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  1. #1
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Default Do you think employment is increasingly precarious?

    Do you think job security is a thing of the past? The secure but dull work and life trajectories of the past having been superseded by precarious flexibility in the present?

    I've read about this not simply being a power ploy by managerialism, the reinvention of "keep them on tender hooks", but a new norm for all across the spectrum of income brackets etc.

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    Administrator highlander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Do you think job security is a thing of the past? The secure but dull work and life trajectories of the past having been superseded by precarious flexibility in the present?

    I've read about this not simply being a power ploy by managerialism, the reinvention of "keep them on tender hooks", but a new norm for all across the spectrum of income brackets etc.
    It is absolutely more precarious than it was in the past. If you don't deliver results, your job is at risk. It's at risk if you don't get along with your boss. It's at risk if your company's performance is down or even if the performance of the area you are working isn't meeting expectations. Sometimes, management just makes a change to try and shake things up. I had a friend once who was laid off because his boss was threatened by him. He never regained employment and ended up committing suicide. His boss got fired within a year of letting him go. I think the higher you go, the more risky it is. If you look at CIOs at major companies for example, it seems like one of the least secure jobs I've ever seen.

    It used to be that a lot of people would work for a company out of school and stay there their entire life. That's obviously not the case anymore. I've really only had three jobs and I've stayed in each of them for quite a while. I don't think that is typical.

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  3. #3
    The Green Jolly Robin H.
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    Absolutely....with one exception. The accounting industry. No one likes to shovel shit...getting a job that everyone hates will ensure you always have one.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    It is absolutely more precarious than it was in the past. If you don't deliver results, your job is at risk. It's at risk if you don't get along with your boss. It's at risk if your company's performance is down or even if the performance of the area you are working isn't meeting expectations. Sometimes, management just makes a change to try and shake things up. I had a friend once who was laid off because his boss was threatened by him. He never regained employment and ended up committing suicide. His boss got fired within a year of letting him go. I think the higher you go, the more risky it is. If you look at CIOs at major companies for example, it seems like one of the least secure jobs I've ever seen.

    It used to be that a lot of people would work for a company out of school and stay there their entire life. That's obviously not the case anymore. I've really only had three jobs and I've stayed in each of them for quite a while. I don't think that is typical.
    I find that sort of precarious nature exists in my own line of work but the further up the line people move the less precarious their position, its also part of why a lot of them choose to pursue promotion and results in a lot of the promoted people not exactly being the best and brightest too, although this could be a state employment kind of thing.

    I've definitely encountered that business of superiors feeling threatened, I've definitely felt superiors feeling that I know more than them or are smarter than them and that has been and is positively lethal, I've even encountered people feeling positive malice towards me because of it.

    Its something I find hard to work with because they are generally smart enough people to know if you are playing dumb or anything in that order so you cant even perform any kind of elaborate ruse to make them feel better about themselves or others.

    What is interesting to me about this, right, is that, with the exception of the public sector and maybe its coming, the precarious nature of things is not restricted to the subordinates, so its not necessarily an engineered up superiors thing, on the one hand, then on the other, I'm surprised there's no protest about this, the public have successfully been sold on this idea that these developments are necessary, unavoidable and even positive anyway.

    What is shocking to me too is the extent to which a lot of my favourite psychological literature, positive psychology (all of which isnt equal if you know what I mean) has been co-opted into all these developments and a lot of people are not simply bluffing about "this lay off is the best thing which could happen to you/me" but positively believe it.

    Combined with a couple of other trends I'm considering it a culture of decline and decay, despair hasnt accompanied it though yet, as opposed to growth. I wonder the extent to which drug use or abuse among social elites could be playing a role in this too, the whole live for the moment, dont count on tommorrow, forget the past, move on of it all seems to be coked up as all bejaysus.

  5. #5
    Theta Male Julius_Van_Der_Beak's Avatar
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    I'm expecting to get laid off at some point. The only thing I can do about not being laid off is for me to get a job somewhere else. It's not like I can go up to the people making these decisions and say to them "don't lay me off" and then they won't lay me off.

