Sent to me by Jason Miller from Thomas Paine’s Corner. Thanks, Jason.
By Roland Michel Tremblay
So many things are just fake and faking it, just like life. You might think this article will be my least significant one, I feel it is my most significant one. Because it touches to our daily life, everything we do, everything we are. It defines one’s existence from the beginning to the end, if there is such a thing in sight. What are we all about? What is it that we do, that we are? A job. How are we treated in that job? Very badly indeed. Like children, like prisoners, like animals. Well, we will have to put a stop to this corporate bullying.
Tonight I went completely berserk. I shouted so loud, I am certain every single person in that lost street of London heard me. I went mad! I was ready, I was ready to kill, and I did not care for the consequences, I did not care that it could have brought me to prison. I might have been glad, because something needs to happen, before I either kill someone or shoot myself.
All because of a Line Manager digging at me all day, all week, all month, all year round, until I can no longer hold to my last shred of sanity. Dear me, I could then so easily push the button to annihilate the whole world, you would not believe.
This is the result of the American Corporate Management structure, now common place all over England, Canada, Australia, and the whole of the Commonwealth. Pure anger, pure madness, pure desire to annihilate anything standing in our path. Get those nuclear weapons ready, they are ready to go!
I sincerely believe, without being able to prove it, that most crimes, most domestic violence, most murders, can be derived from the alienation and insanity resulting from management hierarchies mind games. And that if we were to work very hard in order to make the work place a peaceful and nice environment to work in, where happiness might actually be a real achievable goal, the crime rate would be lowered considerably in society.
Why is the word “work” so offensive? The mention of it can give cramps and send you to the toilet within seconds. The thought of it will most likely keep you awake most of the night. Work is our nightmare and we all have to go through it. Is there a cure on the horizon? Or are we all condemned to be forever slaves to the corporate structure and small minded control freak management the Americans export so successfully everywhere?
I understand that it would be impractical for a society to abolish work altogether, but how nice would that be? Or how necessary will it become, if we wish to keep our sanity and find some form of happiness in our lifetime? Big changes are required; we are going about it the wrong way, I am telling you.
For a second there, I thought it would happen. All those new corporations being created with billions of dollars to their name. They serve no purpose, they do not produce anything, and they don’t even provide a worthy service or fulfil a need for anyone. And yet they are rich and made of marble, perfect empty shells made of billions, serving no need, which, logically, should not require any of their employees to do anything. They are mostly all in the financial sector.
Unfortunately, even though the Tapeworm Corporations (the empty shells) still do nothing worthy to justify their existence in the first place, they still ask a lot from their employees; they are driving them all mad. No help there. It is amazing how a company that does nothing helpful to society still requires so much work and headaches from its work force.
For example, what have I been doing for the last 15 years? I produced conferences, making millions for some lucky guy in the process. What does it mean? I brought together a bunch of losers who are perceived as the leaders in their field or niche market while other losers paid a lot of money to come and hear them talk, sometimes hoping to sell them other useless ideas of their own.
Perfect example of a company serving no purpose in this world. What sort of meaning can I then give to my own existence? All my life I have brought together a bunch of trash corporate people to talk about nothing, all over Europe, all over America, and from which nothing happened. Because none of them were really listening to the others in the first place. They were only trying to sell each other useless services and ideas.
At $15,000 a place, I hope they learnt something, or sold something. They certainly did, sold more empty ideas that went nowhere or were huge mistakes from the start. I could have told them that. I was the only one extensively researching the topic in the first place, a big empty egg, symbol of what corporations have become today.
If truly there was a need for people to meet and talk, they would do it without spending that much money. Meeting and speaking to anyone is free. No need to spend the price of a house in China just to hear pre-packaged marketing gimmicks those corporations would actually pay big money for you to hear.
And if this had been all I had to do (bringing those losers together and making big money), it would have been great. It would have been bearable. But I had to deal with the great American Corporate Structure and its management (for which I have always been at the lowest level, even though it seemed I was the only one doing any work and making it all happen). I now suffer from every single neurosis known to humankind.
I heard 20 years ago that we were all veering towards a society of leisure, with more time to enjoy walking the dog in the park and watching those children grow, whilst working fewer hours so we could enjoy our existence.
Now, 20 years later, any job I ever had, turned out to be a real nightmare, with hours going off the scale, with weeks of up to 75 hours, with mind games capable of rendering you either completely alcoholic, dependent on drugs, or at the very least completely neurotic.
To avoid emotional debilitation then you must become that sadist bastard who feeds on alienating everyone around you at work, and for that, you need to be shot. We dream of it every night, thinking of new ways to assassinate you. Sometimes thinking about how we could get away with it. Most of the time beyond caring about the consequences as long as you die a painful death.
How nice must it be to ensure that every single form of discrimination is implemented as an unofficial policy. And to spend the rest of the time fighting in Work Tribunals with HR, justifying that indeed this was not discrimination and that all employees are ungrateful liars and simply incompetent! They deserve to be sacked without pay and suffer as much as possible. That revolting word “management”.
