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thechadmaster
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17 Aug 2010, 2:57 pm

Does anyone else take issue with this idiom? Older folks tell me i havent "paid my dues". What exactly does that mean? how much are dues? who do i write the check out to? and most importantly; how does this stranger know whether ive paid or not and how does he have the authority to require dues from me? Im not trying to join the masons ar anything, i just want a little respect from my customers at work.

My manager considers me to have paid my dues, i got promoted from the overnight shift to the AM shift (7-3). What did i pay?


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Thomas246
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17 Aug 2010, 3:01 pm

That's a difficult question, they could mean respect, money or service in the military I'm not too sure... Maybe you should me asking them.



thechadmaster
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17 Aug 2010, 3:03 pm

Thomas246 wrote:
That's a difficult question, they could mean respect, money or service in the military I'm not too sure... Maybe you should me asking them.


these are often the same people who think AS is pop-psychology BS. just another moneygrab for the education department. i dont like playing with snakes...


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17 Aug 2010, 3:15 pm

Paid your dues = to have earned one's right to something through hard work or suffering (Source: http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/pay+dues).

In my experience, it's usually used by people who think they have paid theirs... it's somewhat ridiculous, IMHO.


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DonDud
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17 Aug 2010, 3:15 pm

People seem to enjoy bragging about the hardships they've been though. They want to put you down because they think you haven't accomplished as much as they have, or suffered as much as they have. I suspect people feel really good when they stress about how busy and hectic their lives are (or rather, brag). In other words, I'd make nothing of it, because all they want to do is make an example of someone else, so that in their own minds, they can be superior. They can't feel good about themselves without placing others at a lower benchmark. So, pay them no mind.

Or, maybe that's not how it is. Just a guess.



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17 Aug 2010, 3:23 pm

thechadmaster wrote:
Does anyone else take issue with this idiom? Older folks tell me i havent "paid my dues". What exactly does that mean? how much are dues? who do i write the check out to? and most importantly; how does this stranger know whether ive paid or not and how does he have the authority to require dues from me? Im not trying to join the masons ar anything, i just want a little respect from my customers at work.

My manager considers me to have paid my dues, i got promoted from the overnight shift to the AM shift (7-3). What did i pay?

You help support your mom and sister, you grew up with ASD and have a job that you have held on to, you have more then paid your dues, some people just assume that age means they are granted their dues



pgd
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17 Aug 2010, 3:48 pm

thechadmaster wrote:
Does anyone else take issue with this idiom? Older folks tell me i havent "paid my dues". What exactly does that mean? how much are dues? who do i write the check out to? and most importantly; how does this stranger know whether ive paid or not and how does he have the authority to require dues from me? Im not trying to join the masons ar anything, i just want a little respect from my customers at work.

My manager considers me to have paid my dues, i got promoted from the overnight shift to the AM shift (7-3). What did i pay?


---

Have heard some persons use the term to mean a person has spent at least ten years in a certain career area, gradually moving up the proverbial career work ladder.

The opposite of paying one's due is being given a job due to nepotism or skip over steps in the process.

Many persons go from home to an apartment to a starter house to a middle class home, etc. vs immediately going from home to a 3 bedroom, 2 bath house in a middle class area.

Also, many persons believe it is less risky to gradually start a business and slowly go through the school of hard knocks than to try to start at the top with a big business right away.

Most persons learn a little over time and the final result - ten or twenty years later - is due to the gradual learning.

The TV anchor, Peter Jennings, was promoted in his early 20s to a high profile anchor job but resigned after a short time saying he needed more real world experience. Years later he was given a similar job but loved it since he had the background to do a better job since he paid his dues by simply being a new correspondent who traveled around the globe.

A number of parents will freely admit they didn't see the big picture in life or handle money well until they were about 35 years old.



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17 Aug 2010, 4:21 pm

pgd wrote:
thechadmaster wrote:
Does anyone else take issue with this idiom? Older folks tell me i havent "paid my dues". What exactly does that mean? how much are dues? who do i write the check out to? and most importantly; how does this stranger know whether ive paid or not and how does he have the authority to require dues from me? Im not trying to join the masons ar anything, i just want a little respect from my customers at work.

My manager considers me to have paid my dues, i got promoted from the overnight shift to the AM shift (7-3). What did i pay?


---

Have heard some persons use the term to mean a person has spent at least ten years in a certain career area, gradually moving up the proverbial career work ladder.

The opposite of paying one's due is being given a job due to nepotism or skip over steps in the process.

Many persons go from home to an apartment to a starter house to a middle class home, etc. vs immediately going from home to a 3 bedroom, 2 bath house in a middle class area.

Also, many persons believe it is less risky to gradually start a business and slowly go through the school of hard knocks than to try to start at the top with a big business right away.

Most persons learn a little over time and the final result - ten or twenty years later - is due to the gradual learning.

The TV anchor, Peter Jennings, was promoted in his early 20s to a high profile anchor job but resigned after a short time saying he needed more real world experience. Years later he was given a similar job but loved it since he had the background to do a better job since he paid his dues by simply being a new correspondent who traveled around the globe.

