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In which I know little of shaving and rant about credit checks - Tactical Ninja

Jun. 12th, 2012

09:21 am - In which I know little of shaving and rant about credit checks

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So the weekend Dr Wheel was away turned out to be the weekend the YoT decided he needed to sort himself with shaving gear. He's been shaving on and off for the last year, but his sideburns have crept down and his under-chin fluff has crept up, and yeah. It's time. *pause for a moment of Mumness*

Now, I'm pretty good at shaving gear for my shaving needs but manshaving is something I've little experience at. I do take some note of what the men in my life do, and I've shared enough bathrooms to know that most of the men I know prefer gel to foam, and it's a good idea to use some balm type stuff afterwards. Also, just how many blades does one face need? It seems the minimum you can get these days is three, but five? Really? So we compromised and got four. I guess he'll figure it out as he goes along like most men do. It'll be interesting to see if he ends up with Scots/Irish facial hair like his Dad or the finer English style that my Dad and brother have. I hope for his sake it's the second, otherwise if he decides to grow a beard it'll be Giant! Red! And Belligerent! Nobody wants that right?


On the abusive relationship our government is trying to have with us

Abusive? WTF Tats?

Yeah, abusive.

It's no secret our government has a neoliberal lean. One of the things about neoliberalism is that it requires high unemployment to work, to create competition for jobs which keep wages low and favour the employers/businesspeople, which supposedly creates a large market which will magically cure everything through the exercise of free choice with their spending by the citizens. We buy the things that benefit us, other businesses fold, everyone's happy!

Of course that theory reckons without the reduced spending power of a highly-unemployed, low-paid citizenry but hey, ideology doesn't need logic, right? But that's another rant.

So, high unemployment. It's been increasing pretty steadily since the 2008 election, and it's pinching everywhere. I have several highly-skilled friends who are looking for work right now, mostly through having been made redundant. And one of the things that's happening is that they are being asked to supply more and more information with their job applications. One friend brought to my attention the other day that she's been asked several times to submit to credit checks when applying for admin jobs.

Yes, you read that right, credit checks. What the fuck does someone's personal finance have to do with their ability to do a job? Well the rationale goes that if someone fails a credit check it means they are more likely to have financial trouble, which in some universes makes them more likely to embezzle money from the company, or something. Yep, the poor are naturally dishonest, you see. And if we credit check them, we can vet them out and make sure they stay poor by never employing them, ever. Oops, I mean, keep ourselves safe from potential criminal behaviour.

Yes, credit-checking your potential employees is a way of screening out those who may perhaps possibly have motivation to maybe commit a crime, sort of.

This is not illegal. In New Zealand, it's not even regulated yet. I believe it's a practice that's been inherited from the US, and I can't help but notice that the information used to advise employers that this is a good idea often seems to come from those who get paid to do the checks. Funny, that.

Obviously I think credit checking is pointless for most positions, and for most people. But worse, it's an invasion of privacy, and it's one that puts jobseekers in a Rock/HardPlace position. Either they submit to the credit check, or they get automatically screened out as Someone Who Refused A Credit Check - which in most brains means either they have something to hide, or they are a shit stirrer - neither of which are desirable traits in an employee.

And this is where the abuse comes in. You see, in an abusive, codependent relationship, the one with the power pushes the boundaries of the other, gradually overstepping them in ways that seem logical, making sure it's never far enough so the victim can justify refusing to allow it, giving rationalisations for why they should allow it, making sure there are larger negative consequences for refusing than there are for allowing their boundaries to be breached. This is how abusers 'groom' their victims until the victim has no idea what is ok and not ok to allow to be done to their person, and it's how it becomes normal for an abused person to assume they deserve whatever treatment they get.

IMO, this is what's happening with this credit check business. There's a relatively plausible rationale for it. It's an invasion of privacy, but it's one the victim has to give consent to. Never mind that the 'consent or no job' factor makes it into a coercive situation - you give consent therefore it's legal for potential employers to poke around in your financial history. Or drug test you. Or check your police record.

People are becoming ok with this growing list of checks done on them so that they can go shuffle paper in an office. They are losing track of where their boundaries are. And in an economy of growing unemployment where competition for jobs is getting tougher, the human rights abuses people are willing to consent to so they can work are expanding.

So I wonder, just how far will we allow this to go before we stand up and go "Oi! This isn't right!"? Because you can bet your bottom dollar that this government will not do it on your behalf.


Meanwhile can I suggest again that if you haven't already, you join a union? Or the NZ Council for Civil Liberties? Or any organised group that might stand up against this sort of bullshit?

Comments:

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From:wildilocks
Date:June 11th, 2012 09:34 pm (UTC)
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I concur wholeheartedly.
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From:tatjna
Date:June 11th, 2012 09:41 pm (UTC)
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Plz 2b providing some parameters.
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From:tatjna
Date:June 11th, 2012 10:02 pm (UTC)
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Or if you don't know where the hell your job fits, join the CAWU.

Frankly I've never had need of the support of a union, but right now I think unions need the support of people like me so they have the strength support the people who really need it.
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From:tatjna
Date:June 11th, 2012 10:23 pm (UTC)
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Exactly. And right now I can see the same type of government machinations that happened in the 1990s to try and disempower employees/unions. Thus, being in a union isn't just about making sure you have people to help you out, it's about making sure there's infrastructure to help others out, and also helping support that infrastructure.

OMG I'm such a socialist.
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From:tatjna
Date:June 11th, 2012 10:56 pm (UTC)
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You do understand that the reason I joined a union is that I felt that unions need all the support they can get so that they can help other people who are in the position I was in last time this happened, right?

