Posted by: amygdala | September 18, 2009


“Managers may truly believe that, without their unremitting
efforts, all work would quickly grind to a halt. That is not my
impression. While I encountered some cynics and plenty of people
who had learned to budget their energy, I never met an actual
slacker or, for that matter, a drug addict or thief. On the
contrary, I was amazed and sometimes saddened by the pride people
took in jobs that rewarded them so meagerly, either in wages or
in recognition. Often, in fact, these people experienced
management as an obstacle to getting the job done as it should be
done. Waitresses chafed at managers’ stinginess toward the
customers; housecleaners resented the time constraints that
sometimes made them cut corners; retail workers wanted the floor
to be beautiful, not cluttered with excess stock as management
required. Left to themselves, they devised systems of
cooperation and work sharing; when there was a crisis, they rose
to it. In fact, it was often hard to see what the function of
management was, other than to exact obeisance.”

 – Barbara Ehrenreich, in Nickel and Dimed.


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