A number of parents will freely admit they didn't see the big picture in life or handle money well until they were about 35 years old.



Agreed. 'Paying your dues' means gaining mature perspective through real world experience. When you haven't been through certain experiences in life, you are not qualified to pontificate on them or to assume that you know what they're like or how to handle them. That kind of perspective is gained over long periods of time and may come in several stages.

Just like being a master musician or painter, even a craftsman or a banker gets better, develops a finesse at his or her job the longer they do it. Someone just starting out can't possibly understand all the subtle nuances or have the dexterity of someone who's been doing it for many years. Same concept applies to all of life. We become masterful at something only by doing, by suffering from day-to-day, by making mistakes and learning from them, getting bloodied in the fray. THAT is 'paying your dues.'



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17 Aug 2010, 4:30 pm

thechadmaster wrote:
Does anyone else take issue with this idiom? Older folks tell me i havent "paid my dues". What exactly does that mean? how much are dues? who do i write the check out to? and most importantly; how does this stranger know whether ive paid or not and how does he have the authority to require dues from me? Im not trying to join the masons ar anything, i just want a little respect from my customers at work.

My manager considers me to have paid my dues, i got promoted from the overnight shift to the AM shift (7-3). What did i pay?


It's a metaphorical way of saying "you've proven yourself to be skillful and capable in your old situation." With this, you've gained the opportunity to serve more customers with higher expectations than your old crowd. Congratulations are in order.

Good luck! (stage whisper) You're gonna need it. --Han Solo, to Lando Calrissian, Return of the Jedi

But always remember Laurence J. Peter's famous maxim about "being promoted to your level of incompetence" (aka The Peter Principle).



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17 Aug 2010, 5:22 pm

If the person that is saying it, is saying you need to, or haven't paid your dues, more often than not it means you haven't done as much for as long as whomever is saying it to you, in whatever field, hobby, endeavor, or life itself, depending on the topic at hand.

It is interesting that the younger and/or more inexperienced a person is, the more likely they are to think the concept is ridiculous. Once you HAVE paid your dues, you'll understand exactly what it means, and won't think it's so ridiculous. There is a lot of merit in the concept. Paying one's dues is expected in almost every field, and in life itself.

I bet I'll get some flack for this, but I don't care, because I, and probably almost everyone my age knows it's true. People in their twenties, in general think they know a heck of a lot more than they really do. I know, because I was in my twenties, I I know now how utterly ignorant I was then. So were just about everyone I knew in their twenties. In life, you pay your dues simply by living and learning from your experiences. There is NO substitute for that. It's impossible to know the experiences of a Seventy year old in your twenties.

Like I said, I'll probably get some flack for saying this. It doesn't matter. You may not believe what I've said, or think it's ridiculous now, but once all you who are now in your twenties reach your forties, fifties, sixties and seventies, you will know too. It's inevitable.


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17 Aug 2010, 6:39 pm

The expression represents the tradition of younger people basically working their tails off to

1) Show the willingness to do whatever it takes to meet a goal
2) Acquire a broad breadth of experience while doing so
3) Learn as much as possible
4) Practicing working against all odds to make sure a deadline is met.

In my career there is a fairly formal ritual for it, where young CPA's seasonally work 80-90 hours a week for extended periods of time. It is learning to keep your mind fresh through the all-nighters, learning to make important judgment calls despite exhaustion and pressure, and telling your family that, no, you cannot take vacation the week they want you to because of stuff going on at work. I did it for 12 years. After the so-called dues are paid, some people choose to keep up the hours, run a firm, or otherwise cash in for big bucks. Others, like me, can jump off the merry-go-round and consult for pretty nice hourly pay, and have flexibility on when and how to work; I bring experience that would be very expensive in a full time hire, but that many smaller firms desperately want.

The exact definition varies by situation.

It isn't meant to be an ego thing; it is meant to say, "show that you are willing to go the extra mile to achieve something."
It is, in many ways, the opposite of the entitlement mentality. Within a career setting, anyway.

I think that taking on the night shift most definitely is a version of "paying ones dues." You "paid" with the willingness to work an unpopular and difficult shift. You didn't waltz in and say you would only work certain hours; you took what they offered you, even though most people don't like working those hours. In doing so you showed a willingness to do something unpleasant in pursuit of a larger goal. You have now "earned" the right to that larger goal (a better shift, in this case). Enjoy ;)


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17 Aug 2010, 7:33 pm

thechadmaster wrote:
Does anyone else take issue with this idiom? Older folks tell me i havent "paid my dues". What exactly does that mean? how much are dues? who do i write the check out to? and most importantly; how does this stranger know whether ive paid or not and how does he have the authority to require dues from me? Im not trying to join the masons ar anything, i just want a little respect from my customers at work.

My manager considers me to have paid my dues, i got promoted from the overnight shift to the AM shift (7-3). What did i pay?




The late Satanist Anton Lavey wrote something in his book entitled "The Devil's Notebook" which you might wish to bear in mind here. Regardless of what you or anyone else thinks of this controversial individual, (and I myself don't think much of him) I feel we are sophiscated enough to allow credit where credit is due.

