17 August 2012

A rare vent

Lately, when people ask me whats going on, I don't really have much to say. The days are slippery and the only action I have to refer to is work, constant and insufferable. I don't do much else. Lately.
I work in a field that is somehow filled with people devoted in a singular way to working away their lives.  I suppose there is some nobility in that, but I don't really see it and I really resent having that paradigm imposed upon me. Maybe they are doing what they love. Doesn't really seem like that type of career.
I am not doing what I love. Not really. That kind of feels like a class based luxury.
(What do I love to do?) I am maintaining corporate properties throughout the greater Bay area - Mall Stores, Banks, Extended Stay hotels.  Some observations involving gross generalizations:

Capitalism is not an efficient system, or a system that seeks efficiency, contrary to some economic theories. I am a rotating cog in the wheel of this machine, the wrench who works where pointed. We have a guy in South Bay and I live in Richmond. Why are we working in each other's neighborhoods on the same day? Why are we employed at all. It cannot be more efficient to contract a company that contracts my company in Orange County (a subsidiary of a subsidiary of a New York City Company) that sends me to greater points of sitting in traffic for hours to charge $100 an hour to change light bulbs. Think of the local handy-people who would love to be called for that for half the price, a tenth of the drive and none of the overhead. Maybe its a hassle for stores or districts to field their own work, but it is certainly doesn't seem viable and efficient to cover all that bureaucracy and overhead. Also, we are using fax machine as our primary source of communication. How is that technology still alive?

Extended stay hotels are the most lifeless depressing places in the developed world. Really. Yes, more than abject poverty. Do yourself a favor and do not notice how many of them there are. They maintain two types of employees: the self-important martinet who must have a degree in hotel management and probably imagines they are on a track to something more important, but will make no better than bottom level corporate, and the junior college dropout with all the curiosity of an earthworm. Primarily the former, but they both could care less about the needs and desires of their customers (who are generally luckless miscreants or victims of some specific personal disaster). These are the people who I would fear in fascist states. If you work at an extended stay, or are related to someone who does, I am sorry.

There are two types of malls in the world. Rich Malls and Poor Malls. They are quite different in layout, store variety, food court, smell, employees and patronage. But under the two categories, they are all exactly the same. I can find my way around a mall immediately on entry. The french store employees are snooty and rude, the "natural" cosmetic store employees are generally pretty and mild, and the other cosmetic store girls are always having a party. Radio Shacks are staffed by affably awkward guys. I don't quite get the shoe stores.

Oddly enough, I prefer banks. But I have learned that office folks have a different understanding of labor than I do. They are always surprised by how much I accomplish and how quickly. I believe that is because they do not actually work very much, have many impromptu breaks and conversations and very rarely labor. 

I think I have that out of my system.

1 comment:

  1. Depressing post. I am also feeling overwhelmed by work today, as I had huge conflicts/difficulties/confusions etc. at my first week back at school this week. Your description of the corporate set up is amazing. NY hires LA who hires SF, etc.? Can you steal that business by offering it at half price to customers you already have and know? That's my vote. Or work in the cosmetic store with the party girls. I'm ready. :)