Oct 1, 2007

I exist...

Do I exist? Am I not a mere cipher within the corporate gamut of the company I work for? Am I not a mere cog within the machine? Do I matter? Do enough people care to ensure my employment? Would it matter if I left my job? Would it make any difference to have me bow out from this slave race? Do I work therefore I am or is that just me trying to justify my salary and my reality?

These are just some of the questions thousands of people ask themselves each day. We clock in and out and for what? What do we have to show for our efforts; our supposed skills; our heralded or ignored brilliance? An Ad? A flow-chart? A 2% increase in the sale of Crakios cereal, Suspenda Sweetener, Marachios of Paris and Clambake?

If we divided our salaries by hours that we work, would we earn what we swear we deserve? What exactly do we deserve? Why should it matter? What if it doesn’t matter?

Such are the things some workers say and feel because of their day-to-day experiences. Ever more I find myself meeting hordes of unsatisfied people. Unsatisfied on personal levels and professional ones but quite often, personal issues are collateral damage from all the work they do which in the end doesn’t seem to matter to them one bit. Hell, even people’s states of health are affected because of too much lame good-for-nothing work. The best part is that if a CD, a big supervisor, a VP or any other higher up reads this, one possible reaction might swim anywhere in between where do I get the nerve to say things like these or that these posts and my rather often rants are pure worker bee mentality expressed via a preppy communication/expression medium designed for your average peon. Who knows though? They might be right, but at least I give them the benefit of the doubt while they write me off as a whiner or a non team player.

It’s also funny because I could retort by saying that since they have no idea that they are just as viced as I am because of the corporate roles we play, their attitude blows, their work ethic blows, and if I have a worker bee complex, then they have a queen bee complex, because after all, we’re all bees in the same stupid hive. The main thing is that peons like myself always insist that there are better ways to work and members of the upper echelon answer by affirming that we’re just totally clueless as to how the business is run. The sad part is that we both have a point. The even sadder part is that some of the justifications they offer up for the marvelous working conditions we sometimes meander through are based on well sold bullshit.

For example, someone’s not happy and they get their ass chewed out for no apparent reason. When they said that such behavior is unfair, they’re offered up this golden nugget of non-truth: “That’s how things are run here or in this industry, if you don’t like it maybe you should switch companies or careers”.

You’re tired because you’ve worked three straight weeks? Tough cookie, it’s just that you weren’t designed to work in advertising. You’re not prepared. You’re not an ideal member of this illustrious business. It gets even better when you find some rascals that insist that some people aren’t cut out for a job because they can’t handle a boss’ mood swings, caprices and wah-wah bitch fits.

Yet the point is not in the cause but in the effect. Millions of people buy self-help books and swear they’ve found the secret or have discovered what the bleep it’s all about, but in reality, we’re as clueless as we were a DVD ago. People strive for meaning and relevance in their lives and they’re lucky if they get a Cracker Jack prize for their effort and dedication. Truth be told, some people are right where they deserve to be, but unfortunately, many are not. I don’t mean within a company or with an undetermined level of success; I mean in the levels of happiness or lack of happiness for that matter.

I once heard a guy say he’d almost forgotten what his son looked like because he’d been work binging for the last two months. That’s a hell of a realization to come up against and all I know is that he’s not the only one. Priorities are kind of screwed as of late and I have a massive beef with Capitalism because I think the system is designed much in the light of how fruit juice machines work. They squeeze out all they need to sell and make money and throw away the pits and skins… much like what most companies do with employees or at least that’s how it feels

The thing is that many people say that what a company wants is a bunch of robots, but they couldn’t be farther from the truth. Machines need more maintenance and can’t be fooled as easily. Machines also happen to have the distinct nuance that they don’t hurt and if I’ve learned something, it’s that there are a couple of people that live to abuse their power or to unnerve people. They’re sadistic assholes who actually enjoy cracking people down so they can hike up their pants and feel good about themselves while patting their bellies full of the meat of the weak as they would have it.

Do we exist? Do we matter? Are we worth it, whatever it may be? To these I can only hope everyone who can read this can answer yes. With ranting rambling goodness and a whole lotta love.


Your resident joker


Anonymous said...

And, yet, so true...
I bitch and moan everyday about my job. It feels like I'm trapped in an elevator that's been used just one too many times, without any maintenance. Funny thing is, all it needed was maintenance to keep it from rusting and to keep its gears working. Is it that all I need maintenance? Or is it just a new job?

joker said...

That's a great question. The answer however eludes most of us. Some people could do with some vacation time or a change of attitude. Others need a change of scene and others still should genuinely consider getting the hell out of the industry they feel trapped in. Regardless, hope you find the answers and if possible, let a couple of people see them so they can copy and we can all get an A for once.


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