When I think about the number of people I see walking around with their iPhone in hand everywhere I go, I am both astounded and disgusted by the fact that a Chinese factory worker had to individually test each and every cameras on those phones, and wipe down each and every screen, before putting them in boxes and shipping them out. And then I think about all the millions, maybe even billions, of people around the world with iPhones, that were also tested and wiped down prior to leaving the factory.
Whenever I see “handmade” written on a tag, I am willing to pay a higher price for it, because I expect it to be a better quality. I think about the person that sat somewhere for days sewing the sweater I have on. I assume that my sweater is unique because it is handmade, unlike most things nowadays. Like Daisey, I never thought in depth about where computers were made. I assumed that each specific tiny part that went in to my MacBook Pro, in to my iPhone, and in to my iPad, had been mass produced somewhere in a Chinese factory full of machines. I assumed that there had to have been workers present in these factories to ensure that the parts were being produced correctly. I had no idea that so many workers were present during the production of technology, and that their tasks were so extensive and meticulous.
As an accounting major, I interned in the audit department of a larger firm this past summer. While I enjoyed what I did, this internship helped me realize that I will not be working on just audits for the rest of my life. After a few years, people generally begin to move up the corporate chain to a more managerial-based position, and will have more variety in their positions, rather than just working on audits. After reading this article, I have come to realize that even the audit tasks that I expect will be repetitive and monotonous after a few months, will still vary amongst different clients. I reflect on the employees in these factories who get their first job at the age of twelve or thirteen, and who do the exact same monotonous job of wiping a screen, hour after hour, day after day, year after year, and I gain a new appreciation for the work I will do after graduation. The next time someone asks me “isn’t accounting so boring,?” I will say, “no, not as boring as wiping down screens in a crammed, underpaid, no benefits job, where management has no concern for you or your well being.”
Will any of us actually get rid of our Apple products or do anything to revolt against the multibillion dollar corporation after knowing more details about Chinese factories, the mistreatment of workers, and the conditions under which Apple products are manufactured? Even if everyone protested against Apple, think of all the other companies who have parts manufactured in the same exact factories that. Should the answer to this problem be to boycott technology as a whole? What is your suggestion to this problem? I, for one, have zero suggestions, but know that I will wake up tomorrow willing to buy more Apple products, even after knowing these unethical facts.