I know I'm not representative of everyone, but I also know I'm not unique, and some people do actually do things for reasons of altruism. Please don't erase that.
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From:tatjna
Date:June 12th, 2012 12:36 am (UTC)
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Sure it is, and if I don't jump up and down and go "Oi there are other reasons to do things than just self-interest!" then I'm letting that happen.

So you make your self-interest argument, please. But make it alongside mine, instead of against mine.

MMK?
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From:clashfan
Date:June 11th, 2012 10:12 pm (UTC)
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In re: manshaving, for my nephew's 21st birthday, I got him a kit of old school shaving gear. A mug, brush, and soap, a safety razor with some blades, and a couple kinds of afters. Actually went to an antique (junque) shop for the razor. He quite liked it. I think his girlfriend does, too! (On him, I mean--I've no idea whether she uses any part of it.)
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From:pombagira
Date:June 11th, 2012 10:27 pm (UTC)
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yeah..that rock and a hard place was very hard for me on monday

on the one hand the job i interviewed for sounds most interesting and right up my ally, so to speak and the people where nice, and i was interviews by the accountant because as a part of the job involves account reconciliation, aka logging on to the direct bank accounts on-line and finding payments.. so direct money handling, well kinda..

on the other hand i did actually manage to bring up the issues surrounding credit checks and why for most jobs they are not a good idea and that they don't actually tell you much.. i get points for that right? and i didn't get thrown out of the room right away.. i get points for that to right?

and finally, it would seem that the credit check information gets sent directly to me and not the prospective employers, well in this case.. and that the accountant even agreed with me that i should email back said credit company and tell them to expunge any information they have about them thank you very much.. after the credit check is done.. kinda hold them in goodish standing. a place of good integrity, where they to are in a rock and a hard place because the company they work for is saying this is how this is to be done now, but they don't actually agree with it.. *frowns alittle*

where do i go and wave my sign? cause really the above sounds to much like justification where i should of taken a stand and said actually NO, but then on the other hand i want a fecken job, as i am quite done with being unemployed thanks...

the whole thing makes me uncomfortable and i am not sure how well or not well the interview went, and where is that cave to hide in thanks?

*whimpers*

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From:t_c_da
Date:June 11th, 2012 11:28 pm (UTC)
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yeah, it's a bugger when you're dealing with an agency (who can SAY their employers are asking for this that and the other, when in fact the employers aren't) in an environment where you can almost guarantee there is someone else who is even more desperate for the job than you are.

Much like in 1991 when the government brought in the employment contracts act which stipulated that employers and employees should negotiate in "good faith", which in reality meant the employers could make any demand they felt like making because if you didn't like it there was someone else outside the door who would accept it just to get your job.

I know it doesn't help much and I feel for you in that position for what comfort that may bring you. *hugs*
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From:russiandolls
Date:June 12th, 2012 12:57 am (UTC)
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It's become a tradition in my department for the guys to stop shaving while they're writing up their theses. It's known as the 'Knowledge Beard', and the bigger and more ginger the better. To be honest, I'm a little jealous I don't get to have one.
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From:tatjna
Date:June 12th, 2012 01:40 am (UTC)
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You could wear a fake one for the duration?

I think this needs to have a picture with it also.
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From:russiandolls
Date:June 12th, 2012 02:04 am (UTC)
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I'll see what I can do. :-)
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From:vernacularity
Date:June 12th, 2012 01:37 am (UTC)
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shaving: more blades not necessarily better. I use twin blade disposables, they are fine. the green & white ones, shick exacta 2. gillette blue disposable ones are ok too. bic disposables are on the whole quite shit.

there is an oil which absolutely rocks for shaving, much better than anything in a pressurised can. it is in a little plastic squeezy bottle about the size of one of those tiny easter eggs. http://www.somersets.co.nz/ seriously you only need as few drops as they say on the label, 5 or something. use too much and your face is too slippery.

but i just use a handful of soap-slick, in the shower, and count on it to interact with the gel strip on the razor to provide all the slippery I need.

I obtain some of that oil when I am entering a period of caring about my appearance more than randomly. it smells nice, and feels refreshing, and the skin becomes supple and smooth.



Edited at 2012-06-12 01:39 am (UTC)
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From:laoke
Date:June 12th, 2012 12:18 pm (UTC)
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Shaving - the soap is really a personal thing. I use teatree oil facial wash as a shaving soap, largely because it works and I use it anyways on my face. I really don't like the shaving soaps / gels: I get the feeling I'm paying more for less utility with them. I have used shaving oils while travelling and they work very well especially in limited water situations. But I've also shaved with dishwashing liquid and that worked just fine thanks.

Razors - I've been using the three blade Mach Three for years and it works well for me. Other people swear by the 4-5 blade razors, I just swear at them. Then you get into the whole disposable vs safety razor thing which I choose to ignore.

Joining a union - with some of the bullshit I've seen recently I'm actually very tempted to join as a matter of principle rather than anything else. I'll have to give it some thought - the last union I belonged to was the Dockworkers Union because I got strong armed into it while working in a cafeteria on the docks as a student for 3 days. That sort of shit tends to put you off joining such august bodies, but... that was a long time ago now.
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From:t_c_da
Date:June 12th, 2012 11:19 pm (UTC)
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The issue of Credit Checking job applicants came up on Stuff recently, with a comment from the Privacy Commissioner (Marie Schroff?) saying that there was no justicifcation for it in most cases...

I thought to point you at it, but didn't note the article, or get off my butt to link you...
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