Getting There


It’s the most difficult part of going to work each day for most, if not all, working-class people. I don’t mean the physical act of transporting yourself, though that can be a pain in the ass too if circumstances are wrong. I mean the emotional act of getting yourself ready to go to work.

No one who’s working class wants to go. Why should you? you’re going to a job that, if you’re lucky, you don’t hate. If you’re lucky, you’re boss doesn’t treat you with a complete lack of respect. If you’re lucky, you can find things about your current job which aren’t as bad as your last job.

You might vote for Kerry. You might vote for Bush.

You might for someone else, or no one at all. But one thing is certain: Your job won’t change, no matter who wins. You’ll still make too little money to do something that you’d rather not do, for people who have little to no appreciation for what you do, or what you go through every day just to get yourself to work.

Pretty much all working people believe that their situation is never going to fundamentally change.

They may get another few cents per hour, but their health insurance, if they have it, is just going to raise their co-pays. No one’s going to add to what little vacation time they already have. If their job does change, it’ll just be because someone higher up on the totem pole decided to give them all more work to do.

Working-class people would really like to see their situations change in meaningful, positive ways. But they’re not holding their breaths for this to happen.

One might say, Well, they should take their lives into their own hands and organize and fight back. While that’s not bad advice, learned helplessness runs deep in the working class.

From a working-class perspective, the world is pretty much not on their side. So why try? You can talk about, say, the very serious threat of global climate change, or the situation in Iraq.

And working people do actually care about these issues, and more, when they’re ever able to find out any truth about them.

But it’s hard to be involved when your free time is the only time you have to be away from work. If we could actually find tangible, meaningful ways to treat working people with respect, and ways to really empower them and boost their confidence level when they’re away from work, you could probably not only begin to really deal with issues like the climate and the Middle East effectively, but you could probably also begin to sow the seeds of real economic change in the U.S., as working people with their new-found skills would probably be much less likely to accept their working situations, and would have better tools with which to fight back.

Whatever is done, I hope everyone will remember that getting there is still the most difficult part of going to work each day.

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