Monday, October 15, 2007

Professionalism and the Work Ethic

Rewrites of Jottings: Professionalism and the Work Ethic

Long ago, Aristotle said, “Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.” Much later, after the human activity called work was given dignified status, Frank Tyger averred, “Professionalism is knowing how to do it, when to do it and doing It.” and the professional manager was born. Recently, a business management consultant cum author claimed that management is the oldest profession ─ people have been directing other people for millennia. However, in the same breath he admitted that another profession could be older, probably alluding to the popular belief that prostitution may be the oldest profession. (Puffed-up lawyers aver that law is considered one of only three traditional professions, the other two being medicine and priesthood. priesthood protects the soul, medicine protects life, and law protects freedom.)
Nonetheless, because prostitution is considered a lowly undertaking, it is regarded as belonging to the underground economy, is not taxed, and the Professional Regulatory Commission does not bother to control the occupation. It comes as no surprise that no professional title is conferred to any of these professionals.
Taken in the context of business management, the endeavor has all the components of a legitimate enterprise. It has a niche in commerce (the service sector), has a hierarchical organization ─ with a proprietor, manager (bordello madam), salesmen (pimps), and the line workers (whores) who service regular and general clientele. It has the elements of a normal business transaction ─ compensation for service rendered. This commerce sector would definitely create some of the million jobs that Gloria promised and failed to achieve.
Very lately, the concept surfaced from the underground when human rights advocates, academics and women in the flesh trade put forward the idea that prostitutes are workers and their services should be considered work. The concept was embodied in a statement by the Asia-Pacific Consultation on Prostitution in Bangkok attended by 50 participants from 20 countries in the region. Rejecting the view that prostitution by itself was exploitation, they said that, intrinsically, prostitution is not a social problem, and that the acceptance and recognition of prostitutes as workers will “validate the reality of women” in the sex industry.
Some countries have opted to legalize prostitution as a means of controlling related social problems arising from an underground flesh trade such as venereal disease, criminal protection, police extortion and the like. The legalization option provided collection of revenues as a bonus. However, the Swedes have added a novel twist to the treatment of the sex trade. They passed a law that punishes buyers of sex.
In the news recently is a report of “Australian prostitutes worn out by war-stressed U.S. sailors.” The prostitutes at a well-known Perth brothel are left reeling following an influx of U.S. gobs from three warships, 5,500 strong, stressed from their time spent on duty in the war against terror. That’s a lot of Yankee dollars for Perth.
In Cagayan de Oro, prostitution is illegal, and officially does not exist since no report has been put forward. Still, it is implied when certain types of occupation in the entertainment field are required to obtain a health certificate and fees are exacted.
Accepting the principle that prostitutes are workers can stimulate certain business prospects for entrepreneurs: a prostitutes’ labor union, pimp agencies, a red-light district for hard-core whores, a pink-light district for higher priced call girls, a Health Maintenance Organization catering exclusively to bawds and their customers, a trade school for apprentice hookers, and many more for the imaginative individual. The only inhibition would be the prudes.
Once upon a time, five-star hotels employed a specialized public relations female expert who looks after the comfort of hotel guests. These specialists were respected members of the management staff with the title of Guest Relations Officer (GRO). Then many sleazy establishments which are virtual fronts for prostitution, beer joints and Karaoke bars among them, adopted the term GRO. These “watering places” call their comfort girls the euphemism “GRO”. The girls, I understand, are required to obtain a health certificate from city hall and thus regarded as sex workers (harlots). Unofficially, of course.
In politics, stupidity is not a handicap -- Napoleon
Flies Spread Disease. Keep yours zipped.

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