Tuesday, April 22, 2008

How Many Assholes We Got On This Ship, Anyhow?

My mind has been focused on work lately, and not in a good way. Yesterday was a struggle to find anything to do, mostly, and ironically, because I've attained a position where lots of things I used to do are considered beneath me and are left for part-timers and others to do. In other words, since I make the big bucks, its more important i do the important things, of which there is currently a dearth. A dearth i say! a dearth.

Its one of those, if I got paid less, I'd have to do more situations, and please don't feel like i'm either bragging or complaining. Its niether, really. A huge part of me likes the fact that i can come and go as I please, read this or that on the intry-net and compose inane posts for my blog. But another equally large part of me is uncomfortable being paid at all for doing next to nothing, and this brought me to the following conclusion. The worst type of work behavior, bar none, is the guy who criticizes others for doing less work than s/he does. The big talkin' work hypocrite. let me 'splain.

The whole constellation of most annoying work behavior originated out of many things, mostly an article i read (dreamed up?) where one of the most popular grievances was food smells. Most often they were bad food smells, like burnt pop-corn or strange ethnic/vegan/organic foodsmells wafting into one's workspace and disrupting one's peace of nose.

I can relate, I've had to work with plenty of stink-eaters, but this issue goes both ways, because its equally distracting to others when your food smells good. Just ask the croft. She gets comments from co-workers several times a day regarding the nice smelling qualities of her snacks'n'snacks. But in the end, peeps gotta eat. So this is a wash for me. I then tried to think of inexucsable behavior, something that not only shouldn't exit, and does, but both affronts the subjected as well as making the subjector into something of a huge asshole.

Which is how i landed on the "I work more than anyone else" hypocrite. Because everyone, everyone has down time, when they've just completed a project, or are in between things, or just need 5 minutes (or hours) to not work for once. Everyone does this, even the most necessary of public servants. There aren't always fires to put out for every firefighter. Sometimes nobody's spine needs operating on for every spinal surgeon. And a lowly merchant may not have anything to merch every second of the day.

yet some people in authority have huge problems with this. When you are working hard, everyone else seems to be slacking off, especially one's subordinates, and you just want to give them an arm-load of something to do, even if they aren't trained to do it and would completely fuck it up. Its petty, but most people have had this superiority complex, and lots succumb to it and all of a sudden become the biggest jerk in the office. because the most reasonable amongst the accused are going to realize that said braggart is going to find himself with some downtime at some point, so just chill already.

And this attitude is a direct front to the most common rule of thumb for nearly every organization that employs human beings, i.e. everyone does just enough to not get fired or run the business into the ground, and sometimes, when push comes to shove, maybe even just the former.

When i was home from college after my freshman year i took a job a beverage distributor. The place was alternately radically overstaffed and drastically understaffed. Somedays everyone would just sit around playing cards. other days you had to bust your hump, wheeling kegs out to cars. Everyone knew how things worked and felt like they were being remunerated properly (more or less). But if you suddenly got up while everyone was taking it easy and tried tidying up or moving stock, you'd immediately be excommunicated as a show-off loser brown-noser. Similarly, if you slacked off during the busy time everyone would yell at you for making them work harder (and in this instance that seems perfectly justified seeing as everybody did more or less the same thing together).

I guess the moral is just because its work and they are paying you to be there doesn't mean you should suddenly lose all self-awareness and treat others like assholes for reasons that if you just stepped back and thought about it a little would reveal to you that we're all in this together and our patriotic mission for decreasing workplace assholery starts at home, with you yourself, not them.

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At 7:25 PM , Blogger oline said...

are we all in the "eh. work." phase right now? is it spring? is it chicago? is it our old old age?

At 7:42 AM , Blogger Les Savy Ferd said...

it is all these things. and more.


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