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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » The Wet Blanket of Unemployment, (NEW Update!) (Page 1)

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Author Topic: The Wet Blanket of Unemployment, (NEW Update!)
BlackBlade
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Well, I wrote my head of HR yesterday about redeeming some corporate bux I had earned for prizes, and was excited to get an email from him saying he wanted to speak to me. I was excited.

Within the first sentence, "The company as you know has been trying to streamline over the past few months..." I knew I was being fired.

The good news is they offered me an alternate position at the same pay rate. The bad news is its at a lower department doing mind numbing phone registration, with significantly less freedom. I really enjoyed my job in marketing as it gave me lots of time to talk with all of you, and do work that I felt mattered.

I must give them my decision by tomorrow.

I felt a deep sadness welling up inside me during the discussion, and I think the only reason I didn't break into tears is that they are at least offering me a position doing something else rather then selling me out. Unemployment has caused me serious distress in the past, I have little tolerance for it.

I will probably take the phone registration job for now, and actively seek employment doing something else. I wish that since its appropriate to give 2 weeks notice when you switch jobs, that companies would give 2 weeks notice to employees when they lay them off.

I feel the strong impression that my time at this place of work is at a close, and that God wants to me to work elsewhere. Why I cannot say, but the feeling is there. I certainly hope, He handles me with kid gloves, or at least hopefully Ill handle this challenge well.

To future and better employment opportunities! *raises glass*

[ May 08, 2007, 12:31 PM: Message edited by: BlackBlade ]

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Belle
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Sounds like you have a good plan in mind. Take the job, but begin actively searching for something else. Hopefully, you will land somewhere better that gives you fulfilling work for the same (or maybe more!) pay.

Good luck. [Smile]

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vonk
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Don't forget to hit the supply cabinet on the way out!

Good luck finding something else. Are there other people in the same position that might be able to point you in a good direction?

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Stephan
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Do exactly that, take their offer, and start looking around. I'm sure it will work out for you.

I think the whole 2 weeks notice thing is to make yourself look better for the company you are starting with. They would like to see a past where you don't leave people high and dry. I have left 2 employers without notice due to work conditions, and the fact that the new companies needed me to start immediately or I wouldn't get the job.

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katharina
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Good luck, BlackBlade. Job-hunting is not my favorite activity. Fortunately, the country is almost officially in something like a labor shortage. I high hopes for you finding something else that you like.
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Dagonee
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[Frown]

Sorry you have to go through this - I hope you find something better very soon.

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MightyCow
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Even if jobs don't give two weeks notice, you'd think God would. It's not like he doesn't have the time.
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by MightyCow:
Even if jobs don't give two weeks notice, you'd think God would. It's not like he doesn't have the time.

I suppose he is in the business of letting me live on earth amongst humanity and all that entails [Wink] I certainly have full confidence that he will guide me in my search for a job, and I'd rather have that then a warning. To be honest though I could see the writing on the wall, and I had a slight feeling of uncertainty about my job situation. But I was not going to preemptively seek employment elsewhere, I waited until it was necessary.

I will most likely post significant updates in this thread, thank you all for your support; seriously.

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tt&t
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Companies aren't required to give notice when they are terminating someone's employment? [Eek!]
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quidscribis
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I imagine it varies depending on location.

In British Columbia, if it's a layoff, no notice is required.

If it's a firing, then notice is required if the person was employed for three months or longer, and the amount of notice required depends on how long the person was employed at that company. Of course, individual contracts can change the details, increasing the length of notice required.

In these circumstances, where a person has the choice of being laid off or moving to another department, I don't know whether it would fall under layoff or under effective dismissal, which would be firing.

But that's BC. I don't know about where Blackblade lives.


BB, sucks. I wish you new and better employment soon.

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Architraz Warden
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quote:
Originally posted by tt&t:
Companies aren't required to give notice when they are terminating someone's employment? [Eek!]

