It occurred to me that I mention my job a lot here. It plays a major role in many of my vents, but I obviously try to keep it as obliquely anonymous as possible. I compulsively disguise as many clues as I can that might give the lamest snoop a lock on this clusterfuck that I call a “job.” Basically, I like my job. I really do. Most of the people I work with are great. I have social issues to be sure, but this is not their problem. This is my own problem and I’m resolved to not working through these issues because I’m comfortable with my alienation. So the bottom line is that I work with a bunch of people who are pretty cool but I am intransigent and refuse to loosen up in order to fit in. I simply don’t care to. It’s not personal. Work is a laboratory for me because it is honestly one of the few consistent social outlets I experience regularly in which I’m exposed to people quite unlike myself. As much as I may complain about my co-workers, truthfully they are merely allegorical actors on this blog stage who make handy targets for my venting about the human condition in general. There are very few people who earn my direct wrath. I am an impersonal person and this also means that one must never take anything I say personally. Ultimately, I’m clinical and aloof.
Most of what I write about my job is really eponymous of my opinions about culture and society. Because of the nature of some of these opinions, I am reluctant to disclose too much about my wage slavery that might triangulate its location. As I said, my posts concerning work are kept vague, by design. I don’t dwell too much on specifics because the devil and self-disclosure are in the details.
I believe someone I work with was wronged. An informal injustice but there is no legal recourse. Informal injustices abound in the modern workplace. This person, incidentally, is not me. I’m not using this post as a red herring vehicle by which to disclose anything about myself. Nope, this is not about me. In fact, I presume I’m vaguely “liked” at work. I do a very good job, I’m super conscientious to the point of pathology. I think some people might be under the assumption that I lack an “abundance of life.” This is fine. I don’t care. I never cry about money or working too hard. I get jilted regularly because of my apathy concerning those motives most employees possess and which employers are accustomed to dealing with. Still, I continue doing the best job I can. Because it’s what I do. I’d rather be busy and buried in work than have nothing to do because I don’t fill up my day with idle Facebook or a smart phone abuse, which seems to be the public marker by which we display that we have a “life.” I just do my damn job and don’t complain, except here, of course.
Anyways. Last night, “Deep Goat” reached out to me.
I will call him Deep Goat. He is (was) a co-worker who I notice hasn’t been around lately.
Deep Goat reached out to me in an email last night. In fact, I was talking with someone the other day about Deep Goat’s strange absence. Deep Goat is a bottom-dwelling assistant type of common grunt. He tries to be friendly (sometimes too much so). I sometimes wonder if he resides on the autism spectrum. Can’t say for sure. There were hushed whispers of a “medical condition” that was keeping him away. Deep Goat is approachable and very friendly, as I said, but doesn’t seem to have nurtured any personally profitable accolades in the politicized hallways of the company. Deep Goat appears to be a good worker, dresses conservatively, does not display latent violent or dangerous traits. He is not rude which is more than I can say about other members of the organization. Deep Goat is just another player on workerbee landscape. I happen to share one of Deep Goat’s interests and this has elevated me to “contact” status in his personal email. I think Deep Goat recognizes the aberrant fiend in me. I think Deep Goat might even trust me!
Last night, I found an email sent to my personal email address provided by my internet provider which I rarely give out. It was from Deep Goat.
Wow, Deep Goat was calling! With an interesting story, no doubt…
I shot back.
Deep Goat responded.
Hmm. OK, my crusading hackles were starting to rise. This sort of modern corporate malfeasance tests my patience and evokes a sense of spirited subversion on my part. Laying off a long-term permanent employee by phone while he is out on disability leave…the day before he is due to return? The little outspoken demon in me begins to stir. I replied.
Deep Goat’s uncharacteristic heated reply.
In all the time we worked together, he played it sedately and never expressed any sort of impatience or dissatisfaction with work conditions. He was Mr. Restraint. To the point he struck me as being overly repressed and a scaredy cat. In fact, his reference in the email to the “somewhat cowardly” actions of our HR department sums up his approach. So his response was a bit surprising to me.
I removed a portion of his rant that I don’t agree with. It’s a racial angle but I don’t want to turn this into a quesiton of race. There is simply corporate impropriety which attacks people of all colors and the perpetrators are people of all colors. There is a ibggger picture at stake here than race. It is the soulless embodiement of our corporate culture that is desttroying humanity at its core.
The remaining email.
Here, I had reverted to my blog persona, and of course I ate up his final expression of appreciation because I love the ego stroke as much as anyone else.
Let me make clear: I realize I am only seeing one side of the story and there may be a plethora of facts implicating Deep Goat’s actions or behaviors that led to his corporate demise. I’m not here to discuss the roots of his dismissal as much as I want to talk about how I feel it perfectly embodies the corporate, mega-business mentality.
The modern management structure simply has no collective balls. It lacks guts and stoicism. It is self-preserving to a level of danger to others. Management and upwards are concerned only with their ass. There is no selflessness to be found in higher echelons of the company structure, and certainly little maturity. These people are frightened of confrontation, and even HR, the department where ultimately “the buck stops” has been watered down by a touchy-feely cowardly mentality that watches its every move with the foreboding of a thousand lawyers. Management has no balls because they have surreptitiously handed them in to their economic masters as a deposit against on stability and continuing influx of fortune in order to maintain their own inflated existence. People are so immersed in the shit they own, the shit they owe, and the shit they want to own, and owe, and ultimately, they are thus not accountable to themselves because they have sold their soul to the corporate devil. I see it daily. No one in management has the balls to make the unsavory, cruel decisions, and even when such decisions must be made, they are structured and cocooned in such a manner that those who pull he level can still blame the amorphous, disconnected entity called “corporate.” Witness Deep Goat’s excision from the company. He was served notice at the very last minute which makes it appear the decision was likely put off until the very last minute because no one whose job it was could summon the balls to seal his fate. Furthermore, this was a permanent employee who worked for the company at least 5 years. How much trouble could it have been to allow him to return to work and break the news on Friday, thus allowing him to pack his belongings and turn in his company items? Would this have been so inconvenient? The “elimination of the position” story also suits HR and management well because they don’t need to risk accountability while still able to skirt labor laws (my guess, I’m no expert on that matter) that might prevent someone from being laid off during disability leave.
It’s a racket because it’s business. I can accept that people will lose their jobs, especially in this evolving, downsizing economy. It is the new “normal” because the nature of technology is turning industry inside out. I don’t care what Paul Ryan promised in his VP coming out speech. He’s a heartless, opportunistic, ass-covering politician, just as most people steering decisions in the private business sector happen to be as well.
It’s the inhumanity, stupid. Life is great and it sucks, but we seem to have lost sight of the fact that we are responsible for both. Quit blaming a faceless transnational robot for your decisions.