Are we reducing or cheapened what it takes to be considered brave or to be a hero?

Discussion in 'The Locker Room Bar & Grill' started by Chrisinmd, Jul 13, 2020.

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  1. Chrisinmd

    Chrisinmd Green Belt

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    Are we reducing what it takes to be considered brave or to be a hero?

    I went grocery shopping today and they had a sign that says hero's work here. Is the 25 year (assuming they have no serious underlying health issue) old cashier at a grocery store a hero for working during covid 19?

    I guess when a lot of people think of the term "hero" they think of a guy storming the beaches of Normandy or pulling a kid out of a burning car. Or a guy (or woman) jumping it the water and saving someone from drowning.

    Have we cheapened the word hero to basically cover any "essential employee"? I work as a city bus driver in the Wash DC area. So should I be considered a hero for working with the public during this pandemic and possibly exposing myself to the virus? Granted there have been quite a few metro bus drivers who did end up catching covid 19 and did end up dying in NYC for example. But im 42 and im in relatively good shape so yes I am taking a risk. But I would consider it a relatively minor risk. So does that rise to the level of showing courage or being a hero?

    I do also notice the hero's work here sign in front of hospitals and places where medical staff work and I would completely agree they meet the definition of hero.

    Anyway thoughts?
     
  2. granfire

    granfire Sr. Grandmaster

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    well, yes, we are cheapening the term.

    But no, not exactly because we call grocery workers that.

    Not everybody who puts on a uniform leaves Ft Dix.
    Or even if they do, not everybody actually does heroic things.

    On the other hand, when everybody else got to work from the safety of home, they had to show up and brave the public which is more or less in tune with the situation, depending on where you are.

    I mean, they have been insulted, assaulted spit at, coughed on, and yes, even been shot.
    Most for the same cheap wage of always, with barely a mask or a pair of gloves to give them some sort of protection.
    So, like their siblings in EVS, maybe not as glamorous as nurses, but every bit as important.

    and considering the socio economic background, you know they are taking much greater risks than the white collar worker who shops at Whole Foods and has an all inclusive healthcare plan!

    and yes, many are older. therefore at higher risk.

    Alas, calling them 'heroes' is the cheap way out! Give them a living wage and a good health insurance plan! Save the signs.

    ETA
    yes, you would qualify, but don't kid yourself, 42 is getting on up there, and dying is the easy part of this virus.
    Too many are seriously impacted by this, long term/chronic.
     
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  3. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    I wish I could agree a dozen times on this.
     
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  4. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    My opinion is that it's fine, and I completely understand why they're doing it. That sign in the supermarket is the company's attempt to communicate their appreciate to their staff of everything they're doing during this pandemic. Whether that sign is perceived cynically or sincerely is an indication of the relationship between labor and management, but the sign itself is pretty clear.

    I don't think it cheapens the word at all, and frankly, I think it's the absolute least we can do, considering a lot of these kids are taking a lot of unwarranted abuse from a lot of irrational people.
     
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  5. Rat

    Rat Master Black Belt

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    I stand by there is a thin and blurry line between being a hero and a idiot. (generally if it works out you are the former if not you are the latter)


    I generally think its been extended too much/you apply the title to behaviour that should generally be the default. and then you just make people feel weird for not doing a taboo if you overplay them not doing it and such.
     
  6. Chrisinmd

    Chrisinmd Green Belt

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    I agree we should do a lot more then just hang up a nice sign for them. How about "hazard pay" like they do for members of our military while they are a war zone? Give grocery store workers and other essential workers a temporary pay raise while this pandemic is going on
     
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  7. dvcochran

    dvcochran Grandmaster

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    Fully agree with you initial question. It is parallel to the title enigma. No one is called foreman or supervisor any more. Even though they are perfectly correct and logical titles. Too many people get very hung up on title, to the point they would rather be called manager or superintendent even when making the same (or less) money than people without the title. It is an innocuous way to get people to agree to accepting more responsibility without more benefits. Employers figured this out and now readily doll out 'lofty' titles in lieu of more pay. It is a destructive path that gave grater rise to unions back in the 60's & 70's. They were a good thing for a time, until the union leaders got greedy, misguided, and began over-reaching, ruining many good companies or moving them overseas.

