Sunday, April 27, 2014

Techies go home.


For the last three weeks I have done janitorial work in a borg cube of a building down town.  The unnamed company is known, or rather I was informed once years ago, for its being a good place to work.  The word innovative may have been used. I see a cubicle farm, a pretty cubicle farm but cubes nonetheless.  In one wing a gym, in another a games room, with a pool table, table tennis and a few other toys.
It is possible to buy stuff from the vending machines with a quarter, like its somewhen in the 20th century.  The office screams of perks.

This hobbit is a bit cynical, and this hobbit distrusts the cult of long hours.  I see a workspace that is trying to be welcoming, and wonder if that is a ploy to keep the pawns in the office longer to get more work out of them.  The circus is on display, the toys, the gym, and countless little details, but I don't know if they are offered bread to go with it.  This hobbit hopes that the symbolic bread of good wages, benefits, and job security come with those perks.  Because, it does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that those perks are barely a drop in the ocean cost wise when compared to what it takes to fund a fair package.

As a person who has never worked in a large company, or any place with an apparent office culture I don't get the lingering about.  Quitting time matters to me, you get out, you don't linger.  Life happens off of the work site.  The blurred boundary this borg cube offers does not sit well with me.  Perhaps it is an IT thing, an export of the Silicon Valley culture, a world where the early leaders have been described by people with an intro psych textbook as being on the aspergers spectrum, but living the job is not for everyone.  Yet creating that friendly space seems to suggest steering people to that.

To the techies, I say, check if there is bread with the circus.  Don't give away your time because the office is cozy, go home, live your life, not every problem can be solved with long hours.  But these are the words of an under informed home body.  There has never been a job site that I wanted to linger at, and I have felt unclean going into the office on a weekend to get my phone.

Perhaps it is my resistance to joining the cult of long hours that has lead me to cleaning offices not unlike ones I recently worked in but I stand by the belief that the work is the means not the ends.  This is part of why I never felt at home in geology, the job as the life was the expectation.  Now I feel my sympathies are towards the working class.

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