To Repeat This Menu, Press 2

            In the news this week a German automotive component manufacturer came out as a new tenant at the Central Ohio Aerospace and Technology Center campus (Xperion, 59 jobs welcomed to area, The Newark Advocate 11-15-13, Kent Mallett). The “jobs creators” concelebrated the exchange of vows. All the trappings of this commitment ceremony were there – a traditional ground breaking with tent (though the spec building was already under construction) and German pilsner for all (sans Polka band. Oom Pah!). Continuing news of the past weeks is the closing of Meritor (just miles down the road) with its accumulated loss of hundreds of jobs. It is reported to already be packing up and moving production machinery out of its Heath factory (no “campus” for this manufacturer). The company made its workers a non-negotiable offer of “considering” to not relocate if the workers took a 62% pay cut (and gave management half of their lunch).

 

            Not news but what makes the news, cell phones are ubiquitous though they haven’t quite done in line phones (everyone has one; it is how we “stay connected”). Line phones, like electric power, were the sign of progress for a community, especially rural ones. Those “served” by this convenience reported outages or destruction for the benefit of all. One would call in a noise on the line, damage to a pole, or that a neighbor’s phone was out because it made things better for everyone. In turn the company relied on its eyes and ears in the community that it profited from. Today you can’t do that (the same with cell phones, utilities, etc.). When one calls in to make such a report, a wonderful “Suri” clone comes on the phone claiming intimate interest if only you’ll push her buttons. There is no capacity to say something is wrong with the system as one is immediately accosted with assuming personal responsibility for announcing (and owning) the problem. This is instantly followed by arranging to set up an appointment for the company’s representative (technician) to meet with the problem (you) and take care of the request (complaint). All this may entail a service charge, “Suri” is not remiss to announce. In short, it is made clear (through “Suri”) that the only beneficiary of all this will be solely the one who is kvetching (who likewise will end up paying for it). No possibility to consider any of this from a community standpoint (I’m calling for my neighbor, or for the last thirty years whenever this kind of interruption has taken place, it is because something is awry at your junction box, etc.). Later, the squeaky wheel will receive a deeply personal missive from “Suri” concerned that “we made things right” and inquiring “how did we do?”

 

            ““That (teamwork) effort doesn’t end today or when you take possession of your building and begin operations,” Johns [Heath Mayor Mark Johns] said. “You’ve heard about the teamwork, and I want you to know you are now a part of that team.” [To which Lt. Gov. Mary] Taylor added, “This united effort is why we are all standing here today. We’re looking not only to help those here today, but want the same opportunities to continue for future generations throughout Ohio.”” (Mallett, betrothal ceremony report) Wiktionary describes “hegemony” as “Domination, influence, or authority over another, especially by one political group over a society or by one nation over others”. In short, it is what determines the topic, the conversation, and what can be said and how it can be said. To repeat this menu, press 2.

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