A Precious Union

The Metropolitan Opera singers union resumed contract talks on Monday after a two-month hiatus, but union officials said they had little hope of reaching an agreement before a threatened lockout.

And no wonder, with such an awesome sense of entitlement.

“He doesn’t want to help us maintain our instruments,” said chorus member Jean Braham, commenting on the effect [Met General Manager Peter] Gelb’s proposed high-deductible health plan could have on singers’ voices and bodies.

“We are the artists,” Ms Braham said, her voice cracking. “We are the product. The fact that he accepts no responsibility and no accountability is just incredible to me.”

They are your instruments, Ms Braham, not the Met’s. Like any worker, your tools are your own responsibility. And, no, you are not the product. Get over yourself. The entertainment that the Met produces—blending your tools with those of the major singers, those of your company’s dancers, those of the orchestra, those of your company’s stage managers, and the acoustics of the opera house stage and setting are the product.

What’s incredible to me is that your sense of entitlement has become so ingrained that you view all of this as your natural right. How precious can a union worker get?

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