Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Evil Employers (Part 1)

One thing that always gets under my skin is the concept of what a job is to some people. To some it is a right, to others a privilege. While I can kind of appreciate the plight of the worker, I can't believe that any job is something other than the property of an employer.

To elaborate, if you are hired to do a job, your employer is giving you the permission to perform the functions that the job entails. In return for your performance of said functions, the employer pays you an agreed upon amount. From its most basic elements, the two of you would be engaging in commerce: you trade your time for their money. In order to agree to the terms of the exchange, both you and the employer may set terms (including but not limited to them demanding that you be at your post at a given time in the attire befitting your post). They may give you concessions regarding the number of days a week you work or perks such as discounts on their merchandise, but these may not be completely to your liking. In the event that you and an employer cannot agree on terms of employment, then you are not an ideal candidate for the job.

Even in the negotiation regarding the terms of the job, you must be willing to meet the employer's expectations. To give an example, I sell cars for a living, and I have to work on Saturday every weekend, and in exchange, I am given a day off during the week. The reasoning behind this is that my time is more valuable to my employer on Saturday than it is on Wednesday. In exchange for maintaining my employment, I have to agree to the terms set forth. If I were to tell my employer that I don't want to work before noon, or that I am going to leave everyday at 5, they would tell me not to come back. The job is theirs by right and I am asked only to follow the rules that allow me to keep it.

The thing about this mentality is that once you have a job, you work to keep it. No employer have ever owed me anything other than the payment for the time I worked for them. The idea that a person should have a job by some sort of right is ludicrous. The workers that perform well are treated well because they perform well and the employer's yield from the worker's time is more than enough to justify higher pay. In the event that a person performs well enough to merit extra pay but doesn't receive it, they have the option to find a job that pays the amount they think they are due.

In a free marketplace, the number of people an employer is able to find meritorious enough for a given post is directly proportionate to the pay that the post yields. The laws of supply and demand are in full clear effect. One would not expect that there are many people able to do as well as the CEO of UPS at running a company. There are millions of people who may be able to do a Burger King fry cook's job. Thus there is only one CEO of UPS and a staggeringly large number of Burger King fry cooks and the disparity in payment between the two reflects the demand for the abilities.

This is barely scratching the surface of the job matter. More tomorrow...

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