21 June 2007

Scissors

I work in an eccentric building. We still have elevator operators, because the elevators are still manual (and not likely to be converted anytime soon because of the ferocious cost). And all of the tenants are somehow connected to the theater/dance world, like the costume shop downstairs.

This afternoon, I had to go downstairs to see someone, and parked in the middle of the hallway outside the costume shop was a scissors sharpener. He had a big pile of scissors, all different, and was just going at it one by one.

And it gets weirder. I ran into someone from the shop on the elevator, one thing led to another, and I learned that the ladies own their own scissors. It's a union thing. Technically, they're also supposed to supply their own hand sewing needles and their own thimbles. But the shop provides the sewing machines. In reality, this shop does provide needles and thimbles, but the ladies still own their own scissors. So that scissors sharpener? The ladies have to pay to get their scissors sharpened.

For all of my lefty-commie-pinko leanings, I just don't understand unions sometimes. I see why the ladies own their own scissors - it's a kind of personal tool. But you'd think the union would have gotten something into the contract like: "All personally owned scissors shall be sharpened by the Employer no less than once every two months."

6 comments:

NotSoSage said...

That does seem a very strange arrangement. I can't imagine what I'd do if I had to provide my own pens and paper at work...

S. said...

One thing I've learned from being married to a union member is that there are some weird compromises made at contract time that from the outside (meaning to the rank-and-file) seem to be about nothing more than face-saving.

I love this glimpse into your building!

Teryn said...

I can see wanting your own scissors -- because if you used company scissors, they'd probably be terrible (I've never had a boss that didn't insist on the cheapest of everything), but I'd definitely insist that they paid to sharpen them.

Sounds like a fun building.

painted maypole said...

I want to live in your building. to be surrounded by dance and theatre people? Heaven!

Tabba said...

this does seem strange to me.....

However, years ago, when working at an elder-care facility, the building got a new administrator and she was trying to clean up the building and the budget.....and she stopped buying pens/pencils for the building......
she thought people should bring in their own.

Weird.

Because a couple boxes of pens every month is going to be the difference between red and black in the budget, right?

Eva said...

I'm not sure if I think scissors are more of a personal tool than, say, a stapler, but I don't sew professionally, so.

Very nice big city life vignette.