America Hurting

For months we have heard nothing but news about job cuts. Today is no exception. Job cuts are rolling in to the TV stations today and the numbers are numbing. But, what is the reason. Is it the reason we are being told, or are there other reasons behind the job cuts?

First, let me say I am nothing if I am not honest and I am looking at this job problem with all the honesty I can muster. We must quit, as Americans, think we can accept all of the problems the world lays on us and stay afloat ourselves, but that is another diary and another day. We cannot also expect to allow open borders and expect our economy to stay afloat. That isn’t popular in Democratic circles, but the truth isn’t always popular.

The topic of this diary though is regarding corporate missions. Are corporations over reacting to the down turn in the economy and using it as a self-serving opportunity. Why do I ask this. Well, I am a little older than many of you though I don’t like to think I’m ancient. However, with aging (a little) comes experience and it makes one see ‘possible reasons for distrust’ more quickly and often these are correct.

First, I don’t trust Bill Gates anymore since only six months ago he was lobbying for more HB-1 Visas and now he is saying they have to cut jobs. We have plenty of Americans who are qualified to do the ‘high tech’ jobs he is always reciting. Is he expecting us to believe that those students who studied in American Universities (subsidized by American taxpayers) and then stayed with HB-1 Visas were only in class with other foreign students? Or would Mr. Gates have us believe that the American students in those classes just simply didn’t ‘cut it’? As a taxpayer, I am really tired of seeing foreign students come in and then stay with the best jobs in American. And, as someone who has worked in a university I know that not all (and probably not most) of them are paying the full tuition rates you hear quoted by most universities for foreign students. It is a game and we all know it.

Now, another thing that I learned in corporate America is that there is trickery in the workplace! No? Tell me no? I worked for a ‘well respected’ Fortune 500 company and we were called into a meeting one day and told it was critical to ‘maintaining our position’ that we begin 24/7 customer service. It was totally ludicrious to begin such a stupid schedule. When we left the meeting and I shared with some fellow workers that I suspected it was a method of downsizing I was called a pessimist and almost called a scoundral. Well, my child was grown so I said if others could take it I could although I was caring for an elderly parent. After all, I had 13 years with the company and wasn’t eager to give it up even though the job was less than desirable. It wasn’t long before the others were seeing my point without any further encouraging. The bad job went to a ‘hell on earth job’. They did every low life trick in the book to force employees who were at the top of the pay scale out of the company. The trauma they caused was still unbelievable. The conditions were horrible and we were still unionized though thanks to Reagan the union was so crippled it was almost ineffective. Yet, they tried.

Our call volume went way up and the company had a method of tricking customers into calling the center by sending mailings to the ‘wrong customers’. It happened over and over and was far too numerous to be an accident. That way they could not only drive the call volume up, and torture employees with constant calls in hold, but they could also require employees to try to sell to every customer who was being tricked as well. It was a three ring circus. Then, we learned they were hiring ‘off the street’ rather than posting within the company as required by the contract so those who were being laid off could put in a request for those jobs. Their excuse was that it wasn’t the same level of jobs and the ‘new hires’ were simply being hired at entry level pay and would only be working on ‘peak days’ Well, that lie had hardly landed when the new hires were given a ‘change in status’ to full time permenant employees. See the picture? They had gotten away with dumping the employees at top pay and benefits and replacing them with cheaper employees who also had to pay most of their medical benefits. It didn’t even take long for the new hires to be promoted and the same thing happened to the first level managers who weren’t ‘protected employees’, but not full management either. They were the ones carrying out the dirty work and few felt a lot of sympathy there.

So, as I hear about all of the layoffs taking place today, I can’t help wondering how many of those were replaced yesterday by cheaper workers.

We are also fooling ourselves if we pretend that Americans won’t work at McDonalds and other low paying jobs. Everyone doesn’t have a college degree or a highly trained skills. Those people need jobs too. America has to come to grips with the reality of the situation. I am very distrubed with what I am seeing going on and how we aren’t even suppose to ‘talk’ about certain subjects. We’ll get over that, just as soon as reality sets in.


~ by citizenjournalistreview on January 26, 2009.

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