How your boss will save your life
I've been through this before.
Here's how it's gonna go.
When I first started working in newsrooms 40 years ago, not only could you smoke, you could put 'em out on the floor. One of the editors, a fellow in his 40s, smoked a pack of nonfilters every shift.
I moved on, and my next newspaper employer said you could only smoke in the lunchroom and only on your breaks. I wasn't sure I could write without smoking, but I could. I needed the job.
Then, the decree went forth that you could only smoke outside, and not within 10 feet of the front door. Finally, the company told us we had to smoke "off the property," and so our ever-decreasing band of smokers gathered on the sidewalk.
Someone fairly high up the corporate chain told me the company wanted to discourage smoking because smokers took more sick days than nonsmokers.
And that's why you'll get vaccinated.
You may mistrust your government, and you may disobey it every chance you get, but your employer will choke you into compliance, day by day, hour by hour, email by email, meeting by meeting.
It's already starting. United Airlines noted that about one employee a week was dying of COVID-19. They mandated masks, not because they wanted to cuddle with their employees, but because it's expensive to keep hiring and training new people. Death, it seems, is bad for business.
You, my rebellious, flag-waving friend, are not a walking copy of the Constitution. What you are is a productivity statistic, and you will be made to perform.
Oh, you can quit, or you can bravely let them fire you, but you're gonna need, really need, another job, and the new employer is going to tell you to get vaxxed and mask up. And you will, if only because you've been out of work for six months and your weekly unemployment check won't cover food and the mortgage.
Government is a sloppy, inaccurate thing because leaders are under no pressure to turn a profit and they have to stop and vote on everything. Business has to make a profit, and the employees don't get to vote.
You may have a union, and you will get to vote, but more than likely your union isn't going to stand too strong against a mask mandate because there's a good chance your union has lost a lot of power over the last 20 years or so. No. Your union will get you a day off to get the shot and a $50 bonus for betraying your most dearly held convictions.
You will take both.
One of the most endearing things about the modern American worker is that he or she will scream loudly over any attempt to keep him from owning a machine gun but will do nothing when big business breaks his union, swipes her pension, jacks up the cost of health insurance and kicks a big wad of forced overtime down his throat.
We rebel against the government. We roll over for the boss.
Cheer up, though. If the forced overtime, the unsafe working conditions and the lousy health insurance are all going to be factors in your early death, the company will force you to take sensible precautions against COVID-19. They want you to live until retirement and to take as few sick days as possible. They don't like paying you not to work, and they don't like paying to train your replacement if you die suddenly.
Help, as they say, is on the way. In the meantime, get back to work. And, oh, yeah, there are a lot of people out sick, so you're gonna have to work a double on Tuesday.
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