Monday, November 01, 2004

And now for the other half

In my time here on The Report Card, I have used my first two posts to reflect on and talk about teachers.

Now, for the other half of what makes Mr. T's "Report Card" such an enjoyable, relevant and fun read.


The workplace is a relatively new and relatively insane idea in human history. For the bulk of recorded history, and as the evidence points to, for pre-history "The Workplace" as we know it today didn't exist.

Sure, people worked, and in most ways they worked A LOT harder than we work today. Personally I would have had a hard time with my nose up the ass of an oxen 12 hours per day.

But they worked for sustenance, the benefit of the social group, the glory of the State and for family and community. Now, I am not saying any of this was ideal as most labor became oppressive as "civilizations" progressed.

But at least there was a certain dignity and lack of inane mindless striving and backstabbing in this labor.

This work was largely a community based effort. Individuals and small collectives working for themselves and the benefit of the whole. The blacksmith, his journeyman and his apprentice never had to deal with the egos, dress codes, politics, petty wars, petty fiefdoms, greed, inanity and soul numbing stupidity of the modern white collar workplace.

It seems we have really reached the post-ironic, post-modern phase of the workplace. All of the cliches, archetypes, games, commentary, counter-commentary, wry outsiders perspectives and Dilbert-style insiders views have been exploited to the furthest extent.

So what now?

We can only hope for a First Agrarian or Industrial Revolution level paradigm shift in the ways and places we work. The insane bosses, pointless projects, office sluts, ego driven alpha males, paper clips, bureaucracy, bottom lines, lack of focus and ENDLESS meetings have run their course.

Its all become a caricature of itself. Which would be funny if it didn't hurt so many people in so many ways. If so many people didn't base their self-worth and meaning on it. If so much time, energy and human capital were not spent perpetuating it all.

So, my cubicle bound brothers and sisters. My groveling gal-fridays. My "all I want to do is teach but I have to deal with politics" educators. Bosses, sub-bosses, administrators, regulators and regurgitators - THROW OFF THE SHACKLES OF THE PAST - WORK IN A NEW WAY and help bring on the revolution.

Thank you, I will go back and finish this damn report now.