That would be the US, land of "At-Will Employment". Defined by Cases and Materials on Employment Law (interesting read, it'll make you wonder how commerce has survived) as:

quote:
...any hiring is presumed to be "at will"; that is, the employer is free to discharge individuals "for good cause, or bad cause, or no cause at all," and the employee is equally free to quit, strike, or otherwise cease work.
There are of course amendments that make exceptions where you cannot fire someone for race, gender, etc. but so long as the employee can't prove these were the primary reason, you can still fire people at will. Financial reasons give even more leeway.
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tt&t
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Golly. That sucks. It's in no way like that here. You have to have a Really Good Reason for firing someone, and even then you have to give lots of notice - and if they have a Really Good Reason why they shouldn't be fired, then you will probably have to rehire them.

Security of employment is considered Very Important (I have to say I tend to agree).

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Icarus
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Huh. I always thought two weeks' notice (or, more often, two weeks' pay) was standard.
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King of Men
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quote:
Originally posted by tt&t:
Golly. That sucks. It's in no way like that here. You have to have a Really Good Reason for firing someone, and even then you have to give lots of notice - and if they have a Really Good Reason why they shouldn't be fired, then you will probably have to rehire them.

Security of employment is considered Very Important (I have to say I tend to agree).

Which is why it is very difficult to get hired in the first place. You pays your money and...


quote:
I certainly have full confidence that he will guide me in my search for a job, and I'd rather have that then a warning.
Right, because you are so much more worthy than all those other slobs in search of a job, whom your god will carefully guide to McDonald's so that you can get the good high-paying one. Grow up.
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Dagonee
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quote:
Grow up.
KoM, it is physically possibly to have a thought and NOT submit it to a message board. Just sayin'.

quote:
Golly. That sucks. It's in no way like that here. You have to have a Really Good Reason for firing someone, and even then you have to give lots of notice - and if they have a Really Good Reason why they shouldn't be fired, then you will probably have to rehire them.

Security of employment is considered Very Important (I have to say I tend to agree).

This would have made it impossible for me to start a business just out of college. It also, incidentally, would have kept me from creating 30 high-paying jobs for other people.
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Fusiachi
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quote:
Originally posted by tt&t:
Golly. That sucks. It's in no way like that here. You have to have a Really Good Reason for firing someone, and even then you have to give lots of notice - and if they have a Really Good Reason why they shouldn't be fired, then you will probably have to rehire them.

Security of employment is considered Very Important (I have to say I tend to agree).

If you are doing your job well, your job should be fairly secure, neh? Furthermore, if you're capable, you should be able to land a better job post haste.

We should encourage competition.

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Primal Curve
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quote:
Originally posted by King of Men:
Grow up.

You weild irony as a club, sir.
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King of Men
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*Thumps Primal Curve with club of irony*

Ahbooga! Abooga!

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Primal Curve
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<returns clubbing with a volley of Monkey Doo of Ad Hominem>

Eeeeeeeee EEEEEEE OOOOH OOOH!

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tt&t
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quote:
Which is why it is very difficult to get hired in the first place.
Can't say I've ever found it difficult to get a job.

___

Dagonee, that may be so - or may be not. I am interested to hear how being able to fire people at will made it easier to start up your business?

___


quote:
If you are doing your job well, your job should be fairly secure, neh? Furthermore, if you're capable, you should be able to land a better job post haste.

We should encourage competition.

Competition, yes. Fire at will? For no apparent reason at all? Sorry, but I don't agree. I'm sure that in most cases there is a reason for terminating the person's employment - but if there is a valid reason, as I said, that would work here also. And where there is not a reason, then why should the person be able to be fired, just because the employer doesn't like them anymore?

It is more the lack of notice that I am surprised at in any case. Throwing people out of a job at no notice seems very harsh. And incidentally, it is much harder to find a job if you are not currently employed, especially so if you have been fired. Asked at an interview what your current employment is, no interviewer is going to be more impressed by the answer "nothing". Asked why you are currently unemployed, they are likely to be even less impressed when you tell them you got fired.

I do do my job well, and we have regular performance reviews here which are considered a better way of encouraging employees to perform well than the threat that they may lose their job if they don't perform. If we are incapable of performing our job, or aren't trying hard, etc, then we can receive warnings (probably much the same as what usually happens there). And if we don't buck up our performance then yes we will end up being fired. There are other reasons why employment can be terminated (very good reasons, such as serious misconduct, harassment, term employment, and so on). But due process must be followed. If what I am reading is correct, it seems that an employee could be fired if they didn't even know they weren't up to scratch - or if a new manager was employed and didn't like them.

