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Sandler’s piece on “The Men We Carry in Our Lives” provides a vivid description of the different types of men whom he interacted with at a point in his life. He classifies the men into three main categories: the laborers, the soldiers, and the bosses. These distinct groups exhibit unique behavioral traits depending on the immediate environment. For example, in Sander’s perspective, soldiers rarely involve themselves in any major work activity. Laborers are forced to abide by their condition of work regardless of the harm involved because of their circumstances. Bosses live life to the full and the hold the key to major decisions. To some extent, soldiers’ status quo is mainly determined by the service charter, laborers’ plight depends on their masters, while the advantage that bosses have does not mean that they can live in complete isolation without a support framework.
In Sanders’ world, laborers consist of men who have to perform physically demanding tasks while exposing themselves to extreme danger in order to earn a living. Sanders remarks that “the nails of their hands were black and split, the hands tattooed with scars. Some had lost fingers. Heavy lifting had given many of them finicky backs and guts weak from hernias” (69). In my view, there are certain work settings where the tasks being performed by the employees expose them to grave danger, but the payback does not measure to it. For example, Sander’s story reminds me of a story a saw in the media in 2011 in which illegal immigrants were constantly being subjected to harmful treatment. The story exposed how illegal immigrants were being exploited as laborers at very low wages with little guarantee regarding their health status or survival. In the given circumstances, the affected individual usually has limited options to pursue; hence, they are forced to put up with the situation. Sanders adds that the fathers of his friends who belonged to this category seemed to age faster (70). This is a valid observation given the fact that the physically demanding tasks actually degrade one’s physical capabilities. Probably, there is a high probability that the laborers are unable to access good nutrition in order to recoup from the loss or they may good on days without food while toiling hard at work. In such a situation, the chances of physical degradation are very high. Additionally, the dictatorial nature of the superiors who are in charge in such work setting may actually increase the chances of harm occurring to the laborers. Furthermore, they lack an organized framework through which they can competently address their grievances such as asking for better working conditions. In a third world setting, where the situation is based on the economic situation, the stronger survive while the weaklings are eliminated. Hence, every laborer will try as much as possible to impress their master that they are capable of withstanding the harsh conditions. Therefore, Sander’s perspective regarding laborers is significant in assessing their situation.
Soldiers are men chosen to represent to serve and protect their nation at anytime; hence, their service charter is probably much different from current or previous organized entities existing in our community. Sanders remarks that “as a boy I also knew another sort of men, who did not sweat and break down like mules. They were soldiers and so far as I could tell they scarcely worked at all” (70). Indeed, I agree with the author’s view because normally soldiers do not seem to work in the same magnitude compared to other organized entities in the community. In fact, there are situation in which it may take months and even months for some soldiers to be deployed into any major operation. Looking at the current American situation, soldiers tend to serve in critical areas such as implementing important infrastructural upgrades. However, this usually depends on the expertise available to accomplish such operations. For example, they may be deployed to accomplish the construction of new road networks in certain areas. Sanders observes that he normally saw GIs hanging around guardshacks, barrack stops, and at the wheels of arm vehicles, which he refers to the as drab Chevrolets (70). In my perspective, the barracks environment has certain duties that are normally assigned to the GIs, which are routine in nature; hence, most of the times GIs will be found in common places where they have been allocated their duties. Sanders’s observation is driven by the fact that he noticed the existence of monotony in terms of activities in the barracks environment. In reality, because of the existence of specific patterns in which work is performed in the barrack environment, someone standing by will probably observe the existence of an ordered way of things. For example, its 9 am in the morning and I am standing at the entrance bay of the munitions store section. The store personnel opens the store at 9:15 am to carry out inventories on the existing the arms in the store. At 9:30 am, the officer designated to carry out precision testing arrives and prepares his items. It is highly likely that these activities will follow the same process when I turn up at the same spot the following day. Naturally, for one to be characterized as a boss, one must have certain qualities associated with financial or status accomplishment. In Sanders’ world, bosses are people whose resources run deep to such an extent that the well can never go dry. Sanders remarks that “they were attended from morning to night by female helpers, wives, and nurses and secretaries. They were never laid off, never short of cash at month’s end, never lined up for welfare” (72). In my view, anyone is subject to certain events or emergencies, which may destabilize their capability of handling those problems single handed. For example, the concept of welfare features in literally everyone’s world because in nature we cannot entirely exist independently. We all need to belong to a certain league or network where we are free to express our grievances and consult for help. Hence, Sander’s suggestion that bosses never lined up for welfare is unique because it implies that bosses are individuals capable of running their own activities without seeking external help at any one time. In my view, perfection is a trait that cannot be achieved by a human being. Take the example, of the infamous athlete Hussein Bolt, in as much as he has enhanced running skills, this does not mean that he can manage it all entirely by himself. There are certain frameworks that also give the motivation and desire to continue. Hence, Sander’s view seems to suggest that there is an element of perfection with bosses, which cannot be entirely true. Bosses cannot be perfect, because the assistance they receive from other people, for example, the nurses suggests that they rely on a support framework to push them to where they are at the moment. Sanders observes that these fathers made all the decisions that mattered to the common man and they ran the world (72). Indeed, the human society is organized in a hierarchical manner; hence, there are decisions that take place at higher levels. Even in an institutional setting, the management structure may consist of the owner, the director, the chief executive officer, departmental managers, and employees. The chief executive officer, the director, and departmental managers may organize a meeting to deliberate over an important issue. When they all agree on a single issue, they may choose to implement it without approval from the owner. However, depending on how the decisions may affect the overall business process and the employees, the resultant effect may cause the owner to override their deliberation by ordering the implementation of a new recommendation Therefore, this illustrates how bosses are not only able to make certain decisions single handed, but they also require a support framework to do so.
Finally, indeed it is evident that the condition of soldiers is strongly determined by the internal system, which governs their work packages and activities, laborers find themselves in troublesome situations as they attempt to escape difficulties, and the influence that bosses spans across numerous settings, but they also need a supporting structure. Therefore, Sanders provides adequately identifies the social dimensions and the level of society’s stratification.