Thought about work

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
I was shocked and appalled to (i) return to work at my office job today; and (ii) be told by two different people that they thought the break over Xmas had been 'too long', and that they were glad to be back at work. Given that said break had been between 10 to 14 days for all concerned (along with the fact that annual leave where i work is at the legal minimum level for the UK) I can only conclude that I have passed into some horrific twilight world. And I don't like it.

The job I do is not the worst in the world, and it has its perks, but as with most jobs of its type it is suffocatingly filled with (often mindless) bureaucratic tasks, and there has been but a handful of instances of actual fun that I have observed during the year that I have been there. The idea that anyone would elect to be there for 40 hours a week, if they weren't getting paid for it, is frankly chilling. (And also profoundly sad.)

To be honest, I've never experienced quite such lunacy at any previous job I've had, where there has always been a healthy degree of clockwatching and cynicism about the perils of work. And that's what encourages bonding, after all. How can you bond with people who actively like being in an office?

From where I'm sitting at the moment (thankfully not still at work) it seems that the affective labour that began in service-type roles is creeping in everywhere, as many people's financial situation becomes increasingly insecure. I can't explain such naked, disgraceful and unprompted enthusiasm for office work in any other way.

Which is all a long-winded way of asking people for their thoughts and reading recommendations on the phenomenon of work, particularly in its most modern form (by which I guess I mean after the introduction of email as an everyday work task).

I read a book by Frederic Lordon on the basis that 'Why do workers work for capital rather than for their own liberation?' is an endlessly fascinating question. I found it difficult though, and maybe a little pretentious. 24/7 by Jonathan Crary was good, but suffered from the same drawbacks.

And going back a ways, this quote from Marcuse seems eerily prescient to me in explaining that old chestnut of why the fuck we're not now working 3-hour days:
“the closer the real possibility of liberating the individual from the constraints once justified by scarcity and immaturity, the greater the need for maintaining and streamlining these constraints lest the established order of domination dissolve. Civilisation has to defend itself against the specter of a world which could be free. If society cannot use its growing productivity for reducing repression (because such usage would upset the hierarchy of the status quo), productivity must be turned against the individuals, it becomes itself an instrument of universal control.”
 
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Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Interesting post and I agree with the gist, although I assume you mean "too long" in the first sentence, not "too short"?

And assuming that's what you meant: maybe they all just have horrific families. :-/
 

luka

Well-known member
I can't be too expansive cos I'm in my spa pool on my phone drinking champagne but I'm looking forward to addressing this
 

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
Interesting post and I agree with the gist, although I assume you mean "too long" in the first sentence, not "too short"?

And assuming that's what you meant: maybe they all just have horrific families. :-/

Thanks - just adjusted that, complete wordblindness on my part.

That could definitely be part of the answer
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
I can't be too expansive cos I'm in my spa pool on my phone drinking champagne but I'm looking forward to addressing this

The picture I have of Luke right now is basically one of those ludicrously over-the-top '90s Cash Money album covers.
 

luka

Well-known member
i dont think its about insecurity. its about the triumph of to coin a phrase capitilist realism
 

luka

Well-known member
you dont need to read about it you work for a living. you just need to look at thsee sadsack cunts
 

luka

Well-known member
when did it happen that the only acceptable response to someone asking how you are is GREAT THANKS,REALLY GOOD
 

luka

Well-known member
where did the adverserial nature of boss/worker relationships go?the recongition that these are mutually opposed interest groups?
 

luka

Well-known member
total triumph of thatcherism. be your own brand. play by the rules, play to win. look down on losers. keep a positive attitude. every interaction is a job interview. everyone you meet is a connection.
 
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luka

Well-known member
what has happened? total defeat. the erasure of the working class and working class values.
how did it happen? the importation of cheap and docile labour from abroad. economic and cultural shifts. the neutering of the trade unions. the aquiesence of labour. 5th collumists-become-leaders in the labour movement.

who does manual labour in london in 2015? who cleans? who labours? who are the banksmen, the street sweepers?

and the english born don't understand solidarity only self-interest and now they've all got someone to kick down at, no matter how lowly their status might be. ugly, narrow, grasping attitudes. when did it stop being shameful to suck up and kick down? the game is rigged. there are no prizes for good behaviour. you can smile and aquiese as much as you like. no shame in collusion. no shame in collaboration.

i've been taken to one side by 21 year olds, 19 year olds, people who do the same job as me, and for less money too, and told i should be more enthusaiastic, smile more, upsell. people with no vested interest,no share in profits whatsoever. that is dystopian. that is terrifying. that makes the blood run cold. how did we get there?

american colonisation of the english mind. colonised. our own values usurped and forgotten. the triumph of rome.
blair's erasure of class warfare. that sleight of hand. everyone can be a winner. you can be one of us if you accept our values.
 

luka

Well-known member
i first started doing service industry work in '99 and in that time the shift in attitudes has been chilling. there is no collusion between workers any more. there is no solidarity.no antagonism towards management. no signs of life. i've been unemployed for months. i can't survive in this world any more.
 

you

Well-known member
My last two posts have all been about how, deep down, people fucking love work. The surface level pleasantries of "yeah, good to get back to work, good to keep busy" reveal this for me.

See
http://notesfromthevomitorium.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/capitalism-never-let-me-go.html
http://notesfromthevomitorium.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/the-residues-of-libidinal-capitalism.html

And Tea - no one is more of an entrepreneur than those lefty political curator types. Just because they use a different type of language and steer clear from SEO doesn't mean the libidinal drives and skill sets are any different. Hans Ulrich Obrist is just Alan-fucking-Sugar dressed in Jill Sander.
 

luka

Well-known member
Or has you not entered the workforce? I think there is a lot to love about work
 
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