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Real Work

Speaking of overheard conversations, here’s one from yesterday that I was outside of and found rather interesting. Co-workers were complaining about the recently published salary of our CEO and the other officers. They are, needless to say, many times that of the peon workers. And they were upset about it in the wake of the lay-offs and belt-tightening of the past year.

I find it odd that these things don’t really phase me. And I commented to them, “Welcome to capitalism.” The conversation never detoured. Never any questions about our society, just of the individuals who benefit from the system. Someone suggested that they shouldn’t be paid so much when we’re the ones doing the real work. Real work? How does one quantify that? Salary? If someone makes more, is their work less real? Or is it less abstract maybe? I guess we are closer to the product of our labor than someone who makes the decisions further up the chain.

How about someone even further down the chain? Do these people ever stop to think about how there complaining would sound to someone at the poverty level? Someone who digs ditches so to speak? Wouldn’t our salary sound just as outrageous for what we do?

Look around you, the system we live our lives in doesn’t stop at the next level above you or below you. Inequity goes in all directions and is built in.

Now I remember why I studied sociology…

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