Posts Tagged ‘employee’

Drunk or Just “Employed?”

May 29, 2008

Last week my Wednesday morning Eagles group was privileged to have Rabbi Daniel Lapin sit in as our guest.  Dave Ramsey had invited him to speak to his entire company that morning and our little group of thinkers was honored to dialogue with him for a couple of hours in advance.

As a Hebrew scholar, Rabbi Lapin shares some very insights about that language.  Here’s one of his many interesting examples: 

“When Noah planted a vineyard, drank of its wine and became drunk, the Hebrew word used in Genesis 9:21 to describe his inebriated condition is SHiCHuR.  But when someone hires someone as an hourly employee, as in Exodus 22:14, the person is a SaCHiR.  In Hebrew the words look exactly the same.

= SHiCHuR = Drunk

= SaCHiR = Hired Employee

What could drunkenness possibly have to do with being a hired worker?  Ancient Jewish wisdom’s response to that question is that neither a drunk nor an hourly laborer is able to act according to his own wishes and choices.  It is easy for us to see that a drunk has no ability to control his actions. What about a hired worker? After all, almost all of us need to work and what’s more, we are actually obligated to do so, since the day that God put Adam in the Garden of Eden, to work it.  But the word SaCHiR is specifically reserved for an hourly or day laborer. That type of hired employee yields much control to his employer.  Generally, a SacCHiR earns less and has fewer benefits than a longer term employee. He is usually at the bottom of the totem pole with little job security and often lives paycheck to paycheck. So, while for different reasons than the drunk, the SaCHiR also has limited options and control over his life.” 

This contrasts with someone who works for a pre-negotiated salary or commission or has their own business.  That person has some freedom in managing his/her time more independently.

I know this may sound a little harsh for the many of you who are employees.  This is not meant to belittle that status – but to just help you see it in perspective.  I have been encouraging everyone to be aware of the changing work models that I describe in No More Mondays.  We are rapidly moving toward the time when only 50% of the American workforce will be employees.  You may be a free-lancer, a consultant, a contingency worker, an independent contractor, an entrepreneur, an electronic immigrant, a temp, or a number of other growing terms.  All are reasonable terms for the creative, non-traditional work models that are allowing 465,000 new business startups each month in the United States alone.

This helps explain why people are lining up to get into the 212ºConnection.