December 7th, 2009
After several months of blogging on this livejournal.com account, it gets hard to think about what to write about. At first I thought this was going to be a simple assignment because we’re basically talking about the things that happen in our lives each day during this semester. But I was definitely wrong because I eventually began to get something that might be similar to what is known as “writer’s block”… or something like that. It’s easy to think about events when it’s occurring at the moment, but it gets hard to talk about after delaying to talk about it for several days, especially if you’re a big procrastinator like me. I guess if I had something come up recently, and then I hopped on my computer to talk about it it’d be easier. Such events like the Mutter Museum and the discussion about alcohol in my Topics of Professionalism class were easy things to talk about because I immediately went on to write about the things that I saw and heard. Plus, they were far more interesting. If anything, I feel like I could still go on about my little adventure to the Mutter Museum because there were so many abnormal things to see, such as the real shrunken heads known as Tsantsas. Either way, I’m glad that there was a place where I could write about events in my life. I know there’s facebook.com and myspace.com that are up for blogging, but it just seems too random there to talk about going to a museum or hearing about the consequences of alcohol.
In one of my posts I was talking about the important of language. I was reminded of this after talking to my brother about his wife’s increased wage from $35 to $40 an hour as a Physician Assistant because she spoke Hmong. In other words, language is not only important in a community, but it is also important in business as well. I remember reading about the affects of diversity in my Topics of Professionalism course. It seems like the more diverse health care providers there are, the more diverse patients will come because of the fact that they can communicate clearly to the patients so that they can understand what to do. Unfortunately, there seems to not be enough diverse professionals to take care of these patients. But it’s great to know that my sister in law is helping the diverse community that does not speak English but rather Hmong. It’s especially important because the part of California that she lives in consists of a lot of Hmong people. Unfortunately for me, I don’t speak my language very fluently so the chances of my getting as much pay might be hard. If anything, this is what will encourage me to learn Cambodian more because it most likely will get me a job, especially if the area has a lot of Cambodians.
The fact that I’d learn Cambodian isn’t only for the money or the job itself, but I think it’ll make me more in touch with my culture because I’ll fully be able to understand what they are saying and the meaning of the letters since I don’t even understand their alphabet.
I remember back in 12th grade when my friends and I would always say we’d never lose in touch with each other, even if we went to different universities. For a long time I believed it. But eventually, more and more people kept telling me how that usually doesn’t happen, especially if neither friend takes an effort to see each other. Now I know that those people were telling the truth because it’s easier said than done to see a friend, especially if they go to school in a different county. It’s definitely a disappointment that I haven’t talked to all the friends I thought I would still be in contact with. And unlike a lot of people, I don’t even go on facebook.com anymore because I see no point into it. Blogging about events in my life isn’t really entertaining. If anything, I hate it.
There are several people that I still talk to, but I haven’t talked to them as much as I did before. If anything, I hope the winter break will be enough time to reunite with some friends and talk about our college life. I know some of them changed but hopefully it’s not that bad because I know the college life also means drinking alcohol. After learning about the effects of alcohol from my Topics of Professionalism course, I hope they don’t go down the wrong path and become an alcoholic. But that’s only the worst case scenario. I know a break also means a time to not nag to other people about what they should do, so I won’t.
Through out history, The telephone companies give a long list of very specific instructions for the telephone operators including the average time to answer calls and the average time to complete local connections. Their requests also include orders for irregular phone calls and for situations when callers ask strange questions such as the call score, the operators name or information about fires or local events. The telephone company tells it’s employees that “irregularities should be zero” and Schmitt states that the operators were “once a person, now a machine”.
The telephone company also attempts to control the users by explaining “user etiquette”. This etiquette includes specific wording, language and correct behavior when speaking to the telephone operators.
The telephone companies gave people these restrictions in order to maintain a professional relationship between the telephone user and operator and to keep the calls short and as efficient as possible.
Katherine Schmitt was a telephone operator in the early 1900’s and she thought that even though it was very hard work, she still enjoyed it and was proud to be involved in the first person to person service. Her life as a telephone operator wasn’t easy. She was only paid ten dollars a month (much less than the men in the same position) and sometimes ended up working twelve hour days. There was only seventy-five operators in the city, which meant business was heavy and she barely found time to eat lunch. If she did, it was a quick sandwich without leaving her station. Not to mention, women in this position were often looked down upon. Regardless of this, Schmitt found her work “not monotonous…[but] fascinating” and found it “a matter of pride to keep her lines cleared” (Schmitt, 236). She thought of her touch as “magic” and “the romance of it fired [her] imagination and made every day an adventure” (Schmitt, 236). Not to mention, as “growth continued and equipment improved”, it provided Katherine Schmitt was faced with much opportunity for advancement. She eventually got promoted to chief operator and trainer of Cortland telephone company.
