::Literate Blather::
Monday, December 17, 2007
Welcome to the Machine

The noise you associate with the overhead heating and cooling ducts? It’s really the sound of your soul being vacuumed into oblivion. It’s your dreams, your potential, your individuality, and your character being sucked away by your corporate slave masters.

Take a good look around you, Office Worker. Is there any more depressing place to work than a modern corporation? You work in a cookie-cutter office park (on the outskirts of a major city) among a rabbit warren of cubicles and conference rooms. Oh, look a coffee station! Try not to notice the dried, speckled sweat stains on the toilet seat.

Listen to numbing silence that ultimately will be the doom of you. Every sound is amplified – the click-clack of keyboards, the squeak of chair seats, the soft ringing of telephones, and (if you concentrate) the silent screams of your co-workers.

But it is the ventilation system that provides the soundtrack for office buildings – call it “White Noise of Despair.” That unhealthy hum combined with the harsh overhead lighting that leaves no doubt about your current situation – you’re in a cage. No fresh air (when is the last time you felt a breeze at work?). No natural light.

Zoo monkeys have larger spaces.

This unnatural environment stifles creativity and self-expression and promotes conformity and obedience – two attributes most rewarded by corporations (even your precious start-ups you deluded techies). How else to get supposedly highly education people to ensconce themselves in prison cells all day? You bribe them with paychecks (and a subsidized cafeteria). Those that knuckle under fastest get the cash bonuses.

And here is the best part. Give them gadgets (make them shiny and with lots of buttons). Call them Treo and Blackberry or iPhone. Give them laptops and beepers. If you web-enable everything, these toadies will actually continue to work after they’ve left the office. They’ll become like Pavlov’s Dogs and start to drool every time their mobile or wireless device beeps, hums, or vibrates.

The buffoons actually believe you are rewarding them with these devices and they will pay back your generosity by working at home – for free.

Isn’t it amusing that we once thought mineshafts were dangerous? Ha! Ha! Ha! How about these corporate offices! No fresh air – just recycled air pushed through chemically treated ducts. Everything – the chairs, desks, cubes – made of polymers (basically hardened chemicals). Then add the wires, the LDC screens, LANS, servers, telephones, and wireless networks to give the already stale polluted air a tinge of electricity.

Is it any wonder that they weaken and die from cancer, heart disease, and brain aneurysms?

Then ramp it up. Increase expectations, set unrealistic deadlines, pile on the work, and watch how jumpy they get. Watch their eyes get bloodshot, their asses get itchy, and they’re tempers flare (at each other no less!).

But don’t worry, Friend. Go back to work. The feeling in pit of your stomach will go away soon. You can watch TV later.

Oh, look, an email from the boss…

Read our Notes from a Corporate Meeting

Read How to be an Office Drone

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