Monday, September 3, 2012

laboring

LABORING
Usually I avoid holiday themed articles ( at least on the actual day it falls ) but today I’ll go ahead and throw one at you.  Not that there is anything earth shattering or all that important.  Just a fuzzy mind recalling some of the more amusing aspects of today’s workplace in what would charitably called Corporate Fantasyland.  As you can all relate to, today’s work environment is nothing so much as one long monologue chronicling idiocy, incompetence and asshattery.  It really is a wonder that we as a country have any competitive products or services left to offer the world, our companies are so lacking in even the most fundamental common sense.  Which, by the way, also includes the military since it is run just like any other bumbling bureaucracy.  Inept leadership is the norm and not the exception.  When you do run into someone with their head out of their ass you wonder how long it will be before they get a pink slip.  The system, after all, takes care of its own.  And I think we’ve long ago surpassed The Peter Principle and have embraced something else.  Perhaps incompetence rising to its highest potential meeting up with complete indifference and slothfulness.  Oh, sure, we all “work” long hours.  That is, we look busy at the workplace for a good portion of the day.  And most of it is just securing employment for the boss, his boss and so far up the chain. 
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A great example of that is my present day nemesis, Feed America.  Supposedly, they coordinate food donations nation wide.  For instance, Wal-Mart is not going to have each store contact each Podunk food bank locally.  Their corporate suits contact the other  corporate suits and after many meetings in which grotesquely overpaid idiots jabber at each other a uniform policy is hammered out and then all food banks have the same paperwork and etcetera.  What really just happened was yet another corporation just got inserted into the federal gravy train associated with feeding the needy.  Like the mega-agra corporations making far more off food stamps than the recipients themselves.  Look everywhere and a similar feeding frenzy is taking place.  Nobody produces value, they just horn in on an ever shrinking pie.  Which doesn’t leave a whole lot for those not blessed by our masters.  If you are a laborer working for a company NOT suckling off Washington, your days are numbered.  And in the meantime your benefits will steadily shrink.  Do you wonder why Labor Day is little more than the last chance to get drunk in the summer?  Everybody knows work is a joke.  Why get too worked up about it ( yuk, yuk )?  Just as The Forth Of July is a sick and twisted farce in the face of Banker Control Of A Once Free Nation.  And don’t get me started on other holidays.
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In about 2000 to 2003 I worked for Dollar General ( like Family Dollar if you have that one and not the former ).  That was an eye opener for extreme corporate incompetence.  It had been started way back in the day and until recently had been family run.  Well, there was a bit of financial irregularity and so the suits took it over, taking it away from the family.  As much as the last family member had embezzled ( if any at all- I don’t have any inside scoop ), he did far less harm to the company than the suits did.  Before, the mission had always been to help the working poor.  Sure, the company profited, but in a benign way.  A lot of their prices were below Wal-Mart.  And you could pretty much get all you needed from there, from cheap clothing to cheap food.  Cheap appliances and cheap foo-foo crap to make your hovel feel like more of a home.  It felt like a mission to work there and most employees were outright zealous in that.  I was too, as it sure beat working convenience stores selling roll after roll of scratch off tickets to little old ladies on friggin Christmas morning.  Don’t get me started on old bastards cashing in my Social Security to gamble ( you see it Nevada also ).  I felt I was helping others, and I didn’t mind the hard labor and rock bottom pay.  But even in the short time I was there, I saw a lot of changes for the worse as the employees were turned on by management, the rabid asswhores that they were.
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Dollar General stores were mainly next to ghettos.  Or on bus lines from ghettos.  This kept the rent down, which kept the prices down, and was convenient for both the employees and the customers to get to as it was close to their homes.  And by and large, the working poor were the main customers.  But the ne’er-do-wells also “shopped” there.  As in, shoplifted there.  You can’t get away from that cost of doing business.  But evidently, in business school shoplifting doesn’t happen.  Employee theft now, that must have gotten 25% of the curriculum because the corporate suits went on a crusade to rid the company of the overwhelming employee theft.  According to their actions, it would seem like 99% of employees were outright thieves.  Now, keep in mind that Dollar General is mainly in the South.  And by and large they are a hard working lot.  Add to that the missionary zeal that led to even harder work, and you could see where this kind of corporate attitude was a real kick in the teeth.  The company milked the attitude for their benefit, still treated the employees like crap, and then asked for a better attitude as the serfs were abused.  I can’t tell you how many weekly hours I wasted in anti-theft activities ( such as scanning damaged goods, then destroying them completely so no one could dumpster dive them ) that were ridiculous.  Nor how much employee dissatisfaction there was.  It was stupid to the point I had to finally quite.  I’m sure I wasn’t the only one.
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We all have our war stories, and that was from BEFORE the economic collapse.  Try to imagine how badly you will be treated in the years to come from your corporate masters.  Before, it was about maximizing profits.  Now it is survival.
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2 comments:

  1. ha ha no comments

    dollar general stories ain't cutting it dakin.

    maybe you should write about bowel movements, that will make the old geezers happy. most of your readers are old farts living off the government.

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  2. James of Elko and Perfect Hair;

    Don't pay attention to persons who think that Dollar General are beneath them, they will have other issues soon enough. I found your description of Dollar General (as typical of corporate chain discount retail mercantile) outstanding and spot on. Living in the South, and Midwest, now Southwest, I completely understand the necessity of these establishments to enhance the absolute horrid quality of life that most people here experience. While most of the merchandise in stock at any given time, isn't quality (like Wal-Mart mostly made in the People's Republic of China) however it is affordable for the majority of patrons. It's a crying shame that corporate wrecked such a great business model, much like corporate welfare is wrecking North America today! Keep it Real, James!

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