March 29, 2007

Fungible -- Look it Up

A co-worker of mine reminded me of "fungible." Here is a link to the meaning it has as an adjective. Definition of fungible - Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary And I have to agree it is true in today's work world. True but sad. It makes me think of a book I read on slaughter houses and how the animals are channelled into their personal oblivion. It is a marvelous book with a unique perspective...the author is autistic. The title of the book is "Animals in Translation" by Temple Grandin. She is a marvelous, observant, thoughtful writer. Here is a link to a review of this book.

In many ways, Ms. Grandin's book touches onto this problem of workplace "Fungible-ity," albeit indirectly. As workers we are replaceable by others of similar titles. One size fits all. As a citizen Ms. Grandin's book touches on how I often feel shunted into oblivion by the way the government views the health care issues that government accountants blame on the Medicare Generation. Hell, I am a member of the Almost Medicare Generation and frankly I fear that those of us who make it to 65 will be given Jim Jones KoolAide. We worker bees have become numbers in this society and as such affect the Bottom Line. From health care to PeopleSoft to individual perspectives on life, we have been diminished by American society's obsession about low cost high return to investors. Is it cost-productive to pay a U.S. worker or better for the stockholders if we off-shore and outsource the expense? Fungible is just business, just the American bottom line.

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