Thursday, December 11, 2003

There was a strike this week. It’s depressing the amount of vitriol that people harbour. The bile in their letters and soundbites implies that everybody’s got it better than them, and nobody deserves anything, especially not people who serve food or do other manual labour. Nobody deserves job and wage protection, they say. Nobody deserves to make enough money to pay for a home and take care of a family, buy some stuff and take the occasional vacation. Nobody deserves time to raise their children. Nobody deserves a voice.

People who gripe about these things don’t have the imagination to visualize anything different for themselves. They only want to bring others—people just like themselves—down to their level, or at least down a peg or two. Everything beyond their immediate control is a source of blind distrust and resentment. They don’t seem to see that one victory might lead to others; that we all could be better off someday. Instead they watch the losses mount, believing it when they’re told that everything’s going to be all right.

The ever-helpful Sun published the hourly wages of every member of a Spirit-class ferry in the paper today, to prove a point, I suppose. Rub salt into wounds. Never mind that it’s none of anyone’s business what people get paid. Looking at the numbers, I don’t make as much money as the lowest paid member of a ferry crew. Then again, I get to sit in a warm office every day, I get to leave for work and come home at the same hour every day, I can wear whatever I want, and I don’t have to deal with members of the public who are angry at me for doing exactly what they would do in the same situation.

My company does the right thing and gives me a few benefits, but it could all disappear tomorrow. I understand this last fact, and I wish it wasn't true. I still think I'm the luckiest bastard on earth.

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