The Battle of Work

July 5, 2006

When men march off to war many do not know that their enemy is marching ahead. The voice which gives them their orders is the voice of their enemy.
He who speaks of enemies is himself the enemy.- Bertolt Brecht

Perhaps it isn’t fair to expand this quote into other walks of life, but I will anyways.

There are problems at work.

The manager is away, and as I’m getting off my shift in the morning, there are a few managers there talking. They aren’t just talking about the recently passed long weekend, but about the manager and the changes that are happening in the business. They say the outlook isn’t good with some of the new people they are hiring and how everything will crumble at their feet.

They talk about how everyone has their own racist feelings and thoughts, worried about how a community will view these changes because one of the people being brought in is a minority. Then go and make comments about how that section of the business will fail because of his ethnicity.

I’m standing there listening to all this, thinking, “Is it any wonder that our world never changes? We don’t even bother to try and adapt.”

These people ignore all the positive vibes that surround this place once again. It really is alive and breathing, not sitting dormant. People are generally happy about how things are going (at least the customers are) and it’s only the staff who seem to be resisting the changes or are turned off by how much is changing. They don’t like a manager who is around and talkative, and don’t like the extra pushes to work. This manager has goals in mind, and once you achieve that goal, he’ll push you onto the next one. He wants to start rewarding employees to make them work harder. As one person put it, “If workers need to be bribed to work with employee of the month awards, they should just close this place down.”

More thoughts go through my head of places like McDonalds that do have employees of the month, and other work places that give you in-store discounts or bonuses for reaching a certain quota. Even if the people working there don’t really enjoy the work, they still stay and do work because they have more reason to besides just the money. Whereas at my place, there are no bonuses, no discounts, and all these regulations that restrict the employees (ie working eight hours with no meal breaks, no smoke breaks, and having to eat meals at the desk). You would think a change like this would be welcomed, even if it’s a small thing like getting a prime parking spot. But no, there is resistance and they’d rather talk of the downfall of this place, and talk of how everyone could be let go in a month’s time, rather than focus on all the positive changes.

People are definitely too relaxed in a lot of places (damn you Tim Hortons), and I’m hoping when these new managers from out east and Vancouver arrive, they will give this place a good kick in the ass, or clean house- with me the exception being me, of course.

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