Welcome to a new series starting with this post entitled Food For Thought, and this is part one.
Whenever current events or situations arise that catch my interest, I would like to open a debate about them. It can range from lighthearted topics, such as dilemmas or “what would you do” type of debatable subjects, or some heavier, more serious conversations.
Let me just get started so you have an idea of the types of discussions I am referring to.
1. Justifiable Fines?
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For example, I heard on the radio today that some states in the US give $140 fines to people who listen to loud music in their cars. I believe Florida was one of the states mentioned, but don’t quote me. And the DJ, or talk show presenter, whatever you call them, said that he agrees with that.
Now, I agree that in summer everyone seems to be more lively, driving with their windows open, and blasting their music. Yes, it can get annoying. But to fine people for enjoying their tunes? Seriously? People are already stressed enough as they are, and music is a release, an overt attempt to phase out their day-to-day grind.
Maybe in Florida, where it’s hot year-round, it can really get on people’s nerves. I get it, some people are pretty obnoxious and don’t care if they disturb other people’s peace. But in Canada, where you blink and summer is done, it just seems ludicrous. Just let people live and enjoy their lives, for crying out loud!
Who in their right mind thinks that it’s okay to make people pay for listening to loud music? I, for one, am clearly against it, but I’d like to hear the reasoning behind this law. If anyone has any constructive input to contribute, I’d really like to know, because to me it just doesn’t make any sense at all.
Ok, now to the next topic of discussion:
2. Cashier Made a Mistake
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Here’s the premise for this following chat:
You get home from the liquor board and realize the cashier gave you an extra bottle of expensive liquor by mistake. Do you return it?
This was an interesting debate going on the radio a few months back that stuck with me. Listeners called in with their opinions, and it was pretty much the same response across the board.
Let me give you some context before going on fully. In the province of Quebec, where I live, the liquor board is run by the government. Also, the workers are unionized, and mistakes don’t come from their paychecks.
In this particular case, the mistake favored the customer, plus it was fall or winter if I remember correctly. Who wants to go back out in the cold to return something that wasn’t their mistake in the first place? That is another reason why most people answered to keep the bottle.
With all this additional info, would you answer differently, or would your response remain the same?
Yes, from an ethical point of view, since you didn’t pay for it you should return it. Technically speaking, of course.
What happened is that every single person that called in the radio station, the talk show hosts as well except for one, all said to keep it.
The Reasoning Behind It
Now, their reasoning was pretty much the same across the board. The SAQ, or liquor board, being government owned, can afford to cover the loss. After all, we are heavily taxed in Quebec, and the cashier will not get any slack for her mistake. As human beings, mistakes happen, and she was probably stressed, etc…
The outcomes would be different of course, if the store were a small business, according to all the callers. We wouldn’t want a mom-and-pop corner shop to face losing a sale, especially these days, with everyone struggling to keep their businesses afloat.
But seriously, what would you do in this situation? I’m very curious to know.
Up next, the last subject for today’s post is one that hits a bit closer to home, so here it goes.
3. When is the Right Time to Retire?
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The question is very vague and is subjective to each individual. It also depends on the type of job you do and can differ greatly from person to person.
When is it time to call it quits, job-related? Here in Quebec, Canada actually, the retirement age is set at 65 years old. For now at least. I heard that they are thinking of raising it to 67, but for now, it’s still 65.
That being said, let me give you some context for my question.
One of my co-workers is 79 years old, and my employer is starting to do things to try to force him out. By that I mean they’ve given him written warnings about his lack of productivity, among other things.
Different Points Of View
By law, people are entitled to work until they feel ready to retire. The suggested age is 65, but nobody can force you to retire if you choose to continue working.
From the worker’s point of view, and I won’t name any names, he’s still working because he’s bored. He doesn’t like to do many things outside of work, but there are many other less demanding jobs with shorter hours he can do.
The schedule is also inflexible, with options of working 4 days a week for nine hours a day, or three days a week for twelve hours a day. I’m 30 years younger than him and I find it long and challenging. I can only imagine how hard it must be for him physically.
He’s in relatively good health, but the job is pretty physical, especially in winter when there’s quite a lot of shoveling to do. Although he does an ok job, he can’t compete with workers that are a lot younger than him.
The job has gotten more demanding in the last couple of years because of a lack of workers and budget cuts. A great number of the employees are starting to complain that he’s not pulling his weight. On top of that, he tells on people all the time, something he’s been doing it for years.
How Would You Proceed?
What would you do if you were the employer? Would you sit down with him and try to find a middle ground, or force him into retirement?
I personally think forcing someone to retire is a bit harsh. But at the same time, you can’t have the rest of the employees unhappy and disgruntled because one person refuses to retire. Not only is he not doing what’s expected of him, but he gossips as well. So his co-workers often have to carry his chores on top of their own, plus deal with arguments that could easily be avoided.
So what are your thoughts on this susceptible topic? It’s a very hard dilemma to solve, and I wouldn’t want to be in my employer’s shoes right now. That being said, something needs to be done. How would you proceed?
As part of my Food for Thought series, this concludes part one.
These are my three topics for today, let me know in the comments what you think about this type of post. I have many other topics that I will bring up in the future, if you’re interested, of course.
But every now and then I like to deviate from strictly book reviews and other book-related topics. While books are my passion, life is also always keeping me on my toes. And I find writing about various subjects a great release, kind of like therapy if that makes any sense to you.