Today I saw a rant from a waitress in New Jersey about how government workers get huge pensions at her expense and how they should not get pensions because she does not get a pension.
Well first off, dear, any government job these days that pays enough so that a person gets a BIG pension requires a lot of education. Education that person had to pay for and work for. People with more training often make more money and get better benefits. That's kind of how it works. While I will happily admit that being a great waitress takes skill, it is also true that just about any schlumph can sling a plate of hash around. The same cannot be said for being a computer programmer or a psychologist or an accountant or even a snow plow driver. So if you want a pension, honey, you usually have to pay up front for education to even have a shot at such a thing. Secondly -- and can I get this soup heated up, hon -- the vast majority of government workers don't get big pensions. They get very modest pensions. In fact, their pensions are often considerably LESS than they would have gotten by taking a better-paying private sector job and putting that extra money in a 401K.
Seriously, this soup is cold.
One of the funny things I hear all the time is that government workers are inept and lazy. I've worked at a state job and I can say with some authority that some government workers are inept and lazy. I can also say with some authority that some farm workers, programmers, cannery workers, hotel maids, janitors, security guards, journalists, teachers, professors, retail clerks, engineers, nurses, managers, administrators, cooks, social workers, and laundry workers are inept and lazy. Oh, and waitresses, hon. Some waitresses are really inept and lazy. Yeah, the soup is pretty cold, just nuke it a little for me? Thanks so much.
Anyway, my third point, or is it my fourth...well, it doesn't matter. Government workers are just workers like you and me. Some are lazy and some are not. Some are overpaid and some are underpaid. The point is that all the government workers got together and decided to unionize. That's something all workers have the right to do in this country. You could do it, too, Ms. Waitress, if you were willing to fight for it. But now some states want to take away a group's right to unionize and speak with one voice when negotiating wages and benefits and such. You see, whether they get pensions or not is something they negotiate over. What they are fighting for is the RIGHT to negotiate. You want to make this a fight between overpaid, lazy, spoiled government workers and your paycheck with the taxes taken out. What this fight is really about is the right of workers to unionize and negotiate as a group. Do you get that? They could win this fight and still lose their pensions. What they want is the right to bargain via union. Is that microwave in the next town there, sweetie, because I'm still waiting for my hot soup.
I'll conclude my little talk here by saying that I wish all government workers would go on strike. I really do. 'Cause you have no idea what they do for you every day. Oh yeah, we could live without some of them, I suppose, but you could say that about any workplace. I mean, seriously, how often have I come in here and seen YOU standing around yakking with the hostess over there, doing nothing? But government workers are sort of the unseen machinery that make so much of life run smoothly. Stuff you don't even know you need gets done because of them. But if they weren't doing it, suddenly you'd all be like "How come the world is going to Hell in a handbasket? I broke an axle on a pothole coming in to work today, my neighbor is out drinking and shooting all the fish in Lake Hashslinger like a damn fool and there are criminals on every street corner. There's a measles outbreak at my kid's school and nobody's doin' nothing about it. Three small plains crashed at the airport yesterday and this restaurant is serving food that was outdated two weeks ago. What happened?" And I'd be all like "State workers have been on strike for three months, lady,, that's what happened! Now pass me that can of Raid so I can spray down my cornbread." Okay, that's a bit of an exaggeration, but you started it by saying all government workers get big pensions.
Excuse me, but what's that? THAT! No, soup does not foam up when you nuke it. Okay, okay, just bring me my bill.
Did I mention that government workers are NOT ALLOWED to take tips, gifts, or perks? Twenty percent tip my ass. Why should YOU get a tip when government workers don't?
Oh come on, you think I didn't just SEE you spit in my coffee?