Thursday, November 29, 2007

office space character one: the worker bee

Working a temp job is allowing me to steep in the tea of the cubical microcosm again. What a sociological experiment in action!

To set the setting, please note that the office that we are working is not the type of place I would consider for a career. It is a job that is strictly for the paycheck, something I cannot do for too long without feeling stifled and constricted. It's an office. It has cubicle walls. Mindless and repetitive paper shuffling and phone calling. Not in my field of study and not the type of work that contributes to society in a way that I would find some sort of soul-satisfaction. I do not dread it nor do I look forward to it. It just is, and I accept that. I will not be there long. (They already mentioned that they want to offer us permanent position with the company. Mind you, this is nothing to feed my ego. Having worked through temp agencies before, I have come to the conclusion that if you have half a brain and act in a professional manner, the bosses fall all over you with job offers. It always made me wonder how bad previous temps have been considering I never thought what I was doing was anything out of the ordinary. But I digress.)
One thing that makes the job more interesting is the observation of the different subgroups of workers and their interactions, or lack there of, with each other.
The first group, and the ones that I spontaneously named first, are the worker bees. These are the one's who constantly keep their nose in their paperwork, only to raise them to tsk-tsk anyone who takes a moment break outside of the occasional trip to the john and the strict half-hour only break in the eight and a half hour work day. They appear to take their job so seriously that they would not waste a moment of productivity by going to the kitchen, imbibing in some coffee and taking one too many piss breaks. I also get the sense that they have such a fear of getting yelled at and flogged by the bosses for standing up to stretch. I actually saw one of these higher up Worker Bees, yell at another temp as if she was a schoolmarm keeping the children in their rows. The temp had simply reached for something in her purse, noticed there was some chewing gum on her camera and took it out to wipe off the offending gum before putting it back into her purse. Worker Bee scolder her with a stern "Put that away!" command while walking swiftly by and rolling her eyes. Wow, now who would not want to work under that strict eye??? Sad thing is, as integral of a cog that these Worker Bees thing they are in the grand scheme of the work mechanism...everyone of them is easily replaceable.
Mind you, I was raised to have solid work ethic. I get my work done and I have even been known to go above and beyond at times. But there has to be a moment where you step back and realize that most jobs are just that: JOBS. Do you want to work for just a paycheck? Do you want to spend forty-hours a week focusing on some imagined goal that is the ruse or subterfuge to the task of making money for the CEO? That is what these Worker Bees seem to do. I wonder what their perceived satisfaction is in what they are doing, if there is any. Is their worth as humans determined by their output of the machine? Again the bottom line is, we leave and another takes our place. Does that sound like you are worth something?
That is all for tonight. Apologies for any grammar issues. I am way too tired to proofread. Editing will occur over the weekend. I have to go get some rest so I can be a model temp tomorrow (hey, I did mention that I was working just for the paycheck right now. Yeah, I'm a fucking hypocrite, but I have the title under my name: TEMP. Woot Woot!)

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