Coffee, retirement and other privileges

Back in the 1980s, I once talked to a couple of machinists for Eastman Kodak Co. about our respective jobs. They were in their 50s, the same as me. From what they said, and from what I know about skilled trades, their jobs required at least as much knowledge and skill as my job, and their jobs were of more obvious usefulness to society.

The thing that struck them about my job as a newspaper reporter was that I could go to the bathroom, or go to the vending machine for a cup of coffee, without having to ask permission of a supervisor.

I remember what conversation whenever I read about somebody saying that the retirement age needs to be raised to 67 in order to save money on Social Security.  I’d bet that none of the people who say that work under conditions in which they have to ask permission to go to the bathroom or get a cup of coffee.

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