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Old 06-16-2010, 11:53 PM   #21
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I've never worked in a place like that. Sounds like the Gummint.
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Old 06-22-2010, 12:55 PM   #22
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Looks like I'm late to the thread.

I guess I can sympathize. I'm kinda the "working dead". On most jobs I have had, there were similar types of people. Seems like most people are working dead if they are honest with themselves. Some people make it known that they are the working dead. Some like to look like the go to guy and a hard worker. And then you go out with them to a client meeting or something, and you realize they, too, stop for personal errands on the way and take ice cream breaks ( or 7-11 style cigarette and coffee breaks with chili cheese hot dogs). Some coworkers have no problem BSing on the phone for hours with clients ("Just establishing rapport!") and chatting about the latest football game or next year's top recruits at the watercooler, yet they would frown if they saw someone checking their facebook page for 10 minutes.

A rare few actually do apply themselves 99% of the time and work really hard. The rest are either slackers ("the working dead") or dishonest with themselves ("the clueless").
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Old 06-22-2010, 03:55 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by jacob View Post
Basically, the working world can be divided in "losers" (the working dead), the "clueless" (the managers), and the "sociopaths" (the executives).
Interesting. Rings true, in many ways.
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Old 06-22-2010, 06:35 PM   #24
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I read the above story. Yes, it is now common in US work places. It was not like that in the 70s-80s when I entered the work force.

Compare that to the work condition of the Chinese workers who toil for long hours to build our iPhones and iPads. It is the other extreme of US municipal workers taking long naps and US private-sector workers playing Solitaire. There has been a rash of Chinese workers committing suicide by jumping off high factory buildings.

Tenth worker at iPad factory commits suicide - Asia, World - The Independent

Google "Hon Hai workers suicide", and you will see more.
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Old 06-22-2010, 06:39 PM   #25
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I sold vacuum cleaners door-to-door for a while, although "sold" might not be the correct term. I demo'd vacuum cleaners...
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Old 06-22-2010, 07:56 PM   #26
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It is likely true that a child with the genetics of a lizard is unlikely to get into Harvard just because his parents stretched to buy him or her an encyclopedia. But it is a powerful lesson that the parents love their kids and want them to study and believe in themselves and make something of themselves.
A bit off topic, but this reminded me that the Freakonomic writers ( Freakonomics - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia ) had a chapter on this subject.

Some well meaning group had noticed a correlation between books in the home and success in school, so they started offering free books to those without. Follow up study showed no effect. Hmmm?

Levitt figured out that those kids did better because they lived in a home where the parents valued books. The mere presence of books did nothing without the desire to have books.

I'm also reminded that we had an encyclopedia at home (must of cost hundreds in the 60's, big bucks) and all us kids routinely just opened to some random page - pretty much like I do with the Internet today. In fact, when us kids are together at Mom's and some question comes up and we get to 'betting' each other on the answer, we'll reach for the encyclopedia to settle the 'bet'. I think Mom gets a kick out of the fact we still reach for those old books. Whatever they cost, I guess it was worth it.

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Old 06-22-2010, 08:17 PM   #27
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There has been a rash of Chinese workers committing suicide by jumping off high factory buildings.

Tenth worker at iPad factory commits suicide - Asia, World - The Independent

Google "Hon Hai workers suicide", and you will see more.
We need to find their secret to success and copy it.

From that article:

Quote:
Foxconn, one of the world's largest manufacturers of electronic equipment, is huge. The chefs slaughter 6,000 pigs a day to feed the company's nearly 400,000 workers in this giant industrial complex, spread over 1.2 square miles.
And they have had 10 suspected suicides so far this year. So a rate of around 20 for a year, and that would be 5 per 100,000 population.

According to :

List of countries by suicide rate - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The US is over twice that at 11.1/100,000 and the workers at Foxxconn are far below their national average of 13.9/100,000. I guess factory work at Foxconn is less stressful than what the rest of China has to put up with.

Maybe the sheer boredom of playing Solitaire is driving more to suicide than 'toiling for long hours to build our iPhones and iPads'? And of course, many, many companies use Foxconn, not just Apple.

But I guess the 'journalists' couldn't be bothered (or figured they sell fewer newspapers) to take the time to add some perspective.

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Old 06-22-2010, 08:31 PM   #28
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Found a few more suicide stats:

Wiley InterScience :: Session Cookies

Quote:
Suicide rates among industrial groups were examined systematically using death certificate data from 1984 through 1989 in Alabama. ... Marked differences in suicide rates were found among industrial groups. The rates ranged from 5.31 to 62.36 per 100,000 population per year. People employed in public administration had the lowest rate. In comparison with public administration, the construction industry had the highest risk
62/100,000! Time for the construction industry in Alabama to hire the Foxconn people as consultants. How come this isn't a headline?

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Old 06-22-2010, 08:36 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
The US is over twice that at 11.1/100,000 and the workers at Foxxconn are far below their national average of 13.9/100,000. I guess factory work at Foxconn is less stressful than what the rest of China has to put up with.

Maybe the sheer boredom of playing Solitaire is driving more to suicide than 'toiling for long hours to build our iPhones and iPads'? And of course, many, many companies use Foxconn, not just Apple.
Very good!

I reread the article, and verified your number. And according to the National Institute of Mental Health, in 2000 among young people 20 to 24 years of age the suicide rate was 12.8/100,000. The latter agrees with your quoted number of 11.1/100,000, and the slight difference between 12.8 and 11.1 may be simply due to the years the stats were taken, or due to the different age groups that were included.

Yes, one may conclude that playing Solitaire is hazardous to one's mental health. And I am not suggesting that it be outlawed or that Microsoft should face liability lawsuits. Playing Solitaire may be just a symptom of an underlying problem, and not its cause.

Soo, it's too bad we no longer have electronic manufacturing here anymore. It may help our workers, our economy, our national mental health, our pride of productive work.

Signed: someone who has NEVER played Solitaire. I do not even know how to play the game!
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