In the modern holding-company-owned advertising agency, you don't have many run-ins with upper management.
We sit in rows of tables (they're not even desks) like cattle in pens. You are treated like and are meant to feel as if you are one of a thousand, or ten thousand, easily interchangeable parts. You are meant to feel that you are anonymous and insignificant.
The every day semiotics of agency life are designed to make you feel small and inconsequential. You see the big whigs yachting and limo-ing and $100 million compensationing, and you're meant to accept frozen wages and the like.
You are small. They are big.
(In ancient Sumer under Hammurabi, people were divided into three classes: Elite, Commoner, Slave. We seem to have reverted to the structure of a 5,000 year old civilization. The elites take all they can. The commoners get what's left over. And the slaves get lashed.)
In fact, you have three or four contacts with the elites.
1. We see photos of them from Cannes. Occasionally we share an elevator with them while they smile and look nervously into their upgraded phones.
2. We get weekly notices--fiats, edicts, dicta--to do our timesheets.
3. We're told, once again, that wages are frozen.
This morning, in early as usual, (you can't possibly do your work in the hours you are paid for) I got a mimeographed notice on my desk.
The security people have decided to confiscate my iPhone charger because it wasn't secured.
Note: it's my iPhone charger. I paid for it.
Note: you can't secure a cable.
Note: my drawers have no lock.
Now, I have to go down to the garage and get it back.
Way to make people feel a part of something bigger.