Most people did not respond well to Frederick Taylor’s new ideas of managing. Workers considered his ideas “idealistic, even eccentric” and his name became a “symbol of a despised system of labor organization and control” ( Hughes, 293). Taylor enraged workers with his comments such as, “ in the past, the man has been first; in the future, the system must be first” (Taylor, 293). Taylorism put the workers in fear of being “co-opted by the system” (Hughes, 293). The workers felt as if this new system “denied the individual the freedom to use his body and tools as he chose” and many workers were “unwilling to give control of their bodies…to the scientific managers” (Hughes, 294). The workers also considered these methods “un-american” and it resulted in a walk-out and strike during the Watertown project, soon after the methods began to be put into action (Hughes, 296).
Middle class women were more affected than high or low class women; and they were completely split on the issue. Most believed that “true and better homemaking will come from a higher realization of the tremendous possibilities of the homemaker who uses scientific methods” (Frederick, 279). While some women embraced the structured methods, others believed it took the “beauty” out of everyday chores and home-making (Frederick, 279).
The one document provided speaking about students posed no clear complaints of the new system of ideas and simply bragged about the increase of production. The fact that there was a “increase in output of sixty-six percent” only made the students joyful.
"You cannot spill a drop of American blood without spilling the blood of the world”
- Herman Melville
As a result of the great potato famine, thousands of Irish inhabitants made their passage to North America in search of employment and more freedom. Between the extensive prejudice and segregation they suffered, they also had difficulty finding employment and decent living conditions. They were viewed as an inferior race to the American citizens and were limited to low-skilled jobs. The dangerous and hazardous jobs necessary for survival often resulted in illness, and sometimes even death. Following their travels to America, Irish immigrants experienced some of the harshest racism and discrimination than any other immigrant groups.
Irish communities were built by the men of the immigrants, “constructing churches, building schools, founding hospitals, fire companies, and beneficial associations, and forming political organizations” (“Exploring Diversity”). The self-built Catholic churches were the center of the communities and a “unifying force for many immigrants” (“Exploring Diversity”). The Irish women worked primarily in domestic work, which provided single Irish women a source of employment. Although “socially frowned upon”, domestic work allowed women to obtain “clothing, shelter, and a fairly good salary” (“Experiencing Diversity”). However, this was a long stretch from the labor extensive, menial work of the unskilled jobs most of the men acquired. These tedious and dangerous jobs usually included “canal and railroad building, …clearing trees, laying tracks, and digging ditches” (“Exploring Diversity”).
Frederick W. Taylor was motivated to devise his system of Scientific Management because he believed the country was suffering “a great loss through inefficiency” (Taylor, 276). Taylor believed that his scientific methods would increase production, which would increase worker’s wages, resulting in a higher standard of living. He also stated that, “maximum prosperity could only exist as a result of maximum productivity” (Hughes, 298). Taylor says that his method could apply to all types of tasks and duties and could benefit the entire country. His goals were to create a philosophy of management “set on the reorganization of [the] workplace or factory as a machine” to increase productivity (Hughes, 294). Taylor believed that factories would benefit by having “both men and machines that would be as efficient as a well oiled machine”(Hughes, 293). His methods were considered scientific because Taylor would time and then break down all the steps of an event into a series of the few essentials and added time for unavoidable distractions or breaks. Just as a science experiment goes, with specific steps (the scientific method) and variables. The Taylorite manager was attempting to control the worker’s by ending soldiering and “systemizing workers as if they were components of machines” (Hughes, 292). Taylorism worked to create a “personal cooperation between the management and the men” of the factories, who would be rewarded with a share of the income as a result of increased productivity (Hughes, 294).
Currently, census studies estimate a total of at least fifty thousand illegal Irish immigrants in the United States. However, the ESRI predicts that Ireland's present economic recession will result in the country’s “first recession in twenty five years”(“Coming to America?”) and history shows that immigrants follow money. This collapsing economy is predicted to force at least twenty thousand people overseas to major cities such as Boston, New York, Chicago, San Francisco and especially Philadelphia (“Coming to America?”). Although, this time the immigrants will find a much different America, compared to the first mass migration in the 1840’s, due to our countries latest economic recession; it will be more difficult to find employment and living space, considering our countries increasing population. This recent wave of immigrants have come from “both sides of the border” and will have a rude awakening when arriving on the shores of America (“Coming to America?”). Following their travels to America, Irish immigrants experienced some of the harshest racism and discrimination than any other immigrant groups.