Today's post examines the overriding need that people have to control and dominate others, just because they can. Of course, this is going to be a pretty minimal issue to most people in the world, but the whole reason I am bringing it up is because it should be a non-issue. Yet, this issue is not, and is one more way that society in America stinks.
I work for nine hours a day (not receiving an "official" lunch period, nor breaktimes) and am salaried. While I do not have a wide swing of hours and usually do not stay late, my schedule and traffic demands that I have to leave at 6:30 and usually do not return until about 18:30, which means I am devoting half of every weekday to either getting to work or working.
To expedite my time at work, I have a small appliance which I use regularly to warm food. This apparatus gets warm, but has safety features which include automatic shutoff and the fact that it does not get above 120 degrees Celsius (not even warm enough to burn paper). I can warm my food while at the same time working, and once the food is warmed I can eat and keep working.
Until today. Today is the day that I find out that I cannot keep appliances at my desk. My manager was so gleeful about this issue, that he sent a message essentially singling me out and included extremely snide statements. I am an adult, and do not need snide statements. I do not need to be singled out. And most of all, it would be nice to think that my company trusts me enough to do what I think is right.
And most of all, it seems almost senseless. Why? Why do you even care what consenting adults are doing in their cubicles? There was no reason in the email, of course. I would not be surprised in the least if management is doing this just because they can. This same manager has shown unacceptance of my preferred arrangement before, which leads me to believe that he is the one who not only reported it to others but has attempted to show that I shouldn't be allowed to do it.
Part of the reason that I bring food to prepare at my cubicle is because I'm not well-off; typically, I can make a lunch for myself for roughly $0.15 per day, especially if I get to keep my appliance. My pay scale, and the payments that others demand from me daily (credit cards and their cheating ways?) pretty much mandate that I either go hungry or find a way to eat super-cheap.
Now, I have to waste time at home, when I spend about three hours awake (not even counting out time preparing for work) compared to the fact that I could be doing the same thing at work.
Not to mention, this is a company that does not even care about the big stuff. We have two tools that we use on a rather consistent basis, both computer network tools. One is an online tracking program in Internet Explorer, and another is a terminal service which connects to many diverse databases. Both work intermittently at best. If there was an issue here at this company, it would be that these programs are costing far more time than worrying about small appliances ever would.
The difference? It costs money. No mention of the fact of how much time is wasted (times the amount that these people get paid), but fixing real problems around here, which is what these guys are paid for, costs more money. Besides, that way you can argue that the workers don't actually do a lot of work and therefore aren't entitled to a raise which even comes close to the cost of inflation -- BigConGlomCoInc. made $3,000,000,000 of profit in 2007, but my raise, a whopping 1.3 percent, didn't even break into the first freaking comma of that rather huge number.
This is petulant whining. You're exactly right. This situation is also symptomatic of what is happening in corporate America, where new ideas are bad, adults are treated as children, and rights are taken away from workers just because management wants to flex their muscles, and workers are pretty much told, "You'd better get on your hands and knees and thank us you have a job."
I sincerely wish that people would just grow up sometimes. This is silly, asinine, and stupid. I freely admit it, and apologize for even taking your time too. My biggest issue here is that there is absolutely no give-and-take, there's just take. I'm really tired of it, especially at BigConGlomCoInc. As written on this blog before, I'm still searching for a job. While things have at least started turning a bit better for me recently, even if I am looking for jobs in the most-repressed place in the United States, I still haven't found the magic combination to get me the hell out.
I know for a fact that this current job will not even be long-term anymore. I am still having the internal debate with myself... do I air the dirty laundry when I leave, or do I try to stay on good terms? Issues like this test my patience to the extreme -- not because they are major issues, but because this is yet another box on the back of the mule. I've never left a job on bad terms before and don't want to start now. On top of that, in other circumstances I would probably be good friends with my manager. But since I'm being treated like this, repeatedly, I really feel that he should know the exact effect all these things has.
Day 158 has passed in the current search-for-a-new-job. I pray on a daily basis that things get better. I don't feel like being around when we have to pay for our own water too.
tl;dr: Corporate America sucks, controls people for the fun of it, and it's because they are run by people who feel the need and the absolute right to control your very lives instead of actually being useful. Coincidentally, put-upon people get tired of it and rant about it on lightly-read blogs.
Eff you, Corporate America.