David Blaine’s Friday Musing…

We are becoming a nation of whiners and sissies.

Last Tuesday our paper picked up an AP story discussing a workplace study conducted by Rand Corp, Harvard Medical School, and UCLA.  The study concluded that one-fifth of Americans find their workplace hostile or threatening. Here is some of their “shocking” evidence:

  • “Telecommuting is rare: 78 percent say they are required to be present in their workplace during working hours.”
  • “Wow – (work) is a pretty taxing place for many people,” (author says), “I was surprised by how pressured and hectic the workplace is.”
  • “Nearly three quarters say they spend at least a fourth of their time on the job in ‘intense or repetitive physical labor.’”
  • “Less-educated workers endure tougher working conditions. For example, fewer than half of men without college degrees can take a break whenever they want to, compared to more than 76 percent of men with college degrees.”
  • “Likewise, nearly 68 percent of men without degrees spend at least a fourth of their time moving heavy loads.”
  • Nearly one in five workers say they face a ‘hostile or threatening’ environment” including “bullying” (whatever that means). “Workers who have to face customers endure a disproportionate share of abuse.”

Really?  People are actually required to be present in their workplace during working hours. How did we get so medieval?  “Hostility” and “Bullying” are grossly over-used and loosely defined. I’ve talked to dozens of employees who say their work environment is “hostile” because they get written up for being late every day. HORRORS!

Hard work and interacting with lots of different personalities is not hostile.  Selling vegetables in a Syrian street market is hostile.  Walking 2-3 hours a day for drinking water is hard work.  Working in a garment sweatshop for $2.00 a day probably involves some bullying. We live in the greatest country in human history. We have more freedom, opportunity and resources than 95% of the world and this is what we complain about. Get a job. Be on time. Work hard. Get educated. Confront bullies. Become invaluable. If that doesn’t work – get a different job or start your own business, just like your employer did. I’m sure there are openings for cab drivers Afghanistan.

-D.Blaine.

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