Tuesday, June 11, 2013

When the Boss Visits

Ever since I was just a tadpole, I’ve wanted to become an area manager and then eventually a CEO, but I don’t have any ill-feelings toward cardboard...so I guess that’s out of the picture then. Plus I like to see hard work being done...should probably start thinking about something else, maybe take up cracking open beers as a hobby, hangout on the sidewalk a lot, play the flute for cigarette money with my three-legged dog, ya’ know...homeless shenanigans. I mean, that’s the requisite to higher management right? Because whenever the bigger boss visits, in any job I’ve worked, my kiss-ass boss nauseatingly scurries over to me in their freshly-pressed, freshly-washed uniform to remind me to cease work and begin Operation: Look Pretty. It makes as little sense as it is universal...universally idiotic, that is. And among all the illogical bullshit that you need to grow accustomed to in order to stay fed, this one really takes the cake. Operation: Look Pretty! Where hard work looks bad, so let’s not do it.

On any given day, I do my job and I’ll catch bullets to do it well, but sometimes instead of having horrifically mutilated hands, my job is to simply receive things from couriers. In my current job, it’s marketing materials; in my previous one, it was clothing. These things however come encased in what we call ‘cardboard’. In order for me to remove these things from said encasing, I need to open it and take the things out, thus rendering the cardboard empty! In my case, it has now become ‘rubbish’ and from the time the contents passes the reciprocal of the box to the box being thrown into a rubbish bin, whether that takes five minutes or five seconds, it is cardboard that is not in a bin; apparently that last part keeps our poor bosses up at night. So what's the solution? Just don't open any boxes when the boss is around. Since whatever’s inside is what I need to work on, this then frees up a lot of my time to walk around looking like I’m doing something, like pretend to fix things that don’t need fixing, tidy something up that I already tidied the day before, email my girlfriend, you know, things that look like work but aren’t necessarily work.

To me, this behaviour raises a lot of questions, questions I don't like having because they're as dumb as dogshit but, inspite of that, still equally as valid. For example, if you're like me and you thought that everything you've been doing up until this point has been great work and has been within the rules, then when the boss-man visits shouldn't we just act normal? A change in the way things are done when an authoritative figure is present implies that what we were doing before was wrong, does it not?

And if the work prior to the bosses visit was infact good and correct, then since when did actual work become an infraction? It’s not like the area manager walks in and we all have to quickly tuck in our shirts and change our computers from Candy Crush to whatever we’re meant to be doing. Instead we’re being asked to change from whatever we’re meant to be doing to something that looks sort of like what we’re meant to be doing, but isn’t! This is of course because when actual work is being done it doesn't typically look pretty, nor can you stamp a pretty face on it; that’s just a fact of life.

It’s just like how workplaces have a cleaning blitz before a boss’ visit. Once again, shouldn't it be clean all the time? To me, any out of the ordinary cleaning before the boss arrives implies that we care more about what they think than what customers think. You know, customers? The life-blood of a business? Last I checked, bosses didn't pay the company, so why don’t we extend the same courtesy, if not more, to customers? Ahhhh! They’re just lowly customers, let them swim in filth! What difference will it maaake! But God forbid if Mr Rich Dick gets his shoes dirty!

Egh! Doesn’t it just make you want to vomit?

To me, it’s not about customers; it’s not about having a sense of pride at the end of the day; or the accomplishment of a prolonged effort; it’s about covering one’s arse. That’s all it is. And while everybody is soooo paranoid about losing their jobs, working so hard to prevent it, no real work gets done. This leads me to wonder how we’ve ever achieved anything in history. I wasn't working twenty years ago so I don't know, but if this is the way we've always treated things, then I don't see how this isn't all just forest and dirt and shit, and we aren't just living in shacks made out of branches, because houses and all that weren’t designed and built with the blood and sweat of worrying about what the boss thinks, were they? Someone somewhere had to work hard to establish the things we have today! So I’m curious, at what point historically did staff go from being an entourage of hard-workers to a place where everybody is selfishly too busy working on projects ‘look over my own shoulder all the time’ and ‘get a load of me not doing anything wrong!’?


An old man once said to me, “If you don’t want your boss to see rubbish, then don't preach it to your staff...yo!” Pass that onto your kids.

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