July 07, 2005


You ever feel as if your job is conspiring to slowly kill you?

You ever come into work one day, look at your list of responsibilities, realize you're almost hopelessly behind on every one of them, and then further realize that the only way you could have hoped to have been caught up on everything would have required 14+ workdays, taking work home, foresaking every semblance of a personal life, and basically sacrificing yourself on the alter of unrealistic increased productivity?

And then you think to yourself: "Self, why are you doing this to yourself? Look around for other work, self. Comb through the want ads, peruse Monster.com, look everywhere!"

And then do you find yourself responding to yourself by saying: "Look, self, the number of job offerings in my field in this particular geography are rather limited, and I do apply for every opportunity that presents itself. Thing is, I have a house payment to think about, and food to think about, so I can't just throw caution to the wind and walk out the work door in the foolish hope that a job will just land at my feet, so I'm kind of stuck here until something comes along."

And then my self says: "So, you're kind of a slave."

And I respond to self: "Well, I'm getting paid."

And self says: "Okay, you're a paid slave. Good luck with that."

Why, yes, my week is going terribly. Why do you ask?

Posted by Ryan at July 7, 2005 11:11 AM | TrackBack

I would email you a pie if it were technically possible.

Posted by: Keith at July 7, 2005 11:44 AM

I've had days like that. Basically the entire month or so up until this last weekend was pretty hellish. Oddly now, this week has been rather tame. Relaxed even. So I won't complain... right now. When things pick up again expect to hear some hardcore bitching.

Posted by: Rick at July 7, 2005 12:06 PM

sounds like a workflow management problem.

blame your boss.

Posted by: leblanc at July 7, 2005 02:07 PM

On the other hand, nothing exploded in your immediate vicinity this morning.

Which is mostly meant as a joke.

Posted by: Joshua at July 7, 2005 02:19 PM

Yes, I realize there are people dealing with shit exponentially worse than I am. If it weren't a recently-bombed U.K. civilian, I'm sure there's a 5-year-old Guatemalan boy living in a box who would love to trade situations with me.

Doesn't mean I can't bitch and moan, however. Gotta play to my strengths you know?

Posted by: Ryan at July 7, 2005 02:23 PM


You've pretty much nailed exactly what I can't stand about bullshit ivory-tower liberterian arguments. Many would say something simple and snide like "well you don't have to work there." But as you pointed out, factors in the actual real world mean that you pretty much do have to work there.

And the problem is that its no big deal for your bosses to keep piling more and more shit on you. Why should they care? Especially if they figure that if you don't want to work 14+ hour days that there's someone younger and hungrier who will.

Plus, if they have you on salary than they don't even need to pay you extra for all the extra work.

I mean, of course, you could have a more understanding boss that didn't just keep dumping more tasks on you, but then again Bolshevism could have worked out so much better if Stalin was just a nicer guy.

The fact is that in the real world, coulda don't mean jack... and relying on someone with power over you not to be a dick is not the best way to get through life.

Of course, this is exactly why workers do crazy things like join together to have more power and collectively bargain with their employers over pay and working conditions. This is exactly why union contracts tend to have very defined job descriptions and very defined sections on hours and overtime.

And this is why any idiot (usually IT workers, wannabe bosses, and college students with no concept of the real world) who claims that such things are outdated and inflexible are fucking morons, working against their own self interest for no good reason.

Posted by: David Grenier at July 8, 2005 09:15 AM

AND, any other job you got would probably end up the same way because companies worry about the bottom line (which they should) but not about the effects on the bottom line that overworking people can have (which they also should). Maybe it just a reflection on the intelligence of management types.

Oh, and if you work extra hard, extra long, be the man the company wants, then one of two things will happen. You'll catch up so someone cheaper can handle the job and they'll get rid of you OR they'll just increase the work load on you by getting rid of someone else and giving you their work - because you've shown them you're willing to do it.

It's a fine line to walk, doing enough to be valuable but not so much as to be taken as a fool.

Posted by: bigdocmcd at July 8, 2005 12:27 PM
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