I promised this, after being incensed by the latest arrogant outburst of a union rep, so here it is, the analogy…

In the final (in every sense, as the series was cancelled well before the end of its first run) of the sci-fi drama, ‘Defying Gravity’, the episode’s big denouement sees Zoe Barnes, geologist, on the surface of Venus, in an armoured suit akin to the ones worn by deep, deep, sea divers.  The suit can only withstand the harsh Venusian environment for a limited time, and the landing module fails to land close enough to the target area for Zoe to reach and retrieve the mysterious object she and the other crew members of the Antares have been sent in search of, and still have time to get back to the module before the suit fails, killing her. Nevertheless, she sets off, against orders.

Now, the point of this is that Zoe Barnes does survive, barely, not because of some miracle, but because the module’s pilot, Maddux Donner, reasons that if the suit’s cooling system is adjusted so that it does as little work as possible to keep Zoe’s temperature down while still keeping her alive, it may operate long enough to get her back to the module. And so it does, barely. It’s not entirely clear that Zoe won’t succumb to her third degree burns as the series closes, but she has a chance at least.

So here’s the substance of the analogy. The suit is the company/education authority and Zoe Barnes is the union members/teachers. If Zoe had insisted on optimum working conditions and turned up her suit’s air conditioning to the max, she would have died. What actually happened was that she sacrificed short-term comfort for long-term survival. When are the union officials going to figure that one out? Probably not until their ‘jobs’ are on the line.

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