Thursday, April 12, 2012
The part of the essay that caught my attention is where Ehrenreich pointed out the difference between workers as regards the responsibility each is entitled to. "Cooks want to prepare tasty meals, servers want to serve them graciously, but managers are there only for one reason - to make sure money is made." This is quite typical of American work culture. Everyone knows their role, and tends to play it to the best of their ability.
Watch standing was part of my job as a Gunner's mate on an aircraft carrier. We were constantly advised on the consequences of being caught sleeping while on watch. A day before I was to go on watch, I stayed up late playing video games and chatting on face book with this smoking blonde I had met at a bar in Manhattan a week before we sailed out to sea. Normally, I would retire to bed before 11pm to be sure to get an ample amount of sleep; I ended up sleeping for only 2 hours. The next day I took over the watch as usual; barely 2 hours in, I was passed out on the floor snoring only to be awoken by my Head of Department, a Lieutenant, who happened to be passing by my watch station at such a wrong time. Of course I had to pay dearly for my actions...45 days restriction, reduction in rank, and forfeiture of 2 month's pay. A lesson learned in a hard way.