There are a bunch of hippie kids protesting in NYC, right now. Some are there because they heard Radiohead was playing a show. (Hey, that’s a legitimate reason to show up.) A majority of those kids are protesting for legitimate reasons. The country is a mess. Work is hard to find. And those of us who work in Human Resources understand that those kids wouldn’t be there if they had decent jobs, health care, and a roof over their heads.
Unfortunately, this is a generation that businesses love to exploit and hate to employ. Global corporations will take what little money these kids have in their pockets but refuse to offer decent career paths or meaningful benefits. And these companies send their mouthpieces into the marketplace to justify the turmoil and the chaos. “This is a seminal moment in America. We’re in a time of change. We’ll move from job creation to freelance artists.”
Sure it is. We’re all going to be artists and freelancers hooked up into the cloud. And there will be winners and losers. That’s great — but I don’t want to live in a society of ‘freelancers’ and artists. That is not my America. That is an irresponsible, unproductive, disorganized society that benefits few and exploits many.
I keep saying to my HR peeps, “If you’re not paying attention to #occupywallstreet, now is the time.”
And I keep reminding my fellow employment professionals that these kids can’t protest when they have a job and responsibilities. [That’s the secret to resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, by the way. A rising tide can truly lift all boats.]
So HR peeps — this shit is coming your way. Minneapolis. St. Louis. Lincoln. Denver. San Diego. There’s dissent in this country and it goes both ways. For as many people who blame Obama, there are others who blame BofA.
I only wish Radiohead would play a show. It might make this mess a little more tolerable.