Monday, 29 August 2016

YouTube comment I'm Pleased With

I don't often share my social media activity on the HPWA blog, but I'm going to on this occasion. I watched a YouTube video by an Irish user called Dave Cullen who goes by the handle "Computing Forever". The video is a critique of another YouTuber I like called "Sargon of Akkad"; and I've mentioned him before, see: http://hpanwo-voice.blogspot.co.uk/2016/07/royal-troon-admits-women.html. The nature of Sargon's and Dave's argument doesn't matter in this context; my concern comes at about twenty-three minutes into the film, for about fifteen minutes, where the subject of "janitors" comes up. "Janitor" is what the Irish call a cleaner. It's a similar situation to Richard Dawkins' pronouncements on an Indian street cleaner, see: http://hpanwo-hpwa.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/an-open-letter-to-richard-dawkins.html. What Dave and Sargon say speaks for itself: https://youtu.be/h25OMMZ8qrA?t=23m. Below is a copy of my comment:

23:00 I don't agree with Sargon, but... On the subject of janitors, what we in England call "cleaners", earning more. You're right, they should not get paid as much as the software designers whose offices they clean, let alone the CEO. However (correct me if I misunderstood you) it's a mistake simply to shrug (like Atlas ;-)) your shoulders and pull the bottom out of their employment contract. They are still essential members of the company's team, in their own way. No software gets produced if the offices are dirty and the bins overflowing. Likewise if Wall Street is not swept clean, Manhattan would very quickly become buried under a mountain of its own waste. These jobs may be low-skilled, but they're not no-skilled. In departments of so-called "menial" jobs where the staff turnover is too high, the unwritten tricks of the trade become lost. I was a hospital porter for twenty-three years and I watched it happen. I saw the service degenerate over time and this resulted directly in loss of quality across the board to the point where over five thousand patients a year were dying in the British NHS from preventable infections. So you neglect the janitors etc at your cost. By all means keep their wages and conditions down to a reasonable level, but not too low. Keep their services professional and not casualized. Make those people feel appreciated and proud of their contribution to the business.

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