Monday, October 7, 2019


Just a day or so ago, I ducked out of work for an hour or two to have a non-pretentious beer with a non-pretentious friend. 

We were partners long ago and it was a good, we-finish-each-other's-sentences type of partnership. We went our separate ways way back in the 80s, but we've stayed in touch and we've stayed friends. Close even.

She was at a small table in the back and started talking before my ass hit the hard-wood.

"George," she said "I've resigned."

"Resigned? Really. I thought all things considered you were doing ok at ________."

She shook her greying hair and clarified.

"I haven't resigned, I am resigned.

"I'm working in today’s Plutocrat-dominated, 1% world, and I'm resigned.

"I've resigned myself to certain insecurities, indignities, inequities and good-old-fashioned meanness to an extent that anyone with a sense of propriety and fairness could never truly accept.

"I've resigned myself—someone who’s making the same salary she made 15 years ago when the industry was less impecunious, that the holding company and their fellow
1%-ers don’t play by the same rules you and I are subject to.

"I'm resigned when I read that the holding company can grant a new C-Officer a salary of almost one-million-dollars per annum with a maximum bonus of 225% of salary per annum. While I’ve been told that there is no money anymore, that hiring is frozen and there’s no such thing as a bonus. But I'm resigned to these inconsistencies.

"I'm resigned to working more hours than I'm being paid for—probably on the order of 1,000 hours a year, unpaid. I'm resigned to accepting that. That’s just the way things are, right?

"I'm resigned to giving my employer what amounts to over 10% of my year's total hours for free, ostensibly because I'm a white-collar worker. Though they’ve stripped all the white-collar-ness from my job decades ago.

"I'm resigned to them taking my “partner or senior partner or vice president or senior vice president” moniker away. I'm resigned to them putting me to work amid the cacophony of a factory floor—as if I were turning wing-nuts for a living. I'm resigned to being treated like a lumpen-proletariate when it suits the 1%-ers but being told I'm an executive when it suits the 1%-ers. I'm resigned to having no say.

"I'm resigned to hearing and hearing and hearing that my work is overpriced and I'm too slow. I'm resigned to hearing ‘do it cheaper.’ I'm resigned to hearing a stupid algorithm can do it better though every algorithm I've ever had contact with has bombarded me with baldness remedies and I've got a full-head of hair.

"I'm resigned to having no one to talk to when I have a work issue. I'm resigned to never being able to get an answer to any question. I'm resigned to being micro-managed with a nasty aggressiveness that borders on the abusive.

"I'm resigned that I’ll forever “be on ‘the list’ for a raise” but I’ll never get a raise.

"I'm resigned that there’s never anyone whose job it is to look out for me and my well being.

"I'm resigned to having upper management that avoids talking to you, or treating me like I have a brain. I'm resigned to not being a person, but a line-item. I'm resigned that anytime something happens it’s always the responsibility of someone else and that person can never be reached.

"I'm resigned to having to give more and more of my time and my brain and my skill and my craft while seeing job-security and benefits evaporate like a puddle in the Gobi dessert. I'm resigned to having no one to work on the assignments I'm responsible for and I'm resigned to getting chastised for doing too much myself.

"I'm resigned to timesheet systems that don’t work and almost daily “you’re late” emails that are tantamount to harassment. I'm resigned to tech support that is almost wholly unsupportive. I'm resigned to using an expense system that’s about as complicated as the wiring diagrams of a Chernobyl reactor. I'm resigned to never having a lunch hour, a weekend or an evening and hearing in response, “that’s advertising.”

"I'm resigned to being browbeaten to win awards so bosses can get their bonuses. I'm resigned to seeing hundreds of 1%-ers in $3000/night hotel rooms yachting in Cannes while I can’t get $8 back for a late-night taxi. I'm resigned to seeing the row of black cars picking those 1%-ers up at 5:30PM while I can’t expense a decent dinner though I'm working till 11.

"I'm resigned to working without a brief or with a brief that changes as often as Donald Trump tweets. I'm resigned to 17-rounds of changes before your work goes to the client for 71 rounds of changes.

"I'm resigned to being called a trouble-maker.

"I'm resigned to being called a cynic.

"I'm resigned to being labelled a curmudgeon. When all I'm doing is saying aloud what everyone else is afraid to say. I'm resigned that I could fill out 17 billion employee feedback surveys and not a single issue will be addressed, but 1% pay will get higher and staffs will get thinner."

"You're done," I asked as she drained her brew.

"I'm more than done," she answered. "I'm resigned."

I picked up the tab. 

It was the least I could do for the pep talk.

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