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
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?
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?