h a l f b a k e r y
Contrary to popular belief
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Alter society (grant me this
impossibility, okay?) so that jobs
come in 20-hour units rather than
40-hour units. Normal workers are
expected to hold two jobs at a time.
Businesses, hiring plans, payroll
systems, tax structures, benefits
plans and the like would all be
organized to support the
Yes, it's possible for an individual
to do this now, but it's not the
norm; the "standard contract" is for
full-time employment. (Ask anyone
who's tried to find part-time work.)
No, what I'm describing isn't the
same as being an independent
contractor juggling several projects;
you're a full-blooded employee of the
companies you work for.
- When you quit, or you're fired, or
you're laid off from one job, you
still have another while you're looking.
- More flexibility. While the norm
is to hold two jobs, you're free to
hold only one (less money, more time)
or three (more money, less time);
doing so doesn't disrupt the system
in any way, and indeed your
co-workers might not even know.
- More variety. You can have one job
which is boring but lucrative, and
another which is fun but doesn't pay
as well. If you have skills in two
different areas, you can use both of
them. You get to compare and
contrast two workplaces.
I'm sure you'll come up with plenty
of disadvantages (even leaving out
"how do we get there from here").
||>When you quit, or you're fired, or you're laid off from
>one job, you still have another while you're looking.
||Wow. Having two jobs makes sense for the same reason having two lungs makes sense. Or having two kidneys. You can be a living donor of one. Say there's an underdog that you're really rooting for among applicants for a job similar to one of yours. You voluntary leave to create an opening for her or him. Sure it's a sacrifice on your part, but half a livelihood is less than half as big a sacrifice as a full livelihood (If I understand marginal utility correctly). Of course, marginal utility cuts both ways. Two of something is usually worth less than twice as much as one of something. Don't know if that applies to jobs.
||A client describes 'management' as "breaking big things up for better control."
||This idea sounds good enough to butter up and jam, but I can't help but feel a bit negative. I mean, will every weekend be one of those 3 day kind? Will there be an extra rush hour every day? Are folks who already work two shifts here and two there for their 48 hours going to cut back for the promise of benefits? I think it's so nasty to be on the clock anyway, what with the 'employee as time thief' attitude as prevalent as it is. Can this be done without timesheets?
||I really love the idea, both for myself and as an ideal. The main difficulty (imho) is that the benefits all fall on the side of the wage-earner, whilst company managers have to cope with scheduling, hiring, and retaining enhanced-mobility employees. Until top-level management sees a benefit to empowering workers this way I'm afraid few companies will go willingly down this road. Unfortunately.
||1) Most upper-management jobs require a level of devotion to the company that would not allow for such "divided loyalties." I'm not saying this is right, but it would rule out the option for the higher level jobs.
||2) Many an individual has been "mercifully" kept on the job because of considerations to the impact on that person's family, etc. If the underperformer were only facing the loss of half his employment, he would be more likely to be fired.
||Despite these issues, I like the idea.
||this is already happening. I don't know anyone who doesn't have at least two irons in the fire. People are no longer letting the corporation set thier agenda.
||Despite potential inefficiencies in having to train twice as many people to do the same work, I think it's a wonderful idea.