___

Our employment law is based on the premise that the employee is in a much weaker position than the employer. The employer essentially holds most of the cards - so our legal system deals the employee a better hand than they would otherwise have.


EDIT:

I'm not trying to say our employment system is perfect - it is far from that. And people do get fired when they shouldn't, for reasons that are not valid. However, our laws do try to give employees a chance.

I worked as a volunteer Worker's Rights Advocate for a year and we saw many people who lost their jobs at no notice and subsequently got into trouble with debt or rent which they would have been able to pay if they had had adequate notice or if the employer had been honest with them. Many shady employers, in order to get better employees, will state that a job is full time or permanent, when in reality it is not, and then will fire the person or not give them enough hours. The employee may have got a mortgage (for example) based on the fact that they thought they had a permanent job. It is not very fair to then fire this person, for no real reason, at no fault of their own.

At worker's rights, chasing up these employers for the pay owed, notice owed, or the job back was our main focus. Most of the employees would not have realised they had these options, and would not have been able to enforce it against the employer in any case. In most cases, they are low paid labour or horticulture jobs or fast food joints. Many of the employees are foreign, either on a travelling work holiday or trying to make a go of it in a new country where they don't speak the language well. Employers should not be allowed to take advantage of these people. But it does happen, and most likely will always happen. I certainly approve of our laws trying to give the employees a better chance. It is difficult though, especially when even though our law requires a contract, many employers neglect to fulfil this obligation and many employees are not aware that a written contract is required.

It's all very well to assume that all employers are like yourselves, and have good reasons to fire people (whether this is lack of money or otherwise) but in reality this is not always the case. Honest employers should have no problem with our system.

[ March 30, 2007, 08:25 PM: Message edited by: tt&t ]

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Dagonee
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quote:
Dagonee, that may be so - or may be not.
First of all, it is so. I was there. You were not.

quote:
I am interested to hear how being able to fire people at will made it easier to start up your business?
We were in the service industry. One extra unbillable employee made us cash flow negative - we were very small, and our margins were thin.

We also were on contracts where each person was critical, and any friction - with the customer or the rest of the team - could cause us to lose that contract.

When the choice is five people or 1 losing a job, it's not hard to decide. If we had had to meet someone else's standard for when we could fire someone, with an error costing so much that it would guarantee negative cash flow, neither I nor my partner would have put our personal finances at risk.

We each literally stood to lose everything we owned except for the bankruptcy exception - whether personal or corporate asset - if we ever missed a single payroll. And we came close several times. In each of those situations, a single extra unbillable employee, even for two weeks, would have meant bankruptcy.

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tt&t
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What do you mean by "unbillable" employee?
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tt&t
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Secondly, I was not intending to cause offence by my statement. I meant that our employment system may not have made it impossible for you to start a business just out of college, or creating 30 high-paying jobs for other people.

People do start up small businesses of this sort here. Not all succeed. Many do. But the employment system does provide for it, and you can employ temporary staff if you have a good reason for it (your situation would probably be considered a good reason) - you must however tell them they are temporary and their employment may be terminated without notice. As an honest employer, I don't think you would have had more trouble starting your business here than you did there. There are also tax & other breaks for new businesses here as we encourage entrepreneurship. This system is not perfect either and as I said new businesses do fail. But it's not impossible.

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Dagonee
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quote:
What do you mean by "unbillable" employee?
An employee who I do not have client work for.
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Mucus
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tt&t: Maybe I missed a post, but where is "here" where "here" is in the "It's in no way like that here" sense.
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Amanecer
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Dagonee,

You've probably said it before, but what type of business did you start?

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BlackBlade
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quote:

Right, because you are so much more worthy than all those other slobs in search of a job, whom your god will carefully guide to McDonald's so that you can get the good high-paying one. Grow up.

You have virtually NO idea how Christian theology works in this regard, your ignorance is extremely telling.

Take your own advice.

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Papa Moose
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BlackBlade, to be fair to KoM, there are a number of people who do indeed feel that is precisely how God occasionally answers prayers, though not quite with the same words. King is just making it explicit that to some degree, employment can be a zero-sum game.

