Thursday, April 24, 2014

Cubed: A Secret History of the Workplace

Pat Macpherson, CC Liu, Wisdom Quarterly; Rosecrans Baldwin (; Nikil Saval
What are you doing? - I'm just happy to see you. - I can tell. You're outta here because you're nothing more than a third cousin to a chimp, Macpherson. Soundly Coldhotcar said so!*
Hell hath many names... Hades, Gehenna, Niraya, and can be very ironic in Buddhism.
So long, palace, riches, and power!
Man was not meant to waste away in quiet desperation in a cubicle. Woman, maybe. Probably not either. That is what "work" in the West has become. We have been cubed. 

To think I, like Siddhartha, could cut the cord and go. Go on a quest. Become a truthseeker. But my boss is calling, and she doesn't like to be kept waiting no matter what I'm doing. 
Hello, severe austerities and peace.
"Macpherson, what are you doing?!" Thinking 'bout bananas? "Here's a notepad; take some dictation!"

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..." Uh-oh. This is going to be a long one. Good thing NPR/SCPR never stops whispering in the background. Author Nikil Saval proves it wasn't always like this. There was a time when a person could earn a right livelihood doing something more than shuffling papers from the in-box to the out-box before the clock on the wall lets us go for the day.

NPR is not good for dogs, but humans like it where Free Speech Radio is not available.

Cubed (Nikil Saval)
I was fresh out of college, working at a Web design company. The office had an open layout. We all shared long tables. I did have a window that looked onto a stone wall. Otherwise, I was given a computer, a drawer, and a fancy ergonomic chair.

Then, about a month into the job, my hands completely froze over the keyboard. I couldn't move my fingers for half a minute, in the grip of my very first panic attack. I'd wonder later, was I simply not cut out for office work? Or was office work not cut out for anybody at all:
Soundly Coldhotcar (Sonali Kohlhatkar) with Dr. Jared Diamond

*(Uprising Radio) In The Third Chimpanzee (newly reissued for young adults in April 2014), Pulitzer Prize-winning author and UCLA researcher Jared Diamond (famous for Guns, Germs, and Steel) explores how humans fit among other animal species and also what sets us apart. He explains how we have evolved in our behaviors to perpetuate our genes into future generations, how and why we developed language, culture, art, and what the future holds for the human race given our evolutionary past.

No comments: