Thursday, May 1, 2008


In society here business owners are well-known for forcing employees to take early retirement in order to save on high salaries later. The fact that the government is presently seeking to institute a later mandatory retirement age is largely a useless measure as this private business tactic will not be challenged in any definitive way in the courts.

A second perceived violation of personal rights here (from the western perspective) is that when one interviews for a job, it is necessary to divulge your age, making it very hard for middle-aged persons to find work once they are laid off or find themselves in transition. Like elsewhere, many companies only want the young hires. This too, to an egalitarian westerner, feels like an injustice.

Earlier this week I experienced  a situation which, though unrelated to interviewing for or losing a job,  felt just as much an encroachment upon my personal privacy. A number of persons in a certain setting insisted on knowing my age, absolutely refusing to back down. Though they were very polite, I felt like the information was being extracted out of me forcibly. For that brief moment there were absolutely no smiling, kidding faces asking the questions.

On the one hand, perhaps I am not comfortable enough with the realization that I'm not as young any more as my 40+ years. Under more comfortable circumstances I would have been more than happy to divulge the information. But it felt for a moment almost like I was being interrogated.   However, seen from another angle, this is maybe just an example of living in a culture where people are placed in an orderly fashion within the larger group/community/social context. Individual components must be designated appropriately and accorded their proper place/status/position within the larger group.

Although I understand and appreciate this fact, it can still feel like a violation of personal privacy. "Must....(not) use... banned telekinetic powers... to neutralize threat...." (Asok from Dilbert)

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