GRE Argument Essay 25

The following is a recommendation from the director of personnel to the president of Professional Printing Company.

“In a recent telephone survey of automobile factory workers, older employees were less likely to report that having a supervisor present increases their productivity. Among workers aged 18 to 29, 27 percent said that they are more productive in the presence of their immediate supervisor, compared to 12 percent for those aged 30 or over, and only 8 percent for those aged 50 or over. Clearly, if our printing company hires mainly older employees, we will increase productivity and save money because of the reduced need for supervisors. ”

In the given argument, the director of personnel of Professional Printing Company claims that hiring older employees will increase their productivity and save money as they will need a lesser number of supervisors. He supports this claim with the help of evidence in the form of statistics revealed as a result of a telephone survey carried out in an automobile factory. The facts presented sound quite convincing when read for the first time, but a closer examination brings out several logical flaws that weaken the given argument.

Firstly, it is not necessary that the results of a telephone survey carried out for the workers of an automobile factory will hold true for the workers of a printing company as well. As both the companies are different, there are bound to be differences in the mode of functioning, the type of equipment used and the expertise required to handle the machinery. It is quite likely that the equipment being used by the automobile factory is largely automated, thereby reducing the need of supervisors for older people who have had enough experience in working with the same machinery for years. There is no concrete evidence provided by the arguer that proves that the conditions in the printing company and the automobile company are the same.

Secondly, older workers may not be requiring supervision because of their experience in handling the machinery for numerous years in the past. Hiring older people afresh has an entirely different connotation. These older people who have recently been hired may not be having the requisite experience in handling the machinery specifically used in the printing company and therefore, they may actually need extensive training and supervision. Additionally, because of their age they may need more time in grasping the finer details for the functioning of the equipment as compared to their younger counterparts. Therefore, assuming that hiring older people will do away with the need for appointing supervisors for them is largely far-fetched and baseless. Additionally, even if the older employees are well qualified and they don’t need supervisors, one cannot establish that this will lead to savings for the company. This is because it is likely that well qualified and experienced workers will ask for a higher salary.

Lastly, the arguer does not explicitly state the section of workers included in the telephone survey that was carried out in the automobile factory. In the absence of such details one cannot conclude that the inference drawn is a reflection of the opinion of all the workers of the factory. Therefore, as the conclusion drawn from the survey is questionable, applying the same to the workers of Professional Printing Company weakens the argument further.

The given argument could have been strengthened if the arguer had included strong evidence to prove that the working conditions in the automobile factory and the printing company are comparable. Moreover, the argument could have sounded convincing if the arguer had brought out the results of a survey carried out on the workers of Professional Printing Company. In view of the above, it can easily be seen that the given argument is by and large unconvincing due to lack of sufficient evidence in support of its claim.