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HOUR NINE

The employer's machines have a valve that we working people do not. For the most part the machines are not abused, and if a worker uses a machine in a manner that may damage it the employer will get more than a bit upset. The machine is a capital investment, the worker, beyond possible training, is not. The worker can be abused and damaged, for they can be replaced easily. But some times when working long hours you begin to feel like a machine with the only purpose of existing is that of working.

Within each person there is a creative spirit. Something that drives us to do things creatively that we enjoy. We like to create things, many times just for the act of creating alone. To draw, paint, write, make music, to make things out of wood or stone, or to grow a garden. Each person is different in their creativeness, likes and dislikes. Alone with our relationships, our creative spirit is what makes life worth living. When we work long hours our creative spirit becomes unfulfilled. We start to lose our individuality and self-worth. We become like ants in a mass of production. Work to live, live to work.

Our creative spirit can do many amazing things. And we need to turn that spirit into a struggle to reclaim our lives back from those who believe that they own us.

HOUR TEN

Have you ever seen a zombie movie where the zombies are moving around and performing physical functions, but you look into their eyes and you know something is missing? A soul or spirit or something. Round about the tenth hour I begin to feel like that.

Yes, I'm still functioning but something is missing. If it were not for the fact of all the small pains in my body, I may even question if I were still living.

When we sleep, eat and exist all for just one purpose, that being to work, we are nothing more than a 24 hour slave. We are robbed of all else that should be a part of living. The boss is the slave master who drives us to toil. And to the master, the slave should not think beyond work, should not care about anything beyond the job, should not have desires more than producing profits, they should only perform their required tasks. Those functions off the job exist only for the slave to replenish themselves for more work. The slave must eat, sleep and reproduce new slaves.

For payment for being a slave we are given wages. But we turn around and give our wages right back to the class that we received them from to pay for those things that we need to continue to produce for our masters, a place to sleep, food to eat, transportation to and from work.

For all that is meaningful and sacred, the earth was not created for a few to plunder, and the many were not created to be slaves for those few. The slaves can resist; the slaves can rebel; the slaves can take back that which is rightful theirs. The slaves can do away with all masters and slaves and replace them with free people acting for the well-being of all.

HOUR ELEVEN

This is the hour that your body finally goes into 'automatic pilot'. It is too early to start thinking about quitting time, so you just function. The pusherman comes by and voices his verbal whipping; "work harder, don't you care about your job?" You would like to strangle the bastard just to see him die. But you don't, you just keep toiling away, mentally cursing life itself.

That ever important machine, the employer will pay for all its upkeep. If the machine needs some form of energy to power it, that also the employer will pay for. The employer will pay to shelter the machine from the weather. But working people must pay the employing class for these necessities that are needed for us to continue to produce for them. Why do we do this? Why are we such accepting slaves? Because we are conditioned to believe that this is the best of all possible systems. That the freedom to be a slave is what freedom means.

Freedom has come to mean two different things. There is the freedom of the employers and the freedom of the workers. For the employers there is freedom to exploit, the freedom to abuse working people, the freedom to plunder the earth, the freedom to become rich off the labor of others. To protect that freedom there are governments, laws police and the military. For the workers there is freedom to be exploited, freedom to be abused by the bosses, the freedom to chose their abusers, the freedom to buy our needs from the owning class, and the freedom to be homeless, hungry and die if we freely chose not to be freely exploited. These great freedoms are protected by the government, laws, the police and military. We are truly blessed to live with such great freedoms, are we not?

HOUR TWELVE

After a while working every day drags on you and it becomes harder to talk yourself into coming in every day. People start to take weekends off. On the job that I have based this writing on, so many people were taking weekends off that the employer posted signs that read "If you don't work the weekend, you will be laid off on Monday." The idea was to get rid of the bad slaves and replace them with new good slaves.

Pipefitting on a ship takes a lot of thought and imagination. You cannot just fit two lengths of pipe together, for on a ship there are many obstacles and other considerations. You have to be able to see angles in your mind. Every offset is a degrees that is an interception of two lines on a circular arc. On a ship most pipes square to forward and aft or port and starboard. This means that when you make an offset, at any degrees, most of the time you must return to square of any of those directions. Thus, to get around an obstacle it often requires two offsets. You may find that it is not possible to run your pipe at the same elevation as where your first offset is. Then you must figure the point to begin your offset, the degrees of your offset, how long your offset will be, and if you must raise or lower your pipe, every amount that it moves will add length to your pipe getting from point A to point B, then you may find that you are able to only run a short ways before you must offset out of the way of something else. This means that one piece of pipe could have a number of offsets in it. Then sometimes you are running two pipes together which means you have to figure parallel offsets.

Making mistakes in your figuring could cause bad results. If you are off in your figuring and you are too tired to give a damn about what you are doing, you may force two pipes together rather than refitting them. When you do that you have created stress in the pipe. When there is stress in a pipe there is a point where the stress is the greatest. This is called a stress point. If that stress point is where two pipes are joined together that could produce a leak over time. At sea everything on a ship stretches. If that stress point is on a fuel system or seawater intake a leak can cause you real trouble.

There are many other mistakes that can be made, like welding or burning next to fuel lines , ventilation uptakes, or foam initiation. It is hard enough to get everything done right and watch out for dangers when working an eight hour day, but when you are working more hours than that, with each additional hour you work mistakes increase.

You may think "well so what? I don't ride ships". And maybe you don't care about possible ecological damage. But think about this; forced overtime is common in most construction, including such things as nuclear power plants and airplanes. And no amount of inspectors can catch every mistake. The next time you are up there thousands of feet in the air in a plane, think about what I have said about forced overtime. Consider that the plane could have been built by tired workers. Then ask yourself if the eight hour day is also your issue.