    Now I am certain some of the employers/people calling the average joe with the average job a hero are well intentioned. I am also certain there are employers doing or saying whatever they can just to get people to come to work.

    I look at it from a different perspective; I greatly commend all the people who are willing to continue working instead of setting on their *** and getting a handout.
    Our company never stopped working. Early on we were converting automotive lines to make PPE. That has completely stopped as the supply has far exceeded the demand, even in the midst all the current hype. The lines are either setting still or have been converted back to their original configuration.
    One of my customers learned early on that there is 'fine print' in making PPE for government contracts. The product has to have an 'in use avenue' to qualify for full payment (never heard of that one before). In other words, if it is not used within a very grey and undefinable window the government does not have to pay.
    My apologies for getting off on such a tangent.
     
  8. JR 137

    JR 137 Grandmaster

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    Heros kinda makes me chuckle. If that’s how people are motivated to go to work and brave this bubonic plague (more chuckles), then more power to them.

    I make medicine at a biotech pharmaceutical company. I’m part of a team that’s making an anti-Covid drug that’s in phase 3 of clinical testing. I’m no hero. The other drugs being made at our site are very important too - treating macular degeneration, severe excema, severe asthma, cancer, Ebola, and a few others on that scale. The people on the manufacturing floor and our direct support staff (specialized cleaners, QA/QC, and the like) are the only ones on campus. The management sends us emails thanking us for our hard work (we do work hard, but no different now than before) and says we’re the “rock stars” of the company. You know what I consider my reward? My paycheck. You know what recognition I need? My paycheck. They’re giving us a weekly report-to-site bonus. I’ll take it, but I honestly don’t think we really deserve it. We’re just doing our jobs. Truthfully, I’m digging the ghost town atmosphere. We’ve go space to do our thing, the annoying people who try changing things for the sake of changing things are gone, the BS things we’re required to do outside of working on the floor have been suspended or reassigned. No lines at the cafeteria, free lunch because they don’t want us going out, ample parking. I could keep going.

    This has easily been the best financial year of my life. I’ve done 10 hours of overtime every week except for 3 since the lockdown began. Adding that to my weekly bonus, and I’m cleaning up. Due to quarantines and people taking time off here and there, I could literally work every day last month, this month, and next month. One extra shift a week (I work 4 ten hour days) is plenty.

    Yeah. I’m a hero. And a rock star. Nah. I’m just doing my job. And making extra money for it. I sincerely hope other essential workers are getting compensated appropriately, are given the option of overtime, and are being treated respectfully by their employers.
     
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  9. Danny T

    Danny T Senior Master

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    Well a hero is a person noted for courageous acts or a person noted for nobility of character.
    Nobility of character: possessing, characterized by, or arising from superiority of mind or character or of ideals or morals.

    If one is either note for courageous acts or is a person possessing or is characterized by ideals or morals they are a hero.
     
  10. JR 137

    JR 137 Grandmaster

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    I’m pretty sure they’d choose a pay increase over any signs or anything else like that.
     
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  11. JR 137

    JR 137 Grandmaster

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    You reminded me of a former employer of mine. I was working for a college who was notoriously cheap with salaries. I liked the job, my coworkers, the students, and so on. And they really liked me and my job performance. But the pay sucked. I went to my immediate supervisor and had a good discussion about wanting to stay but couldn’t if they couldn’t do anything about my salary. He went to his higher-ups and discussed it. They offered me a new title and additional responsibilities that came with it. All for the same pay :) I told my boss he could change my title to whatever the college wanted - president or toilet scrubber - but that wasn’t going to put food on the table. No one was surprised when I accepted a new job the next week and gave my 30 day notice, except for the guy who thought I’d go for the new title and extra work. A coworker took that title a few weeks later. I guess he thought it would look good on his business card and resume. He left a few months later too.
     
