Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The shark in Jaws was named Bruce. I think I've worked with him.

A big ol' "WTF?" shout-out goes to Globotron.

My new employer has 6 TVs in the cafeteria. Usually, they are set on a variety of news-like programs. Sit in one area, you can catch up on ESPN. Sit in another and you're all MSNBC or CNN or whatever.

Except today. Today, every single TV was set on a static PowerPoint screen urging employees to sign up for benefits. Instead of a variety of news-like channels. Because it's election day. And we can't be trusted to watch completely useless midday election coverage without it devolving into a corporate throwdown.

Puhleez.

For the last week, I've been copying text from a database and pasting it into Word docs. I know a lot of folks out there are curious about the true value of a college degree in the modern working world, and I'm here to tell you: fuck if I know. I've just gotten paid for 40 hours of work that a monkey could have performed.

I'm glad for the cash, but it's soul-sucking. Like most things in Corporate America.

Based on my experiences at Globotron, Corporate Behemoth, and Mega Corporate Behemoth, I feel confident in saying that there are 3 distinct flavors of corporate workers.

The Sea Anemone
Letting corporate waves carry you wherever might seem scary to a control freak - but it's awesome for lazy anemones. They don't do anything. They just show up and offer zero value. Also, they aren't afraid to remind folks when a task doesn't fall under their job description.

The Shark
This person is a mover and a shaker - which also means he or she is a total asshole. A shark will eat their way up the corporate ladder, kissing ass and making enemies with zero concern for actual human beings. You'll see a lot of sharks in "who's who" issues of business magazines. Their hair is shiny.

The Blowfish 
Who likes to puff up and look big and important? This guy! The rub is that blowfish are often not very bright. But that doesn't stop them from talking. And talking. And sometimes being mistaken for somebody with a brain. Blowfish like to believe they're sharks, but really, they are the sharks' bitches.

And then? There are the rest of us ... that very small group of fish who actually work hard and are nice. Sharks eat us a lot. Blowfish overshadow us. And sometimes we get lost in a sea of anemones.

I know I'm a low-key worker fish. But the truth is, I'm not sure who I am anymore.

I used to be a senior manager, but I was stressed out all the time. Now I'm a contract worker, showing off my mad Microsoft basic-function skillz. Part of me feels like I have made a series of terrible mistakes and I'm surely atrophying as a person. Part of me thinks this current gig will get better, and I have a more balanced life now. And part of me just wants to stay home and never work in Corporate America ever, ever again.

This is top-of-mind because I'm bored out of my skull right now - although I don't know if fish have skulls. Because I am atrophying as a human being.

3 comments:

Carolyn Watson said...

I think you're right on the money, Behemoth-wise. Where do conscientious, sincere workers fit into the picture? Not in corporate America? It's a life-long challenge, unless you can devise a job/position that is structured to your satisfaction. That probably won't be where you are now, unfortunately.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I can't fathom how it must feel to go to work each day and feel your soul get slowly sucked out.
Hugs.

Laura said...

I feel like we are living in parallel dimensions. My very own Corporate Behemoth is no different than yours, and my days sound about the same.

I tell myself that I will/do have more balance and that I have so many other interests outside work that I am just "working to live rather than living to work" and other cliches, but I am not totally sure I believe myself.

On the bright side, I have time to read blogs these days.