Do I need my own Union? Musings on labor, accomplishments and self-acknowledgment

It happens in the shower…or sometimes on a walk.  I’ll get inspired by something and think to myself, ohhh, this or that would make a great post. So I go home, sign into WordPress, come up with a snappy (or what I think might be snappy) title and…zilch.  Nothing comes.  That is kind of what happened with this one…

It started off as a post that took its inspiration from the January 30 entry to one of those little desk calendars that has a different funny or inspirational every day…this particular one told me that the end of the month would be a good time to acknowledge what I had accomplished. I was to make a long list, and then take a nice, hot, soak in the tub.

Since I’m a little weirded out by taking baths (for some reason, which may be discussed later…or not) and I generally only make use of them for myself in hotels, I got distracted by what I might do instead of a bath for my “reward” amongst other distractions that led me astray (squirrel!)…and the post never got written.

The other day though, I was reading through my news feed on Facebook and came across a story about the Volkswagen plant in Tennessee and their vote regarding whether or not to be represented by a union (in this case the United Auto Workers) and it got me thinking about things like self-acknowledgment once again…would I have voted to unionize? To have a union stand up for me so that I am properly acknowledged for my accomplishments? Or could I trust myself to do it on my own without the aid of collective bargaining?

In the situation I am referring to, the UAW was attempting to unionize the workers at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga and failed, despite the very hospitable climate for unionization provided by the car company itself.  Whereas many (most?) companies tend to be anti-union as they feel it strangles their management abilities, Volkswagen was very much in favor of the workers joining, as nearly all of their foreign plants have a “works council”;  they view this type of collaboration as beneficial for the company’s success.  Under such a “council”, all workers have a say in things like scheduling and working conditions. Bargaining for wages and benefits is still left to the unions.  In this case however, due to what I can only guess is a combination of free will, fear and political scare tactics (enticements) – the UAW still lost out.

So this got me thinking back to my list (FINALLY – I thought she was never going to get to it…) that I was supposed to be making of my accomplishments, and acknowledging them and giving myself a reward for working my tush off. If we as individuals don’t find the time to value ourselves, acknowledge our accomplishments and give ourselves pats on the back, where is our self-respect?

On the side of the road, in a ditch, gasping for air, that’s where.  And if we don’t respect ourselves and listen to our intuition, follow our heart’s desires, how will we command the respect of others?  We won’t…and if we don’t have self-respect or that of others, I’m thinking we’re not sitting in a good spot anymore.

I always have a tendency to do a lot (too much) and underplay my accomplishments because in all honesty, I never think it is enough – at least not until my body gets sick every 6 weeks, and the anxiety returns and I’m forced to take a break.  So I wonder if these the workers in the VW plant feel the same way?  Maybe that they aren’t worthy of someone standing up for them?  That they should accept whatever they are given in terms of compensation for their hard work? Or they don’t think that, but are too afraid to say the truth?

Anyway, it gave me food for thought.  I hope it gives you that too if you were unaware.  And on that note, here’s my list of accomplishments for the last few days…

Cleaned out Maya’s closet and my own, then consequently donated 3 bags of clothes to Goodwill and 1 bag of household items (pillows…why does anyone need so many?)

Did 6 loads of laundry (with assistance for the last 3)

Did the first week of C25K, and took several additional walks

Took Maya to her 4 year appointment and went to her parent/teacher conference with her Dad

Cleaned up my desk and took care of some things that have been on the To-Do for eons

Wrote this post (the albatross has left the building!)

And for this, I won’t take a long bath…but I will take another walk, watch another episode of House of Cards, and perhaps The Walking Dead and spend some time with my love.

Hope you all have had an enjoyable Sunday!

By Joy

I'm 42, a remarried mom of an 8 year old girl and a toddler son, a teacher, and a writer. People tell me I tend to be brutally honest and ...tell it like it is, so I had hoped to use this outlet to keep me sane while I got used to my new life as a stay-at-home Mom back when I was home with my worked. And it's been therapeutic through the end of a marriage and the emergence of me...


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