Well I complain about it enough, don’t I?
So I’ll talk about it now. Because the other day, I was thinking about the shrinking American middle class. I cannot speak to the pure economics of the problem. I concur with many that a shrinking middle class denotes doom for a nation’s economic well-being, but I’m lacking in clear reasons or explanations which might satisfy the economically-minded scholars. Let’s just say it’s primarily an instinctive reaction. The middle class is just damned good. Look at these Third World shit-holes and their blaring lack of middle classes; against this, compare that many developed countries boast a thriving middle class which plays an integral part of the native economy.
The middle class is like that intractable boulder of economic might we count on and the United States is demonstrating an impending shrinkage of the middle class and a simultaneous burgeoning upper class which miraculously accumulates wealth despite the apparent economic ill health of the economy. And of course, in response, the lower classes grow bloated while the middle class slips further into the abyss of its much dreaded lower class counterparts.
That said, let me “circle back” to this topic in a future installment after I talk about working in the corporate world in this post. “Circle back.” That’s a popular time-eating confirmation triviality uttered ad nauseum and robotically in conference rooms across the vast idiocy of modern corporate America. I’m sure of this. You see, my little summary of my corporate American experience is my own. I have no idea if this is a trademark “experience” of the typical corporate American worker. I’m sure many are worse, I’m sure many are better. This is mine and I am trying to glean from my own experience those factors which I feel most fittingly describe the state of modern America and the shriveling middle class.
First of all, I work for a medium-sized global conglomerate. I relaize this is an odd way to phrase things, but in the voracious cancer of the modern cultural corporacracy, all i can say is that all organizations compete ravenously with each other to get a bigger bite of that pie, the almighty market share. In the modern corporacracy, this involves buying, buying, buying…or for the less fortunate, being sold, beign sold, being sold. The modern corporacracy resembles a runaway cell madly transferring it genetic replicating materials into any cell in its vicinity and the exponential growth which follows, creating a global cluster fuck of managers, VP’s, supervisors, levels upon levels of authority and pseudo-authority and dotted lines and reports and the maze grows larger by the Wall Street day. If your company is doing well, the growth is steady or crazed, but there is growth. You’ve got the CFO, the CEO, the COO, the CIO, and multitudes, swarms of underlings with lesser titles but equally self-congratulatory roles. The corporation is one big cheesy and white-washed lie. Everybody utters trite truisms and generalities and the faceless gung-ho mentality is barked out cultishly by the “uppers” who give a shit about the company only insofar as bonuses await for spectacular performance. It’s all short-term idiocy, cause no one sticks around long enough to worry about the long-term. It’s all short-term because bonuses are dished out annually, for the most part. The bonus culture of the modern corporacracy is the most damaging element to the integrity and morale of the corporate monster’s lower inhabitants. The “lessers” are not privy to the bonus pie and they must endure the short-sighted whims of an upper management fleet that can only look forward to the next shareholders meeting.
Working for a corporation is…big.
Everything is fucking big.
Everything is big and aimless. There are too many cooks in the kitchen. Every decision or action requires a meeting or a conference call, but intriguingly, little shit gets done because of these. People accuse modern corporate culture of being too feminized and I think this is quality definitely lends to that allure! Corporations are fond of delineated “duties and responsibilities” and it’s hammered home how each position is responsible for doing only its tasks…and in the end, it’s quite possible, with the right crop of modern-minded sheepish morons, that nothing gets done because everyone is so busy pointing at another department which should technically be handling the aforementioned task. The Mexican standoff is alive and well in the Corporate mentality. And those rare folks (mostly comprised of old-timers who hark back to a “mom and pop” era they may very well have been a part of) who feel it is more important to get the job done than appease some mechanical decree from the corporate mother ship and dare to step out of their mandated jurisdiction in order to see something to fruition, are secretly ridiculed or resented by the lazier among their “team” members.
That’s some more scintillating modern corporate bullshit…the concept of “teams.” No one says “department” any more. It’s all about teams. “Let your team know…” or “My team…” Most laughable is the fact, that due to the aforementioned structurally inculcated attitude of hands-off laziness, most people have it drummed into them by the corporate masters that they are not to perform any functions outside of their assigned duties. So they don’t. And the concept of team is hollow because no one is willing to go to bat for another department. It is the culture of spineless cowards. Now that I think about it, “teams” is very fitting. Teams as a concept actually does fit the corporate paradigm! I think of baseball teams.
You have like 26 or so teams, each battling for its own supremacy and competitive pride within the umbrella of some large and overbearing organization called a corporate entity (or “league”). You would never see a 1st baseman let a ball roll through his legs in order to “help” the other team. This is the same dynamic at play in the corporate work force. Teams are littered throughout the PowerPoint flowchart, none seeking to help each other or sacrifice their reputation for a fellow team under the facade of altruism. Nope, teams in today’s corporate America really do compete and the only winners are the managers, the VP’s, all raking in bonuses because their league kicked ass. Meanwhile, the biggest loser is the customer who inherits the mediocre byproduct of this internecine competition. So yeah…”team” is fitting in the modern corporate parlance.
This is my take on the corporate shithole, circa 2010. In my next installment of this series, I will “circle back” and talk about how I feel the middle class death knell is written upon the face of today’s corporate beasts.