Goldi's Locks of Yarn

My place to discuss my raging obsession with yarn and crochet along with happenings in my life and the world at large

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Brave New (Corporate) World

Well, I made it through the week without losing my job. Considering the way things are going there, though, I'm not so sure anymore that it's such a good thing. Things are solidifying into the most oppressive environment I think I have ever experienced, making it extremely difficult to find any excuse for enjoyment at doing my job. As I told someone, I feel like I'm living in a fishbowl, or maybe it's more like under a microscope, my every movement tracked and monitored, every bit of work noted down for later "grading", and a severely "fixed" schedule that I must adhere to or "lose points" on which my potential future raise will (may? There's never any guarantee that the owners will be willing to "share the wealth" and in this corporate-controlled political environment, they don't have to if they don't want to.) be determined. I was able to stick to the set-out schedule this week, but that's only because things are a bit slow right now - we have yet to get slammed with the fallout from "busy season", which has started for other departments but hasn't quite trickled down to us yet. That doesn't usually happen until after Labor Day, and then we are usually crazy-busy through the end of the year. Oh - and there is still no overtime allowed, no matter how heavy the load. From the look of things, overtime will be a rare bird this year. At this point, I'm better off finding some other way of boosting my own financial bottom line, I'm finding it difficult to force myself to wait out the clock to get my standard 8 hours in before I hurl myself out that door!

It's beginning to feel more and more like slavery. And then I wonder why I tend to drag my feet in the morning?

We are expected to be good little uncomplaining robots, and they are squeezing us all into that mold. The grapevine is abuzz with constant resentful griping and bitching, yet everyone still manages to glue that plastic smile on their face in front of management that we are expected to wear all the time. I've never been very good at this sort of thing, which is one reason why I never sought to work for one of those huge corporations, always preferred to work in a small business environment. But the small guys are disappearing, either getting eaten up by the bigger ones (like we did) or perishing in the extremely competitive environment. Pretty soon, ALL business will be owned by a handful of mega-corporations, and our lives will certainly never be our own again. It is now okay for a company to dictate to employees how they live their personal lives, even outside of the workday. You'd better comply or risk losing your job. And it generally has nothing at all to do with how well you perform at what you were hired to do. If that isn't economic slavery, I don't know what is.

Welcome to our Brave New World - comfy isn't it?

In order to avoid the debilitating effects of the depression that has taken hold of me because of all of this, I am finding myself feeling the need to bury myself even more deeply in my crochet projects. As long as I am crocheting, I can hold all those negative thoughts and feelings at bay, and even feel pretty good. I've got a death-grip on that crochet hook, good luck peeling it from my fingers!

So that's where things are for me right now. It's funny, but when the week started, I was feeling pretty decent, almost perky. Maybe it was all those completed scarves I was hauling with me, feeling hopeful that I might be able to sell some or all of them quickly. I even made it through the day with that sense of positive feeling intact, and thought that having that extra day off over the weekend had made the difference in helping me to rebalance myself emotionally. When I signed off at the end of the day, I decided to take a look at where I stood timewise, by looking at the accumulated punch-ins and -outs tab for the current pay period. That's when I got the slap in the face that immediately dumped me back into the doldrums. There was a lengthy "explanation" showing on the page for my added PTO ("paid time off") hours for last Friday. In all the years I have worked for this company, there has never been a requirement to "justify" PTO time taken. Ever. It infuriated me to see that there, and made me feel like I am going to have to justify any time I take off from now on. Once the fury passed, the depression set in, which is normal when you are caught in a situation under which you have no control.

I managed to force myself not to think about it too much the rest of the week, thereby allowing me to function fairly normally. But each day would bring yet another little bit of pressure or sense of violation. My future, such that it is, has been reduced to the same formula that my finances have been in: I am unable to see beyond the next day, taking it day by day and hoping for the best and praying the worst doesn't notice me.

It would be nice - and so much easier to deal with this - if I knew this was just a temporary thing, and that things will get better eventually. But that's not gonna happen, and I would be a fool to even try to imagine otherwise. There are more things coming that I am aware of that will add to the burden, things which I have no control over and therefore have not wasted a lot of time dwelling on. I'll just have to figure out how best to adjust when that time comes.

For now, it's back to the one thing that continues to bring me genuine enjoyment - crochet. Oh yeah, and there's a lawn to mow, too. I think things have started to cool down enough that I might want to consider giving it a whirl, unless I manage to procrastinate myself into tomorrow again. I'm really good at that! Later, I'll have an all-crochet update to post, hopefully with pics.

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