Okay, I’m not a big fan of Soaps and if I accidentally walk in on someone watching a show once a year, it seems fairly easy to pick up the storyline and catch up from where I last saw it in a single episode. However I try to remain objective and give a fair commentary encompassing both sides of the story … NOT! … Hell NO! … At no point did I say I was going to be unbiased. In fact I insisted that I would post my own opinions and by all means you have every right to disagree. And my first reaction to reading this news is simply: what a load of horseshit!
I can’t help but think that somewhere out there someone from the Mine Workers Union just shat themselves. Miners who risk their lives every day, working long arduous shifts, demanding physical exertion in the most hostile conditions, were asking for R 12 500.00 a month. Now we have a bunch of snot-nosed ex-waiters, who dropped out of university to pursue an acting career, claiming that R 55K per month is not sustainable? For what? I ask you! How do you justify this number? If you feel like you should be earning more why don’t you take a flying leap to Hollywood and go and compete with the millions of people trying to make it in the entertainment industry over there every year? Because there is a higher probability that you would end up on the street competing for one of those high demand, minimum wage waiter jobs, than that of me not winning the lotto jackpot this weekend, and I haven’t even bought a ticket!
Now I understand there are many factors involved in determining salaries, but these should incorporate the demands of the role (if you will excuse the pun).
What factors should logically be considered when we fairly determine salary?
- To me the first consideration is simply based on the first law of economics, simple supply and demand. I presume that if there are few vacancies for a position and many qualified applicants then competition would push the price down. We see this often in an environment that requires very little skill, and a vast unskilled workforce. Many economies have established a minimum wage policy to protect this workforce from exploitation, but others just exploit away.
- One of the first things that come to mind is the level of qualification of the applicant. However in my opinion even though this may still be a factor I believe it is a less contributing factor in a world where there is no substitute for experience and our education system is quickly sinking to a level where education is not worth the paper the certificate is printed on. In my opinion education is the key, or in fact the looking glass into the future of any nation, but that is a whole other column where we can someday debate the suppression of the masses by subtly denying them an education, by ruling parties who know that once they fulfil their promise of educating their constituents they will in fact lose their vote, as soon as the blindfold of ignorance is lifted to expose the realities of politics in this country. (I digress)
- Which brings me to experience. To me this should be the primary criteria, as experience speaks directly to the capacity to do a required job. If you perform well in a specific field historically then one can mostly assume that are relevantly capable. Experience does not reflect only capability but probably even more important the willingness and attitude of a potential candidate, things that cannot always be taught in a classroom.
- The strategic nature of the position and associated accountability are theoretically a component contributing towards the nature of an employment package, though we seem to get this horribly wrong. If you are responsible for strategic decision making that impacts the fundamental nature of how you do business and are not just responsible but accountable for the sustainability and profitability of a business and a significant number of employees, and if you do this well, you should be appropriately rewarded. And I do not mean those incompetent excuses that make the executive class look like mentally handicapped narcissists. If you are responsible for a company that provides, let’s say “electricity” for example, in a highly competitive environment that requires significant and constant strategic juggling and adaptation (dripping with sarcasm), and this company does not only fail economically but fundamentally fails to deliver on its core mandate, you should NOT be in line for a huge bonus at the end of the year, you should be summarily fired and required to pay back your obviously fraudulent gains that your position illegitimately afforded you. (I digress … again)
There are many factors to consider and debate, but surely competence and the successful execution of your duties should be at the top of this list? Where is the logic of rewarding those that consistently fail in positions they never should have been in in the first place?
Should these actors be fired? In my opinion “yes”. Appoint someone who is willing to make the effort and do a good job, learning from their experience, slowly working their way up the salary ladder. Are we really so attached to the actors who play the roles in our favourite shows? How often do roles get recast in mainstream television worldwide? Viewers will adapt. And who knows the show might gain a little plot excitement as the bus transporting these specific characters is hijacked and plummeted off a mountain cliff only to be rescued by a passing UFO who secretly transports them to a missing jet plane where they are experimented on by aliens and eventually returned to earth unable to explain why the alien procedure has left their facial features changed and their rectums tender.
You would probably have 16 more people on the streets on Monday applying for those waiter positions, but they will always have minimum wage laws to protect them from exploitation!