October 11, 2006

Politics: Body? What Body?

Funny story:

I applied recently to a local manufacturing company that I had heard was desperate for employees: it was so successful, that they were adding a second shift to their assembly line. Now, I'm too damn lazy for that sort of thing, but one job they did have to fill was the management of their stores, a job I had done before for a different employer. Since this mostly involves counting, it certainly fit my physical criteria, and as the job was quite well paid, it fit the criteria of my Significant Other as well.

I had two interviews, which I thought went quite well, and then heard nothing for a week. So I called to follow up. Ends up I didn't get the job, and they hadn't bothered to tell me.

Bummer, right?

Then I asked why I didn't get the job, and was told, after much heming and hawing, that they were afraid that I might be offered a job writing full-time and would leave them. If that were to happen, they would have been left without an employee that they had worked so hard to train.

No time frame was given for when this miracle was to happen.

So I wasn't hired for a position they needed to fill because of something I was interested in doing; I had, in fact, included "writing" in the application blank named "hobbies", so perhaps it was in some way my own fault. Perhaps instead I should have stated that I so looked forward to a life where I could come home from work, eat, stare at the wall for six hours then go to bed. All for the Glory of the Great Company!

Truth be told, I was not hired because they didn't want to hire me, and that was fine. No actual excuse was needed, but as I was live and on the phone with the human resources guy, he felt embarrassed enough to give me one, screwy as it was. But that was only about not being hired for a job - could you imagine the same excuse being used for being fired from a job you already have? Well, no, of course not. We have laws about wrongful dismissal here in modern times and civilized nations.

Now, imagine if it suddenly became legal for you to be fired because the owner of the company simply didn't like you, no matter how well you did your job, or how much the rest of the staff liked you, or even if the manager wanted to keep you on.

Now, imagine that you could be fired and not know why.

Now, imagine you could be fired and not hired by any other business for four years.

Now, imagine this could happen without any legal recourse in any way, shape or form.

Got it? Okay, last one:

Imagine instead of being unemployed for four years, you were kept in a 9' by 7' isolated cell with no windows and no sounds other than being fed between bouts of being forced into "stress positions" for hours on end, having the temperature manipulated, trying to sleep on a steel bunk, having your sleep continuously disrupted, breathing noxious gasses, being force fed lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and phencyclidine (PCP) and browbeaten by professional interrogators in an attempt to get a false confession from you?

Welcome to U.S. citizen Jose Padilla's world.

This was illegal behaviour when it was happening four years ago, and it will continue to be illegal right up until president (I'll capitalize that when it's worth doing again) Bush gets around to actually signing the Millitary Comissions Act of 2006.

A quick version by NPR.
A "fun" version by Keith Olberman.

Habeas corpus = "Produce the body" = If there is no proof of a crime, there can be no punishment.

One police officer's opinion, also from Glenn Greenwald's site.

The SO and I have our 10th anniversary next year; we want to renew our vows in Las Vegas. I'm having serious doubts about ever crossing that border again.

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posted by Thursday at 8:15 pm

2 Comments:

Anonymous Stephen Rees said...

I have simply lost count of the number of jobs I have applied for in the last two and half years. Getting any kind of response at all is the exception not the rule. And certainly, if you have been interviewed and not heard, I think they expect you to call them. Although I have not heard an excuse this thin. All they have to say is that they decided to appoint someone else who appeared better qualified.

What is very strange is the number of times I have been given a "hot lead" - networking is supposedly so much better than replying to adverts. But when you finally get to speak to a live human being it turns out they are not so desparate to fill the vacancy after all. Complaining about the difficulties if getting good people seems to be the favourite pasttime for HR people, but does not necessarily mean they are actually going to consider someone who is older, or "over qualified" - the usual euphemism. And of course you have to say that you will take part time, no benefits, yadda yadda when everyone knows that you will leave in a shot for full time and a full package - if yopu could get it. Which is about as likely as winning the lottery.

6:01 pm  
Blogger Thursday said...

My guess is that HR folks are trying to look as busy as possible. Downsizing is only a phone call away, after all...

5:56 pm  

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