phrase has stuck in my mind and popped up occasionally over the years. Some of my recent conversations about economic systems, here and elsewhere, have brought it again to the fore.  

Hello Again, Everybody

Happy 4th, everybody.

I’ve been back for a few weeks now and I’m finally getting my life back in order a bit; at least enough to do a little blogging again.

Where have I been? Only the most awesome place on earth: Manly Beach, Australia. I sold a piece of software I had been working on for quite a while and it was actually the second time this company bought the rights to something I had written, so I knew what I was in for.