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December 3, 2012


Replies: 245

The real dictator

staple-salad Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012
I've been away from DA for a little over a year now. In that time I've noticed something very frightening happening. Conspire all you want about government overreach, but I think the real thing threatening our most basic freedom is our corporations.

No this isn't a liberal conspiracy about the big bad corporations squishing the little guy and fair wages etc. No this is more about the desperation we have for jobs, and the corporations stranglehold over our very personal lives that this has allowed.

When you get a job, you get a "new" government that, unlike the real government, is able to control minute details about your life.

Your company can spy on your Facebook. Nothing to hide if you do nothing wrong, right? Well, what if you don't like to be photographed and just happen to have a lot of pictures partying? Have a bad day and need to tell your friends about feeling down? Too bad, employers will look at these things (sometimes going so far as to crack past security settings), and feeling depressed for a while or having pictures of you in a bar can cost you your job.

Gay? Want coverage for your partner in a state where you're legally married? Too bad. [link]

Your employer can control how you style and color your hair, any facial hair, how often you shave your armpits, what piercings and tattoos you're allowed to have and where, etc.

Even on job applications, despite discrimination laws in place there are companies skirting these by saying only Christians need apply.

Think I'm being outrageous, these two women were just fired for something not having to do with their job (it was on a work trip, but there's nothing in the photo tying her to her job, nor has there been mention of if she was on the clock at the time): [link]

And most of this, stifling freedom of speech, stifling freedom of expression, stifling religious freedom, etc. etc. is mostly (if not entirely) legal. If the government did similar, you'd have a good court case. And in this economy, you lose your job, you might as well be incarcerated.

**Note, I'm talking about things that affect how you live outside of work, not how you live in the workplace**

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Devious Comments

mci021 Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
While I agree with the idea that corporations have too much power, I do need to nitpick on some of your points here.

First of all, Facebook. I've never understood why people seem to think that their social media pages are somehow exempt from their employer's review and it's an invasion of privacy. I mean, the asking for your password stuff is actually illegal and they can't do that, but just viewing your page... I don't get people being upset by that.

Facebook is three things - public information, optional and entirely under your own control. People forget that when they share on Facebook, they aren't just sharing to only a few people. Even if you adjust your privacy settings, there are ways for everything you post to leak out. You also don't need to have a Facebook page and you don't need to share every single detail of your life on it. Want to share pictures with your friends? Get together and look at them. Want to gripe about your day? Go our for drinks and let your friends, your real friends, piss and moan with you. There's absolutely no reason, beyond narcissism, that you need to tell all 782 of your "friends" that you had a bad day and don't like your boss much. There's nothing wrong with telling the 15 or so that you actually know and see regularly about your feelings, but the truth is, most of the people on your friends list probably don't care anyway. Lastly, it's entirely up to you how damning your Facebook page is. If you don't want your employer to see things that would make them question hiring you or keeping you on the payroll, then don't post that stuff on your Facebook page. If you simply can't resist posting yet another picture of yourself stoned with a red solo cup in hand, get a dummy account that your friends would know but wouldn't necessarily lead back to you. Ultimately, it's up to you to control what other people see, and if you can't be bothered to think "hmm, this might reflect badly on me at some point" before you post, then you probably deserve the negative response it gets for you.

As for restricting things like chosen appearance, there again, I have a hard time reconciling the outrage. The onus is on you to make sure that you agree with the policies you potential workplace sets down. If being asked to wear business attire, have natural colored hair and no obvious piercings or tattoos is an issue for you, then maybe you should reconsider working there. At the end of the day, you're the one who signs on the dotted line. You're the one agreeing to abide by a certain set of standards in exchange for that paycheck. If those standards are too steep for you, then it's up to you to opt out. When so much of a company's business is determined by the image they present, they have a right to decide what that image should be. If you don't like that, then it's up to you to find something else for yourself.

