Friday, June 19, 2009

Intriguing Passage

I am glad this part of the kitchen is so dark because I find myself blushing as
hard as if I had been caught toking up in the ladies' room myself: I haven't
been treated this way--- lined up in the corridor, threatened with locker
searches, peppered with carelessly aimed accusations--- since at least Junior
High School.

The above text is an excerpt from 'Nickel and Dimed' by Barbara Ehrenreich. She is a journalist who went "undercover" to experience and then relate how difficult it is to live on only minimum wage and less. In this section she is recounting one of her first jobs, and relating how dehumanizing corporations tend to be.

Corporations are not about people, they are about numbers and rules and making those who are their underlings feel as though they are just that. In the sentences preceding this quote, she recounts a 'mandatory meeting' in which the employee's are charged with failure to keep their break room clean and are therefore threatened with the possibility of its being taken away. Further they are accused of gossiping, there is to be no talk that is not work specific. They are then accused of using drugs, and therefore threatend with drug testing and locker searches at random.

Funnily enough I read this section of the book while I was at work today. The interesting thing here is that I work for a corporation, and I can certify that even though this book was written in the mid-nineties, it is still relevant today. Despite any progress that humanity has made within the last several years, corporations are still just as impersonal as ever. They take and take until there is nothing more and yet they still maintain their expectations.

Corporations have ideas founded on counter realities that do not exist. At any rate, I'm really enjoying the book thus far and it's definitely one that I would recommend.

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