King, there was little to no indication that BB thought that. He didn't mention income being a major issue to him (and yes, I realize that was only a portion of your comment, but it seemed the greater portion). And even if he had, why do you feel the need to respond the way you do? I've seen you be respectful in discussions which involve theism in some way, though sadly not very often. The response is invariably better from everyone, whether they agree with you or not. Do you actually get any positive result from the way you usually converse other than self-satisfaction?

BB, sorry to get off your original topic. Sorry about your job situation, and I hope you find something you're looking for soon.

--Pop

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Irami Osei-Frimpong
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quote:
Fortunately, the country is almost officially in something like a labor shortage.
I wonder about this labor shortage. Are we really in a labor shortage or do employers have inadequate ideas about how much to pay workers?

I say this because it seems to me that an easy way to import cheap labor is to cook up a myth of a labor shortage to get the state to relax protectionist standards.

[ March 31, 2007, 05:07 PM: Message edited by: Irami Osei-Frimpong ]

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tt&t
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Mucus: New Zealand.

If this is what you are asking?

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fugu13
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Labor's in an odd place right now. Employment is high, and there's a slight problem filling highly skilled jobs (on average; it varies considerably across the country), but there's a bit of a shortage of lower end jobs right now.

One widespread view among those watching the situation right now is that we're in a period of adaptation from the labor flood in highly skilled jobs that happened due to the recession. Before the recession shortages of skilled labor were 'handled' by hiring what was really unskilled labor for many skilled positions -- sometimes creating effective apprenticeships, but often not. Companies are (thankfully) cagier currently, so the eventual solution is unfound.

The solution likely will involve rising wages in some sectors, particularly those both requiring skill and not easily moved, such as construction work.

However, states relaxing protectionist standards will probably help those wages increase [Smile] . If capital is allowed to be flexible, jobs are created when there are people available for hire who would increase a company's earnings, and people who might be easily hired away for more money receive raises; preventing flexible capital and 'protecting' jobs destroys jobs -- take a look at France, particularly among those shortly out of college.

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King of Men
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quote:
And even if he had, why do you feel the need to respond the way you do? I've seen you be respectful in discussions which involve theism in some way, though sadly not very often.
I respond to arguments with arguments. Unthinking, self-centered arrogance, on the other hand, annoys me.
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by King of Men:
quote:
And even if he had, why do you feel the need to respond the way you do? I've seen you be respectful in discussions which involve theism in some way, though sadly not very often.
I respond to arguments with arguments. Unthinking, self-centered arrogance, on the other hand, annoys me.
Well, pompous contemptuous presumption bothers me. It seems you by default assume the worst in everything a theist says. Your description of what I was saying felt so alien to me I felt being indignant was my only course of action.

Although income is certainly important to me; I can't start having children until I can support them financially, it is certainly secondary to working in a good place and doing work I feel is productive. I found a job working on my university's campus making less then I used to, but I am going to try and take the state department examination so I can get a job overseas.

I am not sure it was wise to even explain all of this to you KOM. I am not confident you would take my explanation seriously, more likely you will just pick it apart and try to assign insidious or sinister motives to me that do not exist.

For your own reasons you continue to post in this forum, as do I. It does not seem you are going anywhere, and neither am I. I have noticed that when referencing Joseph Smith you as late have not called him Joe, which I greatly appreciated, (though I am not sure if you are doing this intentionally). I know you are capable of being kind, and considerate.

Could you consider saying something like, "It think its pompous and arrogant that in light of the fact that there are numerous people all looking for jobs, that you believe God will lead you to some upper tier income, and carefully lead all them to Mcdonalds."

Obviously your way of saying things is not identical to mine, but I would not have taken offense to the statement above.

We've had discussions in the past, I know its not impossible for you to rationally discuss religion.

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Jutsa Notha Name
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But this isn't really a religion argument, I don't think. It is one of placement (or displacement) of value with regard to others. Would you, for example, think yourself deserving of a specific dream job of yours if you knew you were competing with someone who had equal credentials and ability to you on every count, but was a Muslim? How about an atheist? How about a Wiccan?

