Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Hello, again. It looks like I will spend the day trying to avoid coverage of Michael Jackson's memorial services. I really hate the ubiquity of this thing. At least the weather will be nice today.

As I scanned the titles on the MSNBC stories this morning I came across this entry. According to the writer some employees are not playing nice when they leave their jobs. Everyone interviewed seem perplexed by the number of people who burn their bridges when they leave. They violate non-compete clauses they signed or they leave without the 'customary' two weeks notice. I am not at all surprised. The job market has become a decidedly rude and one sided place over the last several years (decades?). I remember the resentment I felt when employers expected the applicant to send in thank you notes after an interview but never felt the need to inform that applicant of what action had been taken on their application. They expected courtesy when they provided none. I have listened to stories about mandatory furloughs, wage cuts, suspension of 401k contributions and other unilateral actions and been amazed at the attitude of interviewers and company representatives: at least the employees still had a job. Marginal comfort at best. I have wondered how long it would be before workers started questioning that wisdom and started thinking that having a job under the current conditions is not worth the effort.

Frank Rich has an interesting piece in the NY Times: "Bernie Madoff is no John Dillinger." My first thought reading the title was "Yeah--Dillinger was always up front about what he was doing. He had the gun and he was robbing the place." But there is a lot more to this article than just that. Read it for yourself. It is interesting. We don't have anyone right now that can tap into the public consciousness like Dillinger did (and like Butch Cassidy, The Sundance Kid, or Jessie James from earlier times). I don't know that I would want even a pale imitation of Dillinger around but we do need someone who can make both the bankers and politicians understand how broken is the trust between ordinary people and our political and economic institutions. Chris In Paris, who provided the link to the Rich article, has some good comments also.

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