Sure there are – except when one party is no longer alive to tell their story.
What a glossy image. Of course they are a caring, ethical, corporate legion – are the downer group. What else might one expect.
So how did they go wrong with one they owed the highest degree of duty of care?
And why would this put such a chill into the heart of a bloke of sixty years?
Well, I’ll tell you for free.
It’s because I went through the same shit that Alec went through beginning with being chased down and being thrown into a stinking toxic condensate dam containing the concentrated effluent of a sugar mill.
That was lunch-time, day one, for me.
The bastards knew I wasn’t too good at dog-paddling so the dumped me in the deepest part.
The fellow who started with me was a ‘junior life saver’. (bloody poofta)
He was lowered gently into only about a foot of what passed for water in that stinking hole. (oh Sam , hope you didn’t get TOO wet)
I learned two important lessons that day.
Firstly – bosses are complete arseholes to whom absolutely no allegiance is owed – who cannot ever be trusted.
Then, that the indescribable offal who gain secure employment with their sort are mostly dangerous arch-crawlers; ignorant, bloody minded lickspittles who would do anything and stop at nothing if they felt that their ‘boss’ would approve.
I don’t know how Alec Meikle felt about his job.
Like him I could never ‘please’ the ‘executive branch’ anywhere I worked.
I’d say that is because they never did anything to please me.
I’d say the fact that Australian manufacturing and value adding industry is so completely fucked tends to support my case.
But I’m pig-headed as all get out.
Instead of bringing myself down to the level of the louts there at work and operating according to their rules when during the next few years I was expected to bastardise the new intakes of apprentices – I chose not to.
I chose instead to treat them as young adults – then got into the shit for doing that.
Not only did I cop it from ‘management’ – but from the stupid bloody snotties themselves.
Okay – no problem. When things went pear-shaped I just took a few ‘sickies’.
In fact enough sickies to make an almost unendurable four year traineeship stretch out for another six months.
So why the hell would ‘management’ keep a loser like me on the books until the very last minute?
Fuck knows – but it might have something to do with the fact that I was the only competent engineering trainee they had on their books at the time.
All my own fault that. I enjoyed my new skills and particularly enjoyed finding better ways of exercising them.
Anyone out there reading this might understand my chagrin at being kept at a place that I detested – being EXPLOITED by these dickheads in order to have their crappy old sugar mill ready for the start of the ‘crushing’ (that’s what they call the harvest).
(Now here’s a point. I wanted to leave that dump as soon as possible and could have walked away only at the risk of contravening certain barbarous industrial laws.
I’d also have wasted all those years without gaining my engineering qualifications.
The bastards had me over a barrel, or so they thought. On the other hand my final year’s payment wasn’t much less than full pay in an award that paid sugar industry workers more than those ‘outside’. When I think about it and the regard those bastards had for we apprentices – it occurs to me that it must have had that old bastard J.M., the chief engineer, in apoplexy)
Where AM I leading here –
I suppose I’m trying to say to any young person out there that there ARE ways of retaining your personal integrity and sense of merit when you are surrounded by overweening fuckwits
It is too late for Alec. It is too late for far too many – unless you few still alive and kicking in similar situations can get to grips with some simple facts –
1. They don’t only look and act like stupid bastards – they are IN FACT stupid bastards.
2. These stupid bastards aren’t just on the shop floor.
3. The only reason there are stupid bastards on the shop floor is that they are employed and condoned by even bigger bastards in management.
4. The reason that all the above is allowed to exist is that even bigger bastards call the shots about how things happen all the way through every aspect of life – through unions (or what’s left of ‘em) through regulatory ‘authorities’ through politics, through the courts, through all those places that pretend to be ‘there to help you’ and, especially, through religion.
So all in all we do happen to live in a difficult age being made more difficult every day by stupid bastards who arrived at their positions in society by many and varied ways.
There is nepotism, conflict of interest and plain incompetence.
It doesn’t really matter what the particular cause when a society reaches the level of incompetence and systematic collusion ours has somehow magically achieved.
What is the use when a bloke my age discovers that a young apprentice lad has decided to choose eternity rather than being bastardized in his workplace.
What is the use when those receiving the Queen’s Commision appear to condone systematical rape and bastardization within our defence farce.
Relying loosely upon that old saw about the four estates – those traditionally comprising our society –
Wouldn’t it be fair to say that the whole show is proven to have been infiltrated by individuals who have an entirely different private life than their public profile?
In fact, in recent years it is pretty much only the emergent fifth estate (people who seem less anally retentive than their lords and betters) who politely point out the somewhat obvious failings of the other four.
I have to quit this sometime
I’m a complete agnostic –
What have they done to you?
Was there something about you that they couldn’t understand.
Were you too intelligent, maybe – for the likes of your employers.
Was there something flashing in your eyes when they put you down.
Did you question what they were about when they put you down
Of course you didn’t – being too young to understand and just too proud.
Alec. You are in good company beside my first born son.
It may well be that you will never live again in this ditch – but who the hell would want to endure this purgatory again.
No Alec and our Matthew – there is no way that this universe began in a flash just to support your short lives for those few instants we learned to love you.
You’ll be back – you’ve been here before.
We love you.
And for that reason you are here NOW.
In fondest memory of Jack Grose, Harry Rawlins, Jack Holloway (and hesitantly Colin McGregor) their pals and workmates.
Indeed there were a few who were not complete dorks at Qunaba Mill.