Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Rich bitching...

The recent T.O. no-no's have prompted the usual comments about how highly-paid individuals shouldn't bitch or gripe about their work conditions. I disagree with this.

Now, I'm not the typical football fan. I love the game, but I don't follow the teams or players very closely. As a result, all I know about this situation has come from or filtered through others like Nikki. So, this isn't a big-time football fan commenting on how right or wrong Mr. Owens or his employers are. No. This is just lil ol' me bitching about people bitching about rich bitching...

If you're talented, skilled, or fortunate enough to have found a way to make millions playing a game, playing pretend, or shuffling papers... more power to you. That does not, though, mean you no longer have the right to voice your dissatisfaction with the situation. It may decrease the chances that people will WANT to hear what you have to say, but let's not get it twisted. That's about jealousy and jealousy's not about the have's. It's about the have-not's.

Oh well. Get over it.

HOW we voice our disagreements matters, of course, but that's not what I'm talking about, right now. I'm talking about the right to gripe.

People claim that signing a contract means you knew what you were getting into, so there's no point in complaining. Please.

First of all, we ALL make compromises sometimes. That doesn't mean we like the results of that compromise. Maybe YOU accepted some job or started a business or something, despite unfavorable conditions which you knew about before-hand. The fact is, though, that we've all got to eat and we've all got bills to pay. Some make big bucks, but that usually means that they've got BIGGER bills to pay. In some cases, that also means they've got a shorter shelf-life. That means it's not just about what you earn and spend, today. It's about what you earn today so that you can spend tomorrow... or the day after your career ends. Signing that contract might've been a smarter move than NOT signing it, despite its short-comings. I can't fault someone for being bright enough to know this, but failing to have the negotiating skills or capital to make a better deal.

Secondly, if the employEE knew what he or she was getting into, then so did the employER. In the case of professional athletes, it seems that there are clauses that employers sometimes take advantage of when they find that a player's just not worth it. These employers knew what they were getting into, as much or moreso than the athletes. They certainly don't forfeit THEIR rights to complain and damned if THEY'RE not making bank.

Finally, I've observed multiple discussions, of late, in which people have expressed the unfortunate opinion that employer's can and/or should do almost anything they want because, hey, the employees who don't like their conditions... can just quit. I disagree. Employers and employees have certain obligations to one another - some explicit and some implicit. If either side feels the other isn't holding up their end, they've got the right to speak up and out about it.

In the case of the individual, you'd damned-well better. If you don't, dammit who will?


nikki said...

well said. i agree that everyone has the right to bitch, whether a person wants to hear it or not. however, when i tell t.o. to shut up, it's because everything he's doing now is detrimental to his future as an nfl player. it's one thing to complain. it's another thing to sabatogue.

West said...

Ha! I never occurred to me that it might seem like I was talkin' about you. Believe that.

Cuz you know I'd tell you. ;-)

But like I said, it's all about how you do it. Wanna complain about how somebody's bitching? Cool. Wanna complain about the content of their bitching? Just as cool.

Bitching about the bitching - just cuz they're rich? Not so hot.

nikki said...

oh, i agree 100%

and t.o. is still an ass.

Son of Blog-El said...

I live in the Philadelphia area. I am still a fan of TO (at least his ability as a player) I have to place equal blame on employee and employer in this case. They knew what personality type they were hiring and he knew the situation going in. Hell, my job actually has people "interviewed" by people in the department tot get a feeling for their personality to see if they would be a good fit. We're not looking for conformity but someone who can voice disagreements without utilizing a scorched earth policy.