A tale of corporate futility and how I stopped worrying and learned to love the time clock.

 

Let me tell you about work.

 

I haven’t touched upon the “work” subject in a while. There was a time when every other post seemed to be about work, but then Trump happened.

 

Work is the fodder of so much braindust because every workplace is the microcosm of the society that I can never not think about. Work condenses, coils, all the shit that is mankind into one little convenient, fluorescent hovel of plastic and cheap construction and rows of computers and other vile eletronica.

 

There was a time I wrote about work regularly (without naming where I worked, of course) 27.

 

I lived work, work lived through me, and I could not cease noting its effect on my mentality. I was distracted, deferred, I left that behind. I’ve not written about work lately, but this is not to infer that I don’t observe what happens at work. It only means that I internalize my thoughts, my opinions, and my mind has been deflected toward other avenues of expression.

 

If I could chart the course of this blog in a road map, the past year or two have been more outwardly focused and there has been little internal “stewing” going on and the map would show a path that leads out, only.

 

Today, I was feeling “in.”

 

Perhaps it’s because I’ve been feeling good about work lately and not bothered. Low stress. Easy peezy. Fucking easiest gig in the world and getting paid a lot of money for it.

 

Until the past two weeks, all shit is hitting the fan. Unnecessary and non-compliant demands. Short-sighted, self-involved habits that place me at the bottom of the priority list and which, in turn, make my life all that more difficult for the slacker deadlines imposed on me are on the order of 2 hours per immense, convoluted project. Fuck this. Once work becomes an unbearable and vile burden, you’ll hear about it.

 

So, in my page note, I touched upon what led to this post, sorta.

 

 

A not-so-brief narrative, precursor:

 

 

A few years ago I worked in a department that was a mainstay in the company.

 

What I did was very confined to my industry, to my company. We performed a task no one else cared to do, and over years, the task grew into a very parochial specialty that generated a healthy salary (due to its reclusive nature) that could not cross the boundaries of industry. In other words, the good news was, I could always make a healthy salary, but the bad news being that this would only continue if I stayed in this industry.  If I decided to leave for the “real” world, I would not make a fraction of what I was making now.

 

So I went with it. Money is a drug.

 

I continued working like a dog, exerting my specialty, my brains, my work ethic, and was rewarded; the industry valued my type for we “owned” a vast branch of the work flow which other departments were more than willing to relinquish for they saw it as unromantic and mundane. Unromantic and mundane, being my specialties, were my path to excellence and success.

 

Until.

 

Several years ago my company hired an outsider.  This happens a lot now. Companies which previously deferred to internal, home-grown knowledge and talent, now sought external “brains” and in so doing, existing corporate cultures and paradigms have been shattered and disrupted. This is what happened in the company I worked. I suspect it’s happened across most First World industries.

 

The “outsider,” noting that my department and its nomenclature label seemed to be making too much money (which it did, considering similarly named departments in other industries were making less) and being of a foreign land, decided, unilaterally, that such tasks did not deserve such compensation.  Furthermore, they decided such tasks could be easily “outsourced” internally (meaning, deeper into the Inland Empire California which is, for all intents and purposes, another country), told us we were losing our jobs and if we wished, we could re-apply for them but at the much lower wage scale endemic to the shithole desert community where their operation was being moved.  The tasks, my old job, were not envisioned as a “push button” role, something only an ignorant foreigner could be bothered to determine.

 

Ultimately, all but one of us quit.

 

I landed at another company in the same role, but fortunately, after a year, returned to my old company after being offered a newly minted position whose contrived duty it was to foment a new working relationship with the department that was now outsourced to California. Basically, I was doing my old job, but from a remote location. Ah, American industry, such a nebulous dystopia of chaos (sorry Hillary and Obama, for being so “dark”).

 

After I returned to my old company, I was startled to discover than my former role, while being “outsourced,” in principle, had merely been pragmatically replaced by some low-wage, low-IQ stand-ins who made much less than I used to, and they all hailed from shit hot dry cities in California’s desert wasteland.  With such a caliber of employee to help, our auxiliary departments began to step in and weakly “handle” many of the tasks and responsibilities I formerly handled and “owned” and they were utterly fucking them up because they didn’t know what they were doing.

 

The whole point of my former position, and the reason for my inflated pay, was that I did something no one saw fit to do because it was detailed and meticulous, requiring intensive thought and application. And to this day, the new replacement paradigm remains. Everyone steps in and tries to do what we did, in a previous corporate incarnation, but rather, instead, make a mess, a chaotic morass of indecision and ignorance, and all I can do is sit by and watch for I am no longer…what I once was.  The straw that has broken the camel’s back is that my dotted line boss, the one who brought me back to the company, has stepped in and done something I should have been entrusted to do, and instead, has created an absolute disaster of monumental proportions because I was not consulted or entrusted with the mission of the project from the get-go.

 

The one person who remained?

 

She had ingratiated herself so well that she was granted the unbroken powers and tasks of our old positions; in essence, her reign was uninterrupted. All that changed was her job title. She owns her position. Her department is the only one that still runs well.