Looking at it reasonably and without assuming any hardcore fundementalism, I am sure it's reasonable to say that you wouldn't say your faith should place you above those others as a mitigating factor for deserving the job. That is how I can imagine almost anyone thinking. The difference is between what you said, and the unsaid implications behind it. No, you may not believe your faith makes you any more worthy of any said job, but your words implied differently despite your meaning. Sure, to others who not only feel similarly to you but who also have a faith at least similar to yours, what you said is harmless. To those who do not share even a passing similarity to any part of your faith, or who in fact eschew religious faith altogether, such statements are very similar to you claiming that your faith is going to be a factor in your eligibility for a job, whether directly or indirectly. That, in essesnce, is not a far cry from either placing your own faith as a more valid factor in a job market containing many beliefs, or displacing a competitor's potential position because your faith is leading you to that job inexorably.

There are alternative interpretations, yes, but only if other assumptions are made that are unrelated to the words themselves. It's just the words themselves that I'm talking about, since it's reasonable to believe at the very least that most human beings are not going to expect their religion to make them a greater potential candidate for a job. That sort of thinking has mostly gone to the wayside since the early to mid 19th century. The sentence you used is, I believe, a remnant of a type of thinking that no longer exists in any measurable fashion, though your mileage may vary.

On the other hand, I happen to live in a town where it is not uncommon to see the fish symbol or a biblical quote in business advertisements or on a company vehicle, placed there purposefully. The mentality hasn't died out, it has simply shifted to a new venue in some parts of the country.

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katharina
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Irami, I don't believe vast conspiracies are in control of all government and media. You are welcome to believe as you wish.
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Dagonee
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quote:
To those who do not share even a passing similarity to any part of your faith, or who in fact eschew religious faith altogether, such statements are very similar to you claiming that your faith is going to be a factor in your eligibility for a job, whether directly or indirectly. That, in essesnce, is not a far cry from either placing your own faith as a more valid factor in a job market containing many beliefs, or displacing a competitor's potential position because your faith is leading you to that job inexorably.

There are alternative interpretations, yes, but only if other assumptions are made that are unrelated to the words themselves.

Let's look at the original sentence KoM responded so rudely to:

quote:
I certainly have full confidence that he will guide me in my search for a job, and I'd rather have that then a warning.
He didn't say, "God's going to get me a job." He said God will provide him guidance. This is either a true statement, in which case all objection is rather moot (or at least misdirected) or a false statement.

If it's a false statement - which is presumably how it will be viewed by "those who do not share even a passing similarity to any part of [his] faith, or who in fact eschew religious faith altogether" - then his faith will provide him no advantage. So we need to look at the advantage he is claiming to have: access to particular information.

Information that, even if given to KoM, would be ignored by him as untrustworthy.

This is entirely a statement about religion and has nothing to do with comparative value. He's not saying "Someone will hire me because of my faith." At most, he's saying, "God will bring to my attention a job I might otherwise have known about absent my faith."

This would be different had he said "as a Mormon I can find a better job" - then faith as eligibility for a job would be relevant. The sentence he used is very much still in existence. I've prayed extensively for help in my job searches and believe I have received it. So have many others who have been looking for work.

KoM chooses to believe we're all deluding ourselves. Fine. But no one is claiming greater "eligibility" for a job based on faith.

Remember, BB's original sentence was in response to someone with whom he's had religious arguments with very recently basically posting, "Where's your God now, faithboy?"

BB's answer was, from his perspective, perfectly accurate and in no way a claim that he was more worthy of job because of his faith.

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Irami Osei-Frimpong
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I look at the current immigration debate with the situation with the trade Unions, and then look at the unemployment rate and the number of people who work full-time yet still qualify for food stamps, and I find that to an alarming degree, employers are artificially depressing wages, or at least wages that don't reflect the demand, laying it off on the taxpayers by way of public healthcare and public assistance and in addition, having the temerity to scream "labor shortage," as a means getting cheaper, more desperate workers from across the border. With all the talk surrounding the middle class millionaires next door, there is a surprising number of working poor people on some form of dole.

I'm not talking about a vast conspiracy, I'm talking about the possiblility that some people are controlling the spin on this issue. For example, when you read this article, do you see a labor shortage or an inappropriate diagnosis of the market on behalf of the employersHere

Depending on who you talk to, China has a labor shortage. I've even heard it told that India has a labor shortage. But the people doing the telling aren't the quality of characters I trust.

