19 January 2012

Work it Out: Counterpoint

I painted a rather rosy picture of the workplace recently and in the spirit of the Fairness Doctrine I think I should at least attempt to provide a balance counterpoint. As I struggled to stay on my feet this morning I was immediately struck with one very clear reason (and subsequently several less clear reasons) why Work Sucks and Is Not Cool.

No Sleeping

Some jobs allegedly encourage napping because it helps people stay creative. I think all of those jobs are Google and, accordingly, do not count. Other jobs provide you with break rooms to take power naps -- sometimes that break room looks like your car in a dark part of the parking garage. That's still just napping and it's certainly on your own time.

I'm talking about full on, down for the count paid-for-it sleeping. There's only a few jobs I can think of that actively pay you to sleep:

  • Mattress Tester (maybe?)
  • Sleep Study Participant
  • Long Haul Trucker (as long as you can do it while driving)
  • Drunk Dad (easier after a big meal)
  • Rip Van Winkle

If none of these is your job then you aren't being paid to sleep. The fact that this inequality exists should be flimsy evidence enough that jobs are bullshit.

No Drinking

This doesn't apply to people in the alcoholic beverage industry. I think they *have* to drink to make sure the rye bourbon something something barrels.

I'm talking about the crystal decanter full of brown liquor elective drinking, as seen in the wildly popular documentary Mad Men. It's on PBS you should check it out.

Unless you're the Captain in a police procedural you can't even hide it in your desk. You just have to not drink.

Sneaking in vodka in your water bottle seems (and is) deceitful. I'm saying, they should just let you bust out the brandy at the end of a good meeting and bust out the scotch in the middle of a shitty, soulsucking meeting. But you can't, and that's awful.

Yes Expectations

People ask you for stuff. Help, questions, advice, service: these are all things you may be expected to provide at a job. Customers be all, "Excuse me sir, can you help me find [product]?" and you're all "Yes, it looks like we don't have it in stock at the moment, would you like me to special order it for you?"

Bullshit, says I. If I wanted to spend all day talking to and helping people I would've been a nurse. But I think they have to deal with poop sometimes (?) so maybe not a nurse but definitely someone else who helps people. I was placed in my job to do a number of things, but answering questions from co-workers, customers or superiors was not one of them. It was my understanding that I would be left alone with absolutely no oversight or accountability to sleep the day away, stopping occasionally to pour myself a double scotch on the rocks.

In failing to fulfill any of these three categories, these jobs have left us with no choice but to shove them.

Bonus Joke!

I really hate to see this one go to waste. I missed the setup by not explicitly saying "I hate working eight hours a day". Now that that's out of the way, here's the joke:

"If I wanted to do something I hated for eight hours a day, I'd buy a dental dam and give your mom a call."


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