There Goes the Ruddy Two-shoes

And I Do Some Ranting

Posted by ruddytwoshoes on June 30, 2008

I have mercilessly exploited my right to be lazy — just the way I planned it. Away from the scandalous ringing of telephones and agonizing, though not-unheard-of, deluges of files the big bosses deemed exciting to hem us in, I have caroused in my indolence, in the quiet company of a fine husband, Chinese food, a cruet of organic kombucha, and Kurt Vonnegut. I am calmed by the present sensation of such entitlement draped all over me after an entire workweek, which dragged on like a long winter month spent in a xenophobic Maryland burg, left me drowsily repining for it.

But it is midnight Monday, and another bloody week in the salt mines is coming into view. In a few hours, I must reenter the world of alienation and be the working class pseudorobot the insurance industry deities have molded out of me.

I never thought I would again stumble upon the powerlessness that besieged me in my adolescence, when I was put under the surveillance of adults who manifested their love and care by confining me in a universe they so charily designed the most efficient way they thought possible. I had no idea I could be in an eerily similar universe, where I am but a midget with midget needs that do not get heeded.

The corporate merger is beginning to throb. First, they filched our popular thirty-seven-hour-workweeks — which had caused major pleasure among employees for many, many years — and had us succumbing to five eight-hour days. Not a major cause for concern, I fathom, since I get paid hourly, but short Fridays were a privilege we had all rightly embraced. They also carted off the year-round supply of generic lozenges, aspirin, antacids, and other quick remedy pills in the infirmary on the floor where I work, said these things were “too costly” to stash, and that, from then on, we were to either bring our own supplies or walk across to the other building if we needed any of them. How something like this is too expensive for one of the largest, most prosperous multinational companies on earth, I wonder. Then, of course, out of the perceived need to trim the payroll came the consolidations of positions and highly anticipated layoffs — only this time, I heard, the severance packages were significantly diminished. Then there were the many policy changes we actually projected, but by golly, we had no idea they were going to be this bad. We are suddenly faced with what is appearing to be a group of cost-effectiveness extremists who do not think very highly of service or customer/claimant satisfaction — the outcome of which would be greatly felt by us on the frontline, who have to deal with the throngs of irascible people — not to mention their self-worshipping attorneys — brought to us everyday by those lovely car accidents on the road. No one dares to differ, of course, as their we-the-bosses-can-fire-you gestures are becoming a little too visible as of late.

On Friday, I asked the highest-ranking person in my division if this merger and whoever entity is going to be accountable for everything that happens to me as a result of it have a real potential to make me a happy worker. A “yes” would be nice. He just laughed.

So here I am, the little white-collar, slightly underpaid drama-queen-employee, silently haranguing about my current working environment, which I will unfortunately have to espouse until some of my plans for the immediate future materialize. They are not going to materialize without the little savings I am able to derive from doing this brain-freezing job I had no idea I was going to get myself into, so I am forced to submit. I could utilize some mettle and turn in my resignation letter while waving a jovial erect middle finger at the parties responsible for the kind of misery we people at the bottom have to contain, but I reckon I have no power to do so. My need of money has made me powerless.

And so, so, so piercingly bitter.


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