Murphy\’s Bye-Laws

Law #4: Any fool can make a rule, and any fool will mind it. –H.D. Thoreau

Warts and All

Posted by PintofStout on December 19, 2008

Recently, I’ve written about the inflexible world of corporate employment.  The confining job descriptions and bureaucracy are prescriptions for career quagmire and a near-certain soul death.  The ridiculous hoops one may jump through to even get into a position in cogdom are just as soul-constricting.  A certain blandness and unwavering nothingness is almost required these days.  Between employers checking credit reports and employers utilizing Google, one has to be as a mole in a dark hole, with opinions, hobbies, aspirations, or a brain for even the shallowest introspection hidden away or non-existent.  What opinions and thoughts are put on the internet can’t be too deep, obscure, or intelligent because whoever is the doing the searching may not have the reading comprehension of a sentient being with capacity for rational thought; it just wasn’t in the job description, I guess.

Over the course of my stumbling into this ugly world – I only skirt the outer edges currently – I was informed by some friends in the belly of the beast that my resume was being shelved because the supervisor had read a blog entry wherein I mentioned something about sitting in my cube reading philosophy all day.  I couldn’t quite find where I had said anything like that, nor could I figure how my blog was found in the first place.  Apparently, with the proper search of my email address (formatted in a very particular way) and last name (both on my resume), one can come across this here depository of thought and introspection.  Now, I tried to keep my anonymity online, for the most part, so employers and any government goons looking for dirt can’t associate this place with me.  There was a reason why pamphleteers of revolutions past published anonymously under pen names – Cato, Publius, and Tom Paine issuing Common Sense anonymously come to mind.

I was, at first, shocked and shaken that my anonymity had been broken.  The same friends who had told me of my outing also suggested taking down the offending post.  I looked through post after post (over 200 of them now) to see if I had described my boredom and disillusionment with my job in such a specific way as I was told I did.  I couldn’t find it.  In fact, if I tagged posts for removal that similarly may offend the sensibilities of the hiring manager who is so disillusioned as to think any part of the bullshit application and interview process is sincere – about as sincere as behavior on a first date – I’d have to remove the whole blog.  Between honest introspection about self-motivation, which has actually helped to motivate me, and political radicalism, there would be little left worth keeping.

It was also subtly suggested that I change my voicemail greeting from the Lebowski-esque “the Dude is not in…,” to something more…professional.  But this all cuts to the heart of the issue: I am not my job.  It is a personal phone and a personal blog for a person with a individual personality more interesting than the bland cut-and-paste placeholders preferred by corporate America.  I understand the actual situation once inside this beast is different, where personalities come forth and many problems are solved outside the realm of a narrow job description, but the facade built around these organizations for those outside erases the beauty that is the collective effort of many individuals harmonizing toward creation.  (Now I’ve swung in the opposite direction from hyperbole to utopia!)

Well, Mr. Cogwell and Mr. Spacely, I’ve located my error and have corrected it.  If only the Google cache would reset and not find the old version, I will be anonymous once again.  I may hide, but I will not stop being who I am to appease some anonymous desk-sitter looking for the Stepford version of a GIS specialist.  I may even add a tag of “work stuff” to all posts talking of the world of employment and my place in it; that way if they do happen to find me, it will be much easier to find relevant posts.  I can’t guarantee they will comprehend the post or its significance to my job performance, though.  This is me; take it or leave it.

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4 Responses to “Warts and All”

  1. Sunni said

    Wow. I wish I could say I’m surprised by any of this, but I’m not, really. LRT sponsored an essay contest for young people some years back; it was great, receiving enthusiastic responses to congratulatory emails from winners … but then, as they started to consider college/grad school/finding a job, many of them asked me to remove their essays from the web site, for fear of the HR cubicle drones’ responses. I understood, but I certainly did not grok … and each request saddened me terribly.

    I’m sorry that a similar situation has come to you, my friend.

  2. I was saddened…nay, disillusioned, by it all, but I can see things more clearly without the illusion in place. I guess my reaction is plain here; not exactly taking it down, eh?

    The institution-think makes me think of a concept I thought on the other day. I heard a Christmas song by Stevie Wonder wherein he sings of everyone being equal and no one is afraid. Fine concepts, I guess. I figure B.W. would approve. Then I got to clarifying in my own head the everyone equal thing. I was dispelling the thought so nicely fictionalized by Vonnegut wherein everyone is actually equal, Harrison Bergeron, and replacing this mental image conjured by the song with the idea of institutional equality, such as before the law, etc. At that moment it struck me, institutions are created for the exact opposite reason, I believe. They are levers created to give one subset of folks mechanical advantage over the others. Maybe this is why discordianism is so attractive.

  3. Holleigh said

    One of my co-workers did an internet search on my name while I was in the office with her, and she found quite a few things. But I didn’t use my real name on my blogs, so those didn’t show up; not for Twitter either.

    As for the institutions creating in equality, that’s got to be true. In Critical Race Theory, there is a concept called Differential Racialization. Differential in that one racial group is slowed socially in order to allow another racial group to advance or move faster, just like a drive-train differential on a car that allows one wheel to turn slower than the other while turning a corner. One could imagine a “differential corporatization” where the intention is to move some people faster than others or whatever.

    I work with a corporate person now, and it sucks. Look up MBO (management by objective), that’s what I live with now, and I hate it. MBO? Manipulation by Obfuscation!

  4. resistmuch1976 said

    Fuckin’ A, man.

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