    At least I stuck with being a temp for two years without no vacation days or sick leave in order to finally get a permanent position with benefits. So there's that.

    I'm going to work on being happy, though. I'm going to rot in the ground and make parasites excited, why not enjoy myself before that ends? I don't see the utility of spending my life wallowing in despair because the world sucks or I have a seed of evil buried deep within me or something; it's not like that does anything to make the world not suck.

    Some things that make me feel happy are being in a LTR and being helpful. Finger-wagging bullshit doesn't make me feel happy, because it's not helpful.
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    The Typing Tabby grey_beard's Avatar
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    To my mind there are several issues which contribute to this.

    First, the loss of general public morality. The saying in business used to be "Don't do anything wrong" and then it became "Do it, just don't get caught" and then it became "go on the offensive with a good lawyer, besides, everyone's doing it."

    Second, a generalized atmosphere of greed and business being dominated by MBA-bean-counters who neither rose through the ranks, nor have any sense other than the individual line-item (not realizing there are many intangible costs and opportunities in a business which cannot be captured on a spreadsheet)

    Third, following from the first and second, a rush to personalize all benefits and socialize all risks, e.g. refusing to pay to train employees, rather demanding that employees pay for their own education, and thereby bear the risk that what they trained for is not in demand (a business paying for its employees' training will at least have the opportunity to know what its own needs/demands are), cutting back on quality assurance and customer support as "costs" -- witness Microsoft using its own customers as beta testers, and releasing bugfixes as "service packs" (the sheer effrontery! -- if car manufacturers released such defective products, they'd have been sued into bankruptcy). One might also consider the whole mortgage meltdown, where MBAs decided / decreed that banks would be better not to hold the risks of loans, rather bundling loans together and *selling* them to third parties -- with the unintended consequence that those deciding on loans got paid on volume, with no cost for making bad loans: driving up prices unsustainably, to people who couldn't afford them anyway.

    Also, a realization among the movers and shakers that the demographics of the United States / Europe were changing: not only was the population aging (meaning, that down the road, there would be many more retirees, not producing, but spending down accumulated wealth), but also the level of consumer/government debt, meaning, new markets were necessary to drive growth: and so the solution was both to outsource to the Third World to save labor and environmental costs, but also to attempt to create new markets; finally, the trend to bring Third-Worlders to the United States, not just for low-cost commodity labor ("jobs Americans won't do"), but also for highly skilled jobs (the lying rubric "we cannot find qualified Americans" where US employees were required to TRAIN THEIR REPLACEMENTS -- quite a feat if the rationale is that the trainer is unqualifed)...

    And, back to the bean counters and MBAs, the use of stock options as part of executive compensation, so that short term fixes to goose the stock price, rather than building a business for the long-term, became the norm; coupled with US tax law which made raising capital through DEBT rather than issuing stock, heavily tax-advantaged; the risk being that at the slightest hiccup in cash flow, costs would need to be cut DRASTICALLY, and the easiest way to do this is to cut labor costs.

    Add all of these together and it's kind of a perfect storm for employees.
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  7. #7
    Wake, See, Sing, Dance Cellmold's Avatar
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    It's been part of a building pressure for a long time. This is just the start of it's release.

    It will become more so with time. Things have become better in various areas over time but there is no reason it can't regress.

    Besides sometimes you push the seesaw in one direction but the other tips too far the other way. Then you find out it's a seesaw with potentially infinite directions.... then it turns out it was never a seesaw... AW Fuck!
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    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Population grows.

    Technology increases production efficiency and reduces demand for labor.

    Globalization removes barriers and expands the scope of competition.

    Put these things together and you get precarious employment.
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  9. #9
    The Typing Tabby grey_beard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    Population grows.

    Technology increases production efficiency and reduces demand for labor.

    Globalization removes barriers and expands the scope of competition.

    Put these things together and you get precarious employment.
    Notice that only people are global; taxation and intellectual property rights, not so much.
    Funny how that works.
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