askygoneonfire: Red and orange sunset over Hove (Default)
[personal profile] askygoneonfire
As the years go by I become increasingly convinced class is more a state of mind than it is a socio-economic reality.

My parents were working class.  The half of the family who have the greatest impact/input on our lives are all working class.  My older (half) brothers were brought up in a working class home.  My Mum met my Dad and had me and I was brought up in a lower middle class home in a middle class area at a middle class school.  I left home for university, was vomited from there into the world and promptly became [economically] working class again.

I currently work in a state school were I watch the taxpayers money - my money, your money - being spent.  Being spent unwisely, often.  I hear the business manager (yup, that's what schools have now) talk with the Head about turnover, budgets and project management.  Sometimes, I think they forget there are children in the 'business' they are running.  The business manager - my manager - wants me to become a business manager myself.  I am 'going along' with it for the sake of looking like I want to work there - and thereby secure my small income - but as soon as I get the opportunity to leave for a new job as far away from money management, I will.

I find it abhorrent, talking about money and people management as though they are just meaningless numbers.  How many books - or computers - could be bought for the school, or poorer schools in the county, if both the business manager and head took a 10% pay cut?  I could not take the money they take to do the job they do, from a public service budget, with a clear conscience.

But to move up on the class ladder - my previous and current experience tells me - I must be willing to act without conscience in taking a pay rise.  And I must act selfishly in demanding more pay and more benefits, and in viewing a school, for example, as a business to be run not an institution to be nurtured if I wish to climb out of the economic group I find myself in.

If having a big house, a flash car, designer clothes and expensive holidays means stamping on people, rejecting the community spirit and 'less doesn't matter if you still get to be with your family and friends' attitude that I was raised in and brought up believing - through social-genetics as much as being actively schooled in that mind frame - then I don't want it.  If money comes above equality in relationships, and career progression must be bought at the cost of nurturing and preserving the person I am - as it has starkly done for some people I have known - then I don't want it.

Above all, there is an inherent dishonesty to me in pursuing class mobility.  In achieving it, more so; as the effort to earn enough to maintain the lifestyle must take precedence over maintaining bonds to the past and, due to an inherent snobbery in the middle class, disguising one's roots.  I do not want to be paid an exorbitant amount of money for moving figures around or writing nonsense on bits of paper or 'networking' to further business concerns, I do not want to learn how to do those things, I do not want to begin to learn how to do those things.  My only ambition is to be paid an honest wage for an honest days work and go home and know that, in whatever small way, I have contributed something small and perhaps even vital.

I think I need to read News from Nowhere again.


askygoneonfire: Red and orange sunset over Hove (Default)
a sky gone on fire

August 2017

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