Friday, January 06, 2006

All Up In Yo' Bizness

The other night at work the big trainer came and talked to me. I've been doing good work loading the boxes. Only one wrong box on my truck in three weeks. A lot of people load two wrong boxes per night. I figured it was as good time to ask about a promotion. Several of my past jobs did not want to give you a raise unless you asked for it.

The trainer said the best advice he could give me was to stay where I was and do what I was doing. During that conversation, the "Randy Quaid Guy" came over and told us he hated his job and that he was quitting in two weeks. He said he'd been there almost two years and was making about the same amount of money as when he started. "Keep doing what you're doing" rarely seems to be good advice.

The situation is to be expected. If CEO's and vice presidents CAN get you to do the work for less money, THEY WILL. Middle management may like the idea of raises for everyone, but the guys signing the checks do not like to share the wealth. I liked my supervisor at my last job, but she could not save me from the torture of office micromanagement and the wave of diarrhea that inevitably rolls downhill to the working class.

The most successful big bosses love the idea of paying you less, cutting your benefits and, generally, treating you like the dog you are. In a twist of irony, they also want your obedience, loyalty and utter devotion. Yessir, I will do anything you say and smile as you crap on my head. Please make me Employee of the Month. They think your hourly wage will deliver your love. No matter how complex your job, your boss probably has a desire to treat you like some pimply-faced teen, schlepping hamburgers.

For instance, my last job: I had access to millions upon millions of credit card numbers and other private information. I had access to tools which could be used to extract social security numbers, marraige records, voting records, criminal records, motor vehicle records and so forth. If I have learned to prevent fraud for the last 5 years, then, in essence, I have learned to commit fraud for the past five years.

Luckily, I am an honest person. I WANT the system to work. You would think that being trustworthy with this information and effective at my position would represent some type of value in me. Nope. I leave and nobody cares. Proud companies can survive no matter who leaves, or so they would have you believe. For this reason, even their best can be treated like a disposable teenage workforce. No biggie.

Please log your pottie breaks. Don't mind us as we track your movement through the building, video tape you, and record your computer activity. No talking please, sit still. Management can't do it, but you surely will be expected to. Also, don't expect holidays off or any short days. Part time? Don't make me laugh. You're here forever. Plus we'll throw in some little touches, just to mess with you.

But what about the people who aren't honest and could care less if the system works? Our society preaches "every man for himself, you better go for yours; lead, follow or be trampled to death." If you empower people with sensitive information and uncommon abilities then you had better not be shuffling them in and out of your workforce like "shit through a goose." You had better not take your workers for granted. If someone uses those powers for evil and your company goes under then the stock you saved for retirement is worthless.

There is a price for dehumanizing the people at the bottom. And it pays to have a sense of humor (and decency). Be the big man.


ShootingStar said...

Yes that is the funny thing about capitilizm in the U.S., it works because a lot of people lose their rights, work long crappy hours, and recieve low wages--all so that a few CEO's can drive 5 hummers. At least under feudilism the peasents had a garden and a nice view!

Gordon said...

Yeah, just keep doing what you're doing. Jesus. I hate getting told that kind of shit. It's an insult that they think you'd buy that line.

your mother said...

Reminds me of a paper I wrote in college: Take advantage of the working class and eventually there will be more of them then you (fat bellies). What is really scary, sometimes, is what you have to do to make it in this world. Like have a hurt back BECAUSE you sit in front of a computer all day and get fatter, and flabbier, and less connected. With no blog time.