The particular statements in question can be found in the "Duck-Billed Platitudes" chapter of his aforementioned book. I don't own a copy of this book, so I can't quote them verbatim. The entire chapter is filled with conventional platitudes which many people just unquestioningly accept as gospel truth and Lavey's response to each and every of them. Judging from the title of the chapter, you can probably guess what Lavey thought of these platitudes.


The relevant one is here is pretty common in our bourgeois society which still seems to adhere to alot of nonsense Calvinist values:

"Hard Work is the key to success".


Lavey's response?


"Giving people something they want is the key to success. Beyond that...it matters little how "hard" you work or not".


Consider some of the most successful (financially speaking, at least) people in America?



Did they REALLY work harder than millions of other people?


Did Harvard drop-out Bill Gates REALLY work harder than someone who spent 12 years of their life in medical school?

How about Paris Hilton?

Your average professional athlete, celebrity, etc....???


This is not to say hard work never pays off. But just as often as not, alot of people become very successful just because they had a good idea whose time had come or for absolutely nothing at all aside from someridiculous thing the idiotic rabble has a taste for. Often the latter has something to do with sex, (since it certainly does sell....the "sex sells" platitude is one of the few that is spot on) which is the entire reason Paris Hilton is not simply another anonymous rich heiress and Tila Tequila isn't working at Burger King.



I think the older folks who are telling you this have been deceived by plutocrats who have been promising the wage slaves they'd "get ahead" for centuries by dint of hard work alone. That's not quite the way things work in reality. Billions of the poorest people in history were also among the hardest workers.



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17 Aug 2010, 10:03 pm

Horus wrote:
Billions of the poorest people in history were also among the hardest workers.


QFT :!: :idea:



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17 Aug 2010, 10:55 pm

Horus wrote:

This is not to say hard work never pays off. But just as often as not, alot of people become very successful just because they had a good idea whose time had come or for absolutely nothing at all aside from someridiculous thing the idiotic rabble has a taste for. Often the latter has something to do with sex, (since it certainly does sell....the "sex sells" platitude is one of the few that is spot on) which is the entire reason Paris Hilton is not simply another anonymous rich heiress and Tila Tequila isn't working at Burger King.

I think the older folks who are telling you this have been deceived by plutocrats who have been promising the wage slaves they'd "get ahead" for centuries by dint of hard work alone. That's not quite the way things work in reality. Billions of the poorest people in history were also among the hardest workers.


Absolutely true in the first paragraph but since no one can do something to make luck happen, it's a pretty iffy concept to lay your own future hopes on.

The second paragraph might be why unions et al rose up to change the balance of power. Sometimes there is no choice but hard work to survive, and pretty much everyone is in the same boat. But if there are substantial profits being made from that hard work and promises are being broken to those putting in the hard work ... you can bet in this day and age there will be rebellion. There was a time the tools to effect fairness didn't exist but today, in our part of the world, that is no longer true. Hard work may still never make one rich, but here is the thing ... NOT working hard is pretty much guaranteed to leave you even worse off.


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18 Aug 2010, 6:22 am

Don't get me started about the work ethic - it's usually expounded by people who want you to work for them so they can make a profit off your back.

But I think "paying your dues" isn't just about the work ethic, it's about doing your duty to society. I have very little sympathy for the notion that we owe anything to "society." In fact if society means the capitalist system with all its cut-throat competitiveness and unfairness, then I prefer to think that society needs to pay its dues to me. I didn't ask for mainstream society to be the way it is, I don't approve oif it and I resent being expected to toe its stupid line. It's their thing, not mine, and I consider myself gracious for not wanting to wipe it off the face of the map. I'm an autonomous collective of one (with a few friends) and I don't owe anybody anything unless I decide that I do. When "society" implements full democracy and I have a proper say in making the rules, maybe I'll change my mind, though I suspect I'd still want to keep my autonomy and stay in my castle, unless other people wanted the kind of society that I want. If I were a potential immigrant, they'd never let me in with my level of commitment to UK society, though to be fair, I've lived in the UK all my life and its commitment to me has been shown to be deeply lacking.

Summary: just say no 8)



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18 Aug 2010, 7:42 pm

This reminds of a story I saw on TV the other night.

There was a guy who was a doctor -- or an resident, IIRC. And that involved shifts at the hospital for as long as 39 hours. The trouble was he had epilepsy, and from experience knew that sleep deprivation provoked seizures in him. At first he asked for accommodations, but then other residents complained, so he felt it was his duty (and that he had no choice but) to tough it out. He was exhausted all the time, and then started increasingly having seizures. And then one night he seized in the parking lot (in the dark), and ended up dying.

I think the thing that will keep "pay your dues" from ever going away is that if someone has passed through the gauntlet, they'll feel like it's cheating for anyone else to attain the status gained from that without having gone through it. And since they'll be in a position of greater power (having passed the test) they'll make sure that the system never changes.

So, it ends up that if you're a good doctor in every way, but can't withstand massive sleep deprivation, then you don't get to be a doctor. And another "benefit" is that patients then have to deal with the consequences of sleep deprived doctors making mistakes.