SUBTITLE: CORPORATE AMERICA, THE BIGGEST BULLY I KNOW
Here we are, smack in the middle of my rant against the mind-numbing, conformist office world.
What is the point of this part? No idea. I mean, it won’t be telling you anything you don’t know, even if you have worked in the corporate world for only a week.
Corporate America’s mission statement should be: “Our goal is to crush free spirits and force everyone to conform.” This is true no matter what kind of business that office conducts. If you sit in a cubicle, prepare to have your identity wiped out. Day in and day out, you will be told the same message, in a variety of ways: Don’t think. Follow blindly. Conform.
Well, I can’t be that way. That is probably why I have never been considered for a supervisor position, nor will I ever. I can’t just be a robot. I can’t pretend to be behind a rule that I hate with every fiber of my being.
Let’s discuss some of the ways Corporate America seeks to kill us softly.
(1) RED TAPE, OR THE CHAIN OF COMMAND: This was always my favorite. You have a question, and the answer you need is embedded in the brain of someone two levels above you…but you get in trouble if you go to them directly. Instead, you have to go to your IMMEDIATE superior, who somehow always seems to be too busy to forward it on to the next level. And why SHOULDN’T he always be too busy? After all, HE isn’t the one who needs the answer, right?
(2) FOLLOW BLINDLY: The other day I heard one of my coworkers ask our supervisor why a certain procedure had been put into place. These were his exact words: “As a supervisors, those types of questions…those “why” questions…are the most annoying. We have to follow that procedure because THAT is what we are paid to do.” So tomorrow, if I go in and the new procedure is that I should slam my thumb in my drawer before I start working, I should just do it.
(3) NO SUCH THING AS A CASE BY CASE BASIS: One of my coworkers (we will call her H) had to call out on a Monday because of a snowstorm. The city where she lived was in a state of emergency. Work dinged her for absence on a critical day anyway. She tried explaining this to them when she came in, and do you want to know the answer she got? “It doesn’t matter…because it wasn’t a state of emergency HERE.” I mean, the ignorance of that statement could not POSSIBLY be measured. It is boundless.
Something similar happened to me. I hurt my back so bad that it made me cry just to sit there. I asked how many attendance points I would lose if I did my regular shift (8 hours) but skipped my overtime (2 hours). I was told I would lose FOUR POINTS…for only two hours. If I had called out for the ENTIRE TEN HOUR DAY, then I would have lost SIX. Seems a bit unfair to lose almost a full day’s worth of points for a lousy two hours.
(4) DOUBLE STANDARDS FOR THOSE WHO DO CONFORM: If you do sell your soul to the devil like the higher-ups want you to, then you get the keys to the kingdom. You can be as loud as you want, talk all day, eat food at your desk that others are “forbidden” to, walk around all day, etc.
It is sad when I see people surrender and bend to the corporation’s will. If you need any proof of that, I point you to my former coworker, who got promoted to supervisor, who will be known as N. Less than two months ago, N seemed like a pretty cool lady: a nerd in the same vein as me, funny, adorable in her own silly way. Within a week of her turning supervisor, I overheard her talking in a condescending manner to just about everyone on her team. The amount of respect she has cost herself is staggering.
Again, I know this might not be new to some of you out there, but I am building to a point…which will be resolved in part 3.