Thursday, January 26, 2006

Sever the strings!

Okay, so imagine back to when you were five.
It's Christmas Eve night.

All month you've been surfing the wave of mounting anticipation and it's crescendo is reaching explosion point.
You're sleepy but amped on too many noxious christmas mix lollies and mince pies, the coloured fairy lights wrapped round the christmas tree all soft focus, T.V. blasting special holiday programs of universal happiness, the family self-reflexively preparing snacks for the big red fella, everyone happy, et cetera, et cetera...
Time drags and you never want the delicious expectancy to end as surely as you hope to wake up any moment now to open the gifts you know are waiting just for you.
The thing that impresses itself most upon you is the morass of sensations intensely intense and pleasurable, appealing, as they do, to a complex series of unnameable primordial desires.

Okay... Got that?

So tell me, is this how some workers feel when pandering to their employers' whims, sublimating their desires to a dubious 'higher power'?
Because if it isn't, I'm at a loss as to what possible pay off could really be worth these people selling out their work mates.
Two union reps of mine stood by wilfully and wantonly as
their so-called team members were grilled and officially 'written up' by their bosses because they were dumping stock en masse (at my workplace, some dumping of stock is expected to happen).
The issue is, the mega op-shop that I work at has quotas for their staff. In fact, 'team members' are shamed by their supervisors if they do not meet unreasonable quotas for sorting through peoples' discarded clothing (this is what led to my colleague dumping heaps). All of this despite the fact that the quotas are utterly unreasonable and lead to a shit standard of work (with high output).

Me at my work station being micro-managed by my supervisor
I dared to suggest at a team meeting t
hat this treatment of the team member in question was disrespectful if not unjust because it held him accountable for a situation that is largely the product of poor management. My argument being that disorganisation and unreasonable demands are going to lead to employee coping behaviour that management won't like. An obvious case of structure helping to determine individual actions.

Management at my workplace.
But the union reps were utterly enamored of the store manager and were umming and ahhing at her equivocations and non sequiturs as though she were shitting pearls of wisdom left, right and centre.
Later, one of them saw fit to explain to me that because I am new to the store I didn't understand the complexities of the situation and thus put my foot in it (and this hot on the heels of my supervisors telling me to pull my head in [although not in so many words]).

The store manager has chronic myopia.
Now another employee at the shop who is also my good mate has been written up because he is consistently not meeting quota and will be fired by this time next week if he does not meet quota even though he is on probation.


Management's ideation of the perfect employee.
I think I understand the situation here pretty well; I've seen it numerous times before: managers will always (at least publicly) hold workers accountable for problems caused by shit management.
It's a version of that time-honoured oppressive technique of blaming the victim.
And my union reps, in this particular instance, were there cheering it on.
Were there fairy lights shining in their eyes, illuminating their repressed need to return to the womb as they twisted the knife?
Hmmm... My next entry will be upbeat. Promise!

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