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  12. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    That's a pretty good idea. When I was deployed, my military income was tax exempt. That could be cool for them too. Or just pay them a living wage.
     
  13. Rat

    Rat Master Black Belt

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    See, its overlooked that soldiers get: Subsidied housing and food, get medical care paid for them and the income is tax exempt. I think a few other things are subsidised as well. Living wage when you pay next to nothing for anything is usually minimum wage. This is not including the car scheem for discounts.

    The second best job is working on ships as crew. Their paychecks are tax exempt.


    Now the bit i like is, pending your country the military has varying amounts of contractors, now those are usually underdogs as they do the same job as their counter part usually, get paid similarily and get 0 subsisides. Now they normally dont have fighting as part of their job,but if deployed they can die and usually get increased pay like is done with soldiers.


    And it just popped into my head, i saw someone complain about prisioneers pay checks, they overlooked that they pay nothing in regards to rent, for food, utiltiies, clothing etc. The money earnt usually goes towards "luxaries", its generally better as proof of change of chracter than the actual monetary income.
     
  14. _Simon_

    _Simon_ Senior Master

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    Without reading the thread, I'm not so sure.

    I think bravery is simply stepping outside your comfort zone on some level, and facing fear of sorts.

    That threshold and context is different for everyone.
     
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  15. CB Jones

    CB Jones Senior Master

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    They are not heroes....sorry. They are people just doing their jobs during this pandemic.

    Years ago, during a shootout with a Aryan brotherhood member in a motel parking lot, a couple EMTs went into the parking lot to render aid to one of the officers down while the gunfight was going on....while rendering aid one of them was shot in the leg......those EMTs are heroes.

    NFL running back Joe Delaney jumped in a pond to save three drowning children although he couldn't swim himself....he saved the children but drown doing so....he is a hero.

    People should just take pride in doing their job without needing to have smoke blown up their ****. They should be shown appreciation but claiming they are heroes.....come on now. In my opinion, it's silly.
     
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  16. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    you really cant lock people up and then charge them rent, thats just silly
     
  17. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    I don't know about how, but the tax exempt status for military pay was only when I was deployed to a warzone.

    Can't speak to the rest.
     
  18. JR 137

    JR 137 Grandmaster

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    Couldn’t agree more. A hero needs to truly go above and beyond. Risking their life when that’s not in the job description is a good measuring stick IMO.

    Showing up to work and routinely doing what’s expected of you in your job description doesn’t make you a hero. General you, of course. Not anyone personally.

    I’m showing up every day and making medicine. I was paid to do that before this mess, and I’m still being paid to do the same job during this mess. That doesn’t make me anything other than an employee who’s doing his job. If there was an active shooter on campus and I braved that to get into my work area and kept making medicine, then ok. But would that be hero or just plain stupid and insubordinate?
     
  19. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    It's important to remember that, as far as we know, these guys didn't ask to be called heroes, aren't referring to themselves as heroes, and as best we can tell, don't need it to do their jobs.

    Also, by your logic, we should stop calling every cop a hero. They are, after all, just doing their job.
     
  20. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    I think it's relevant that you are well compensated while the folks who work in grocery stores are generally not. This matters for two reasons. First, is the obvious. We need to pay these guys better, but we are also asking them to work full time in direct contact with a bunch of assholes for peanuts. Your risk if contact is minimal in your lab or office. So, you get paid a lot, and incur very little risk by doing your job. Simply put, your situation is not the same.

    Second, this isn't a career for most of these people. There are some career employees, but 2/3rds or so of them are kids putting themselves through school or working their first jobs. You may not appreciate a simple gesture, but that doesn't mean nobody does.123
     
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