And lastly, the case of the idiots at Arlington. This goes back to the whole common sense perspective on what you should and shouldn't do or share. These two are dumbasses and no one should feel sorry for them for being fired over their own dumbassery. First of all, it's Arlington National Cemetery. Show a little goddamn respect. They might think they're just so clever, but the fact is, they're not. Second, they were in Washington D.C. on business. Whether or not they were visiting the cemetery on their own time is irrelevant. If you're somewhere on business, you're on their time. Third, having come from the non-profit world before, I know exactly how friendly donors get with the employees of the organization. I also know how little it takes for them to turn their noses up and decide they aren't going to give anymore because they were offended by something. Considering the fact that the existence of their organization depends on the donors who support it, you bet they have a leg to stand on when they want to fire someone for putting that donor relationship in jeopardy. And finally, none of this mess would have happened if these two fools could show a little personal restraint and not put shit like that on their Facebook pages for the whole world to see. This isn't about freedom of speech. It's about exercising basic intelligence, something these two clearly failed at. As far as I'm concerned, they have no one to blame for this but themselves.

At the end of the day, the level of interference our work has on our daily lives is largely up to us. Certain things, like the examples of genuine discrimination you mentioned, are indeed over-reach and need to be more strongly addressed. But things like your hair and your Facebook page are just part of reconciling your needs and wants. These are the adult decisions people make. Everything in life requires sacrifices. If keeping a decent job requires that you get a haircut and stop feeding your own narcissism by showing off every little thing you do on Facebook, then I guess it's up to you to decide how important that job is to you. You can't really blame the company for your behavior, especially when that behavior is dumb and would get you fired if your boss saw it happening in real time as opposed to the next day on the Internet.
DragonQuestWes Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012
They've been doing this for quite a long time.

Also, I've noticed how there's hardly any female Taxi drivers which makes me wonder if they even allow women to drive taxis.

I've also discovered this one report saying that black people who follow the law and are good citizens with NO criminal record whatsoever are just as likely to be hired as whites who were criminals, and tells a lot about race relations here in the US.

divine--apathia Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
I've seen female taxi drivers. I think it's more of a safety issue (women are more aware of the danger of being in a car with a stranger) than a sexism issue.

If you want to talk about industry related sexism, look at education, especially early education. The head of early childhood/primary education courses at my university is male, and when he was working, he'd have difficulty gaining jobs because he was male (he ended up having to work in remote areas, where they were desperate for staff.)

Out of a course of 150 students in the early education + primary course, there are 4 guys. The ratio in the primary course is a bit better (there are probably 50 males in a class of 300)

Accusations of paedophilia is very common, as well as 'men can't look after children!'
DragonQuestWes Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012
The child rapist accusations are a new one for me.
divine--apathia Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Creamstar Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012
Yep, this is how it works. Corporations control our lives, but people won't admit it. You can quit your job and try another, but guess what, that one wants to control your life too. They ALL do. You cannot escape it. And of course, it's always the corporation that is in the right. Never is the individual, the actual person (a corporation is NOT a person!), seen as more important.

Corporations are more so dictators because they control our media. They decide what is and is not relevant. They decide what is on TV and what is not. They decide what candidates are on our ballots. Yet everyone buys into it. People will get fired will stupid, illogical reasons like this and simply sigh and move on. People will complain about our politicians doing nothing to solve our problems, yet they will keep electing the same officials. Never does anyone think that maybe there's a problem with our system and perhaps it needs a major overhaul.
sonrouge Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012
My friend, you must have a very sheltered life, because you are missing so many acts of government abuse that a simple google search would provide.
Creamstar Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012
Many of these so called abuses, some of which are simply labelled abuses because people disagree with them, are supported by wealthy influences.
skulkey Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
any sufficiently large bureaucracy will attempt to control your life, be it corporate or government. this is one of the reasons i'm an anarchist.
Jay-Hyena Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
This is one of the big reasons I don't have a Facebook account in the first place.
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