Noses So Visibly To The Grindstone

If you are an employee of a firm that defines overtime as something above and beyond normal working, then goofing off in business hours and then catching up with your undone tasks on overtime is perfectly rational. For the firm it is not at all rational, and based on the academic paradigm this practice ought not to be tolerated. And yet it generally is.

One reason is, of course, that it is so very difficult to stop the game when played by senior managers themselves. This in turn is because it is so hard to say how much of what senior managers do all day is actually “work”, as opposed to ostentation. Tolerance is, however, usually extended all the way down to the bottom, as is the corp-o-babble that allows the goofers-off to produce plausible excuses. In the world of HR ring-binders, every wildly dysfunctional practice finds its pompous and impressive name.

Work on the factory floor must mean production of objects, but in corporate headquarters, work means face time. There is, after all, no other way to measure what if anything a cube-rat is doing. He is probably not conducing measurably to production, but his role in making the big boss feel important is entirely confirmable. The boss who expects his staff to come in before him and stay after he has left has effectively served us notice that animal submission displays are all he really cares about. And so that is what he will get. In Japan, it is all about having a visible entourage at the karaoke lounge – whether real workers or “window people” hardly matters.

After the company has collapsed under the weight of overtime-gamers and sycophancy, the boss will blame it on something else and get an even more important job with a different company. Whatever they might pretend to the contrary, the rich actually reward failure, simply because one day it will be their turn.

Doing all the work on overtime after having goofed off all day is clearly something that cannot be enjoyed by farmers or independent craftsmen, indeed by the self-employed more generally. In a past age of peasants, artisans and peddlers, who did that leave? Servile behaviour surely began as an imitation of the court. Unfriendly outsiders used to call the people employed to bow and scrape by the name of “lackeys”, and who among the modern jockeyers for the keys to the executive washroom is going to tell us that the lever-du-roi culture is not alive and well in corporate headquarters?

What needs to be explained is how one can be a member of the human species without knowing this. We seem to have created academic economics in order to un-know such things; specifically, you need to be a theoretician of the firm to un-know that its “work” is not about getting things done, not even about making a profit, but primarily about monkey rituals of inferiority.

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 12:03 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink
In: THE ENSLAVING MAMMAL, The Lackey Society

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