[ April 01, 2007, 06:26 PM: Message edited by: Irami Osei-Frimpong ]

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katharina
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Perhaps it would be better to say a shortage of educated workers, which are harder to replace.
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Jutsa Notha Name
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quote:
Remember, BB's original sentence was in response to someone with whom he's had religious arguments with very recently basically posting, "Where's your God now, faithboy?"
That's cool, I can dig that. Despite King of Men's prodding comments, I have to admit that I got an impression that could easily have been compared to arrogance were I not already used to the whole "god's plan" stuff being stated regarding pretty much anything. You may not agree, but I do find it pretty arrogant and an easy cop-out to consider your god to be arbitrating all of our lives in such a fashion. I just don't care to make a big deal of it any more. It's a useless argument, and I don't usually think people mean it the way it sounds to me as someone who doesn't share even a bit of their beliefs.

After all, you God-people have us outnumbered. [Wink]

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Jutsa Notha Name
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quote:
Originally posted by Irami Osei-Frimpong:
I'm not talking about a vast conspiracy, I'm talking about the possiblility that some people are controlling the spin on this issue.

Please allow me to be the first to welcome you to the real world. [Smile]

Hate to burst your bubble, man, but it's like that with everything. Everything. The only people who don't admit such a thing are people who don't care, don't want to know, or have convinced themselves otherwise to get through the day. A lot of data out there can support the inverse and obverse of a position, depending on how it's spun. Statisticians and lawyers are often most aware of this fact.

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fugu13
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India is having a vast labor shortage in technical areas. There are plenty of people, but very few highly skilled people in many specialties. Salaries for people who do have those skills are doubling and tripling, helping drive the creation of the upper and middle classes. I'm less familiar with China in that sector, but given that their ICT industries are even further behind than India's, I wouldn't be surprised if they have a labor shortage. So lets see -- people having trouble finding qualified people in those areas is leading to large increases in salary and standard of living, as well as a big push among parents to get their children educated in ways that will get them good technical jobs.

I think you're missing things in your link, btw.

In response to the increase in work, employers are offering higher salaries for those skilled workers that are present. This is exactly what should happen, and will happen given flexible enough capital. Rising salaries will result in more people entering the profession, and/or moving from other states -- the first something that is already occuring, by the numbers in your link, and the second something the companies are, also according to your link, already trying to do to handle the additional work.

So lets see: rising salaries, people entering the profession because of rising salaries, companies offering incentives to bring in out of state labor at higher salaries . . .

Where are the bad things you assert that link represents?

Nowhere in that article do they even bring up international immigrants, legal or illegal.

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BlackBlade
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Short story even shorter, I managed to snag a job working for a research contractor as an electronic editor. It pays just as well as my old job, but with the added glory of benefits, even if I work part time! *kicks heels*

Apparently corporations (edit: and the US govt) hire out this contractor to do research of online and hard copy periodicals. The contractor employees rifle through articles that have been flagged for having certain key words the corporation is interested in. Upon reviewing the articles, I decide if the article is pertinent to the information a particular corporation is seeking. For example, T-Mobile might show up in numerous periodicals, but only articles that mention their cellphone towers are desired by them.

I forward the article to them, or else deem it unimportant, and discard it.

I have little idea how labor intensive the work is, but I passed all of their competency tests with 100% accuracy so at least I know I can do it.

If unemployment is a wet blanket, new employment is throwing it into the dryer for 40 minutes and then taking a nap under the now toasty blanket. [Smile]

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brojack17
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Congrats BB. Good luck with the new job. Do you get a severance from the old company?
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rivka
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Congrats on the new job. Sounds like it should be interesting. [Smile]
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vonk
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quote:
40 minutes
Man, I need a new dryer.

Also, congratulations. Better-new-job kicks worse-old-job butt any day.

[ April 12, 2007, 01:31 PM: Message edited by: vonk ]

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Farmgirl
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Congrats BlackBlade! Glad it worked out so well that you got a new and better opportunity!

FG

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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by brojack17:
Congrats BB. Good luck with the new job. Do you get a severance from the old company?

Unfortunately no, as I was paid by the hour.

I do get an Xbox 360 because I won a contest there, but to be honest I'd rather have a cool $400.

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ketchupqueen
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That sounds like a great job. I wish I had that kind of work. [Wink] Congratulations!
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brojack17
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You can always e-bay it.
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erosomniac
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Congratulations, BB! Sounds like a pretty sweet gig!
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