For the "essential" service workers

One sec, have I mentioned before that my work is unionized?

Oh hell yeah fuck him up then

(I assume this means it will make you harder to get rid of so I say do it and have someone film it so I can watch it and live my best life through you)

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Yeah, I just figured it offered a bit more leverage when it came to things like telling a company president to get ULTRA FUCKED

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im in a weird position where i’ve worked full-time through this pandemic, but i’m also in healthcare administration, not service or frontline healthcare, so my exposure to the public has been minimized. i remember saying in early days that i was disgusted by the war rhetoric being deployed around “fighting” covid, and then the painting of service workers as “heroes,” but couldnt put my finger on why. then i think someone on twitter posed it this way: heroes do good things just because. you dont have to pay, protect, or improve the conditions of heroes. workers were branded heroes to absolve companies and legislators from responsibility to support them.

im in a bargaining workplace that handles healthcare and pension benefits for dozens of unions. i work as an office clerk, but right now im picking up shifts for our receptionist, dealing with hundreds of irate callers a day as they struggle to get telehealth benefits, covid testing, and withdrawals from 401ks and pensions under the families first act provisions for borrowing against their retirement funds. i know for a fact that the borrowing having to happen now to survive means as these workers age, they won’t be able to afford the care they need, or help support their dependents. but i also know they have no choice because our government has utterly failed to support us beyond a single check and giving permission for us to borrow against our future.

in my regular job role, i open most of our incoming mail. im handling a lot more death certificates than i ever have before. most of them dont list covid as the cause, but with pensioners, you have to wonder if it was a comorbid factor. as far as appreciation or hazard pay, we’ve had the company pay for one boxed lunch. due to a previous ineffective strike and contract negotiation, there’s no motivation among my (mostly middle-aged to senior) coworkers to demand better, even though most of them are in risk groups. my office building is next to a large retirement community i pass every morning. since march they’ve had a big sign out front proudly proclaiming “HEROES WORK HERE!”

i had a nervous breakdown last thursday. i made use of a hotline and was fortunate to have family who could come over for immediate intervention, but my friends are in worse shape than i am this far into the pandemic. one is a low-level manager at an office supply store, constantly being harangued for missing sales goals while the store was provided no PPE at the beginning of the outbreak and never allowed to close. he spends most breaks locked in the bathroom having crying jags or panic attacks. another works two jobs, one WFH during the week, and one at a grocery store on weekends. she’s suffered constant hostility and verbal abuse from customers during her shifts. her “hazard pay” was a hat and a large banner hung in the store calling the workers heroes. both have had to seek emergency mental health support and services, which in the case of one with poor insurance, was quite costly.

i don’t know where i’m going with this other than just recounting incidents in this shit. i know my friends and loved ones who have direct public contact are in incredible physical danger, especially as we enter flu season proper and schools reopen in places, and on the brink (or past it) of mental/emotional collapse. all i can do is say: youre right. this shouldnt be fucking happening, you should be treated better. please hold on. as my mother promised me when i was in my darkest place on thursday, a better world is possible, but we may have to live through the collapse of the old one.

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I’m a graphic designer so I’m as far away from essential as you can get, but I have to vent a little about a terrible (and now former) job. Way back in March, despite our protestations, we were forced by the company to create a last minute marketing campaign with a “WFH theme” (seriously) while management and HR still hadn’t even authorized its own workers to fucking work from home.

After weeks they finally allowed the administrative departments to WFH (so not everyone), but they ‘temporarily’ cut the salaries of these people by either 75% or 50% (which was my case, and considering the company already paid everyone terribly this was even more awful); while on paper our hours would be reduced as well, we were often expected to be available at all times and we usually had to work the normal hours, if not more. Then they laid off a bunch of people, my department was essentially cut in half and I was somehow expected to take the workload of at least two more coworkers, including my former boss, who was unceremoniously fired while I was taking a HR-mandated week off since I’d never taken any time off during my two years at that company.

I quit first thing when I got back and after I gave all my “feedback” to the head of the department (aka told her how fucking terrible the company was and how poorly the workers were being treated) at least she admitted she couldn’t even disagree with what I was saying, and that was that.

I was dealing with this bullshit while working on a ton of side jobs at the same time so I could pay the bills, and while having a very mild case of covid myself that I got from my grandmother, who had to stay at the hospital for weeks but thankfully is now well and recovering at home. I’m still very fortunate and privileged that I can freelance and WFH since I’m in São Paulo, which has been hit extremely hard by covid.

Fuck terrible workplaces, fuck all these souless and rotten companies, fuck capitalism.

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saw this tonight and thought of this thread

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Achieved a small victory by spitting on a truck adorned with Qanon bumper stickers, twice.

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