Reenforcing a ‘thinking only of myself/my needs’ attitude

Watched a two-hour episode of The Event tonight. It was the first episode of the spring; the series having resumed after the winter hiatus. On the whole, meh. I’m not real excited about this series. But I’m not real excited about any television right now. Which is odd.

Anyway, during this episode a familiar, well-worn trope was used. A man was forced to facilitate a break-in of a government facility or else his family would be killed. He chose to help the bad guys and in the process, many, many people were killed. Call me a cold-hearted bastard, but I really take issue with the lack of moral fibre I see on display. It’s true that I have never been in such a situation, but what right would I have to decide that these people should possibly get killed so that I can save people whom I care more about? Either way, someone is going to get killed. I can choose to actively participate in that or not.

Frankly, I feel the same way about bumping rights at work. I believe it is morally wrong for me to be allowed to decide that it is more important that I get someone’s job than it is for him to keep it. Let me explain. If I have more seniority than my coworker and I have once upon a time worked in a position that has the same title/classification, if my position in my department is downsized, I can lay claim to my coworkers job and they are out of luck. Of course, they can dump on someone else less senior. It all rolls downhill, right? Gah! I have a real problem with this.

There was a story that I remember from elementary school about a new chick that was placed in the coop. He learned the first day that all the other chicks would painfully peck the less senior chicks. So #1 would peck #2, #2 would peck #3, and so on down the line until it got to our hero. Well, this chick thought that wasn’t right and resolved not to continue the practice. And sure enough, when newer chicks were introduced and all the older chicks would do their pecking thing, our hero wouldn’t pass it on. And eventually, when our hero was the most senior chick, nobody pecked anybody.

I must really have taken that particular lesson to heart, because I think this pecking bumping order thing sucks. Calling it a right doesn’t make it right. I will not do it.



  • MissPlace says:

    The second dirty-bomb episode of Castle had that same issue. They made a mother drive a nuclear bomb into downtown New York or else they would kill her and her baby. To add to this silliness, she would have died in the explosion, leaving her baby an orphan with a bunch of terrorists. I mean, even if they threatened to kill everyone in your office, would you knowingly kill all of Modesto to save them? I think not.

  • dorinda says:

    Your post made me think of Spock…you know “the needs of the many…”. Morality isn’t a priority in television, but I’m sure you know that. Unfortunately, in real life people often have the same attitude. You’ve expressed your view on bumping rights many times & I agree with you – I wish they didn’t exist. I think if your job gets cut then it’s unfortunate, but you shouldn’t have the right to displace someone else. CSEA sees things very differently. I was looking at the CSEA website reading up on bumping rights and it states “CSEA supports classification schemes where each classification is broadly defined to cover as many positions as possible.” Well that explains why we have so many Administrative Assistants and other positions with the exact same title. Last year when I was getting bumped out of my position I told Holly that there was no way I was going to bump someone out of their position. I felt that my conscience wouldn’t let me. She was pissed and tried to convince me otherwise. She explained that one of the reasons we have bumping is to ensure that if we have mass layoffs the school won’t lose their senior people, the people who have the most experience running the school. I can understand that. We want people around who know what they are doing. This time around I have decided that I will accept a position of it is offered to me. A couple of things made me change my mind. One, I found out that if I am offered a chance to move into another position and turn it down there is a good possibility that I will not receive unemployment benefits. I found that out this year after one of our (Comm Ed) instructors was laid off and offered a position he could “bump” into – he turned it down and EDD denied his claim because he turned down the offer. The thought of being without any income at all scares the hell out of me. Sure, Holly will still have an income, but I don’t want her to feel the pressure of being the sole provider. Secondly, I like working at MJC. I thought that as long as we didn’t move out of the area, this would be the place I would work until I retire. I didn’t expect to work the rest of my days in Community Education, but I did plan on staying at the school. If I’m completely gone, with the state of the state budget, I think it will be years before I can come back to the school. Luckily (because it will spare my conscience & I won’t have to cause suffering to someone else) I already know that I will not have anyone to bump. The layoffs are too massive. I just thought of a third reason…because then we wouldn’t work at the same place anymore and I wouldn’t know what you were talking about when you write about work. I’m going to miss your silly sense of humor in the office as it is!

    • Seaners says:

      Yeah, I reluctantly accept that bumping within a range should be allowed. But bumping into previously held ranges is very distasteful.

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