Posted by: loungekitten | April 26, 2010

Helena Handbasket

I don’t know how people can be optimistic about the country pulling out of the recession.  When I look around me, I see signs everywhere that we aren’t close to being out of it.

Layoffs, real and feared, have hit several members of my family recently.

Arizona has a new law making it illegal for immigrants to not have their immigration papers on them at all times.  I listened to one right-wingnut this morning saying that there will be more opportunity in Arizona now, with “those” illegal immigrants heading back to their homelands Americans can take their jobs.  I’m sorry, what jobs do most immigrants have right now?  Migrant worker farming jobs, or some other careers that Americans don’t want.  Anyway, the reason I bring this up in connection with the economy is that when times are bad, a certain segment of the population ends up taking the “blame” for bad economic conditions – like the Jews in Europe in the years leading up to World War II, along with the atrocities of that time.

Another sign – employers have reverted to making ridiculous demands of their employees.  My friend works in a hospital where the administration is going to be instituting a uniform policy, a la Grey’s Anatomy:  the employees working in each position will wear the same color scrubs.  (Hurrah!  Another life saved!)  She’s waiting to hear the colors to be worn by her and her peers in her position.  She also told me that she heard that at one of the “uniform committee” meetings, the President of the hospital said that he wished they could go back to the time when nurses wore dresses, caps, and those awful clunky nurse shoes.  I told her she should ask him what the male nurses should wear – maybe he’s not aware that his hospital employs males in the “nurse” position!  It sounds to me like some of these administrators, who can wear whatever they damn well please as long as it’s business casual, need to fill a void of some sort in order to justify their continued employment.  I have no idea what the color of one’s scrubs has to with the provision of competent medical care to a hospital’s patients.  Also, where I work most of the patients call females “nurses” and males “doctors” regardless of the color of uniform or whatever our name tags say.

Also local to our area is a nursing strike at Temple Hospital in Philly.  There are several issues up for debate, but I think the “gag rule” they want to institute is the worst.  I really wouldn’t want to work for anyone who had such a policy, healthcare institution or not.

My point, in the larger sense, is that when economic conditions are bad, employers can institute ridiculous policies or ask for oppressive concessions from their workers.  If the economy wasn’t bad, employees would look for another job rather than put up with these unreasonable demands.

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