Wednesday, September 17, 2014

If you choose not to work, you are choosing not to get paid. Live with it.

You may remember the story of the two boys who murdered their parents.  One of the jurors, when asked why she voted to acquit, said she felt sorry for them, because they were orphans.

Apocryphal?  Probably.  But this story illustrates a larger point, that as a society we frequently separate the causes and effects of people's actions.

I live near the Canadian border and so have been hearing regular updates on the British Columbia teacher's strike.  Yesterday a deal was reached and the hosts on a local radio station were talking about it.  The money quote was "It doesn't matter how they got here, you just have to feel bad for the teachers who haven't been paid since June. They have mortgages and families, they are spending their savings and retirement funds". 

The problem is that it absolutely does matter how they got there.  If you choose to go on strike for three or four months, you have made the decision to not get a paycheck.  No one else has put you in or contributed to your situation.  You and you alone are responsible.  If you are not happy with what your employer is offering you have two choices.  Find a different job or wait it out in an extended strike.  If you choose the second, let's not have any pity parties about how we have to feel sorry for the poor workers who haven't gotten paid in three months.  That was their choice.

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