Sunday, October 7, 2007

Deb Takes on the AFL-CIO

Several days ago, a misguided union rep made the mistake of knocking on my front door. Now, since I have committed my life to following the teachings of Christ, I wasn't even tempted (okay, I was tempted) to really corner the guy. I was thankful, though, that I could endure the conversation with my mind clinging to the phrases "gentleness and respect, deb, gentleness and respect".

I didn't tell him about my experiences growing up in the steel valley portion of Ohio. I didn't tell him how the Union boss had the largest house on the private drive I grew up on, and how, mysteriously, he never went to work. I didn't ask him about the Union violence of recent years, the unions misunderstanding of the economy and how free trade works. I didn't explain to him how there's a certain amount of personal responsibility involved in how much money you earn and what benefits your job has. I also didn't explain to him how the union at my husband's work, while not even once advocating for our family, will be able to charge us money for "representing us." I didn't even need to go there because he talked himself into a corner for me!

"Do you care if thousands of Ohioan have health insurance?" he asked me.

Boy, that's a loaded question! Of course I care, and I wondered if the Union boss of my childhood cared about that. I doubt that he had time when he spent most of his time managing his professional boxer.

"Of course I care," I said with a smile.

"Then I need you to sign this petition that will hold politicians accountable."

I paused, truly befuddled, and then replied. "I thought that was why I voted."

"Well," he looked a bit shocked, "voting's helpful, but this petition... it will hold them accountable."

"More than voting?" I questioned. He looked uncomfortable. I took the petition from him and studied it. It wanted my name, address and telephone number.

"You can see," he pointed out," that many of your neighbors have already signed. They want to hold politicians accountable too." There were 3 names on the petition. One had handwriting suspiciously like a child.

"But how does this petition hold them accountable? It looks more like a mailing list to me.... hey, this is a mailing list, isn't it? If I sign this, I'm going to be on the alf-cio's mailing list!" I smiled at him, mostly because I realized that I had gotten his number! (This usually only happens for me long after a conversation has ended and I think, "Aww, if only I had said ________").

"Well... it's not for that, it's to hold the politicians accountable."

"Yes, but we've already been over that. I hold them accountable by the unusual way of voting or not voting for them. You're trying to tell me that this isn't a mailing list for the AFL-CIO? I won't start getting mailings from them if I sign this?"

"I'm not saying that... I'm just saying that if you really care about.... never mind. Have a nice day."

I felt pretty emboldened by this interaction. Perhaps I'll go out and look for Jimmy Hoffa.

1 comment:

MarlaQuack said...

Well, he did not make it as far as my house.