Wednesday, January 19, 2011

You'll Rest When You're Dead

I did something special my last shift working. For the first time in my three month tenure of working for my store I actually visited our employee "lounge". I put that word in parenthesis because what I found was all but anything resembling anything loungable and its location and company...well....far from relaxing. Located on the second floor of our store through a twisting hallway of sterile doors reminiscent of a hospital ward with an atmosphere I can only describe complimentary 'infectious'.

However let me explain why it was my first visit. You see my company despises non-productivity. A company philosophy I as a bad employee do not embrace. So in the absence of any customers or reason an employees default setting should be switched to "busy work regardless of if there is any actual work to do. This also transfers into our break time. This is better aptly described as 'maintenance' time in the corporate world. This is the time where all the little robots go to fuel up (eat), oil up (stretch/get off sore feet), and empty waste (self explanatory). Marx describe it best in 'Das Kapital' where he described how capitalism is the only system where a owners machines fix and repair themselves without pay and without disadvantage to the proprietor. This is the difference between a salaried employee versus an hourly employee. Or to put it better a wife versus a prostitute. In the latter, non of the upkeep and only the wanted product. Hmmmm, I guess that makes me a very poorly dressed AND paid whore.

Anyways, us employees are only allowed a 15 minute break every 4 -5 hours (although I've offset this through lies) paid and a 30 minute unpaid lunch every five hours...how generous. It's also always poorly time by management to suit "Is this good for the company?" (i.e. one hour into a nine hour shift. Yes, really).But naturally as a bad employee I ignore what I like to call "guidelines" and just take it when I feel like it because the only thing worse than me changing my break time is actually paying me not to take a break.

It's during this time I immediately vacate the store. I mean it's one thing to work there but to socialize in MY off-time? perish the thought. Plus my Hindi/Tamil/Gujarati isn't quite up to the fluent level. So I immediately head to my car and either go home for my lunch or hit the local depression analgesic fast-food shack for something to mask the personal disgust with...physical disgust.

So I was taken back when I actually visited the lunchroom. Apparently the concept of a lunchroom got mistranslated from corporate policy to mean "feed station" in retail application. Furniture I swear they were just storing from the picnic table we can't sell during the winter, plastic chairs that reminded me of the preschools I'm not allowed 50 feet of (Damn you Megans Law!),  and vending machines that were probably sponsored by the local dental office in order to "drum up business". Well.... either them or Goodlife Fitness. Going around the room some more, there was a TV obviously taken from the electronics display aisle that still had its accompanying box below the ledge it looked like it's just being stored on till we run out of floor stock. And finally three computers that aren't ever turned on, let alone any instruction on how to actually log into (I also know the store doesn't have Internet except for the Store Manager/office staff. So I guess they placed them there so we could practice writing our resumes for other jobs but not actually apply online.

Anyways, I certainly wasn't missing much and don't plan on returning anytime soon. It was an interesting visit I thought I could turn into an article and here it is. Voila!

p.s. Excuse any typos, it's late and I don't feel like proof reading this now and the stupid auto-save function is pissing me off.

22 comments:

  1. workin for the man who works for the man who works for the man.
    the higher up you go the easier your job is.

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  2. stick it to the man! in small ways :)

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  3. Megan's law is a bitch isn't it. Really limits my choices for Saturday nights.

    Is that a picture of all the vending machines in your break room? I wish I had one in mine, let alone five.

    I'm not trying to brag, but I'm pretty happy that both our breaks and lunches are paid for. I remember back when I worked in a grocery store and didn't get paid lunches, that was horrible.

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  4. Fluorescent lighting and Formica - what's not to love?

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  5. Jesus dude, intelligent discourse, quoting Marx etc. WTF are you doing working in retail? I've had teachers who couldn't recite one quote from the communist manifesto. Not that I agree with anything in it, but our society is fucked when people like you are forced to work in the salt mines.

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  6. I work in a grocery store... well used to. Our break room was exactly like that, except we had a whopping two vending machines.

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  7. congrats on moving out of the company. what now?

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  8. i generally avoid my job's "lounge" or lunchroom as well. maybe it's because i'm too lazy to make myself lunch and have to leave the building to purchase it every day haha.

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  9. damn man, you just hate anyone with more money than you don't you?

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  10. I can't believe they don't pay on break :(

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  11. Ah, busywork, how I used to hate thee. I remember that was always the golden phrase in an interview: 'even when I have free time, I like to find more shit to do.' (paraphrased of course) Instant eargasm/please work for me now. Too bad I never upheld it...

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  12. Interesting man, they should pay on the break!

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  13. I thought the law was a 15min break atleast once every 4 hours!

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  14. That is the saddest, most glum break room ever. Also, mysterious computers are mysterious.

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  15. Forgot to add, please follow me! I'm following you :)

    http://adalessa.blogspot.com

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  16. Hey man, are you planning on coming back to the blogging scene anytime in the near future? I miss your hilariously condescending rants about society, lol.

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  17. in any work they should pay on break.nice blog

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