‘Ghosting’ … New Solution to Employee/Employer Discourse

ALPERN AT LARGE--Caught up in the "I hate/love Trump" or "MAGA is racist/wonderful" is the fact that we each have our own individual lives, and our own individual challenges, to contend with that have little direct results from what's going on in Washington. For example, are you familiar with "GHOSTING"?


"Ghosting" is where a worker, and not just a millennial, bails and walks out of a job (or, better yet, one day doesn't show up at all) because they got a better job. This is becoming more of a "thing" for employers to contend with, and that extends even to hiring--often for one job opening they'll hire two just because they know one person won't show up. 

Some of us make Washington's politics our entire lives, but many if not most of us recognize more important things closer to home. Like jobs, cost of homes, impacts of taxes and utility bills, affordability of college, rise of homelessness, etc. 

Along those same lines, there are many people who are civic leaders in Los Angeles who are as terrified of Sacramento as they are of President Trump. I should know--I work with them in my non-profit and civic efforts. 

Sacramento is increasingly beholden to developers and the rich uber-overlords of Silicon Valley who will do anything--ANYTHING--to reduce labor costs and increase billionaire profits, while waving the flag of progressivism, being "woke" and anything left-wing (not just liberal, or left-leaning, but hard-core leftist) while creating a have/have not situation as bad as the Gilded Age of the late 1800's. 

1) For example--we SHOULD debate the issue of why on earth an 8-year-old boy from Guatemala died at the U.S. border. Why was he there? Why does his mother report that bringing him there would help the family get in?   

But more importantly, what about OUR kids? There is no question that Guatemala and other Central American countries are mired in hideous, abject poverty, but ... what ... about ... OUR ... kids? 

For any African-American reading this, I encourage you to--as I do for my own kids (I am a white, Jewish Westsider, which means I am an all-over-the-place-politically-but-cut-the-malarkey-because-I-live-in-the-real-world-kind-of-person), learn Spanish as a way to connect with your neighbors and to help gain employment. But how many African-Americans speak Spanish? 

For that manner, how many of the rest of us speak Spanish? Because if you don't, kiss many an entry-level job good-bye...and no, that's not a slap in the face to any of the wonderful Latino young men and women busting their tails at El Pollo Loco or Subway while also going to school to better their economic lives. 

2) Outgoing Chief of Staff John Kelly had a lot of smart things to say, and he both reported that Trump created unnecessary problems as much as he commented we need SOME sort of border security and wall/fence/barrier. 

And if you ask the white, Latino, black, and Asian individuals and families each trying to better their futures, NONE of them want the violence and chaos south of the border to come here. Even if they individually HATE our President. 

Even Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is trying to limit the chaotic migration tearing up both the U.S. and Mexico--and in case you haven't noticed, that President (who might have a few personal issues with our President) wants a strong, safe, and stable Mexico as much as we want our own strong, safe, and stable nation. 

Because you can't have a good economy, with jobs and a future, without security. 

3) But back to GHOSTING--because that isn't just a border/ethnic/Trump thing--it's a response to the anti-globalism efforts from both Left and Right, Liberal and Conservative. When you have more jobs, and you don't flood the marketplace with either blue-collar or white-collar workers, the supply/demand circumstances favor the WORKERS. 

And I doubt I am the only one who's all about the WORKERS.  

Without profitable companies, we don't have well-paid workers with good benefits. But this "gig economy" is a product of companies who were LOUSY corporate citizens and who were more than happy to unceremoniously dump loyal workers because they could.  

Thanks to longstanding trends in the United States for years, workers (unless they worked in government) had NO rights. None. Zip. Zero. Nada. 

And the opportunities for small-business owners who DID care about their friends and employees weren't much better off. 

Hence the idea of importing cheap labor from Asia, Latin America, or wherever might have some good, quality compassion behind it...but let's not kid ourselves: 

From the right or left wing powerhouses, those screaming about compassion just wanted cheaper labor and bigger profits. They were uber-rich, as were their investors, and they wanted to be richer ... at the expense of the middle-class. 

I absolutely LOVE the idea that GHOSTING now exists. I'm not a fan of it from a moral/professional standpoint, but hey, the employers shafting their employees with an ever-enlarging income disparity/inequality started this! 

So, to all "ghosters": demand more of your employer--show the employer what you can do, make them beg for you to stay ... and perhaps find a way for ALL to benefit from a profiting company.  

And if they don't ... well ... then bail. Just let 'em know with a call or a letter or e-mail: "Gotta ghost!" 

Or, just don't show up, if they've been that abusive to you. They'll figure it out, sooner or later. 

Heck, they're probably already used to it by now. 


(Kenneth S. Alpern, M.D. is a dermatologist who has served in clinics in Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside Counties, and is a proud husband and father to two cherished children and a wonderful wife. He is also a Westside Village Zone Director and Board member of the Mar Vista Community Council (MVCC), previously co-chaired its Outreach Committee, and currently is Co-Chair of both its MVCC Transportation/Infrastructure and Planning Committees. He was co-chair of the CD11 Transportation Advisory Committee and chaired the nonprofit Transit Coalition and can be reached at alpern@marvista.org. He also co-chairs the grassroots Friends of the Green Line at www.fogl.us. The views expressed in this article are solely those of Dr. Alpern.)