I bet you have felt the similarly throughout your life, but for some reason could never express it in words such that it suddenly sounds like the whole truth about this world, what almost every single one of us goes through every day, struggling to survive. Here you are, a now well identified problem, let’s do something about it!
We are making millions, I can assure you. I don’t know how, I can’t explain it, since we are not really doing anything or providing any needed product or service to this society, but the millions are coming in. So leave me alone! I don’t need more bullshit, ego trips, and self-made crises from you.
Sorry, did you mean that I need to make billions now instead of millions? Oops! Let me see what I can do. Let me see if I can kill myself ever more, and find out who else I can kill in order to make you a multiple billionaire.
I had jobs that I actually liked a little. Most I hated beyond belief. Actually, I hated them all. The jobs I actually liked a little quickly became unbearable, because the people I was working with couldn’t help themselves. They always managed to turn the place into a living hell.
Is there a need for this? Does it serve a purpose? Does it bring more millions in? I feel it can only breed resentment, a serious lack of loyalty, sheer hatred, and a deep need to sabotage the company and your ambitions. I have dreamt of seeing you and this company go down the drain so many times you would not believe. Do we all feel the same? I’m sure we do. Perhaps this is where the revolution will start.
The whole concept of management, a string of managers and a big boss at the top who, if you’re lucky, you will never meet, has put so much strain on us, I’m surprised we’re still alive. For a long time I thought it was only me. I know now that everyone has the same sad story to tell about his or her job. We have all reached breaking point. You better pay attention, this is a serious crisis.
How can we make this work? What could we do to prevent bastards and backstabbers from destroying everyone else? How could we insure that management does not play these little mind games which have far reaching impacts, more than they probably even realise themselves?
Their allies are Human Resource departments, packed with highly paid lawyers, who will insure your utter destruction. How could you possibly defend yourself against them? You couldn’t. You will lose every time since none of us understands the language of the law.
How can we finally make sure that the week below 40 hours does not simply and uniquely apply to civil servants, but to everyone else out there who’s working for a bunch of greedy and disgusting business people requiring over 60 to 70 hours of work a week? Most of us already spend two to three hours a day suffocating in the packed transport system to begin with. That is soul destroying enough.
I don’t know; I really don’t. I wish I did know, but to be honest, I have suffered many years, I have written a complete journal in several volumes about it all, and I am still nowhere near finding the solutions. Work being an obscenity has been the central point and obsession of my entire existence. It was all leading to this present article.
Even though I was not expecting to find happiness at work, I certainly did not expect to find depression, murderous thoughts, and suicidal ideas in order to escape the nightmare. Well, I do have a few radical solutions. I doubt they would be practical or that they would be implemented, but let’s see.
If I ever hear the word teamwork ever again, I will shoot someone. I think this translates all our thoughts upon the subject. Banish it from your vocabulary this instant, or there will be blood! After all, we are all over the edge right now; it would not take much to start the war.
It is clear that in this society there is no such thing as teamwork or a team player. A team cannot work together; that much is certain. People are too selfish, too self-absorbed, too arrogant, too ambitious, too jealous, too power hungry, too self-centred, too insecure, too much ready to explode under too much pressure, too everything, in order to work in a team. So teams need to be eliminated.
Everyone hates their colleagues at work. You might like a few, but most of them you wouldn’t mind too much if they were to suffer a heart attack or a fatal car accident tonight on their way home (no matter how many children they have) because at that point, you don’t care about anything else but the idea of getting rid of them. So teams need to disappear.
We are not socially apt enough to work in harmony with others; we are more prone to fight and alienate everyone. So workers need to be separated, you should never find a floor shared by 6, 12, 20 or even 40 people. Even cubicles would not do. You would really need to not be able to see your colleagues. In fact, it would be great if you never knew they existed.
So either you provide all your employees with separate offices, no matter how important or useless their job is, or you get them to work from home. We all have computers now with internet connections. Whatever can be done from home, should be done from home. No question about it. You’re less likely to alienate a whole office and get sacked or get your colleagues sacked if you’re working from home. It would, in the process, solve many, many, many other problems. No more commuting in trains or cars, hours wasted in transport, draining the energy of your employees. Traffic problems and train congestion, and parking situation? All that solved. And what about how much money you would save from not needing so much office space?
When I was young, I dreamt of working from home. I read everywhere that soon we would all be working from home. Somehow it never happened. I know no one who works from home, even though all the people I know already have all the equipment necessary to do so. Trains are still packed and congestion charged in central London had to be implemented. Now London is a fortress and is totally unreachable. To go to Central London today to work, you would need to be a millionaire and a maniac.
150,000 young professionals leave Central London every year because they cannot stand it anymore. And they’re not simply going to work from home. They’ve had enough; they abandoned their great career in finance. They are gone to grow carrots in the countryside. God knows what happened to them. Maybe they just went back to their parents who were lucky enough to have bought a huge house at a time when houses were actually affordable, and who are now living out of disproportionate pensions that those young professionals could never hope to have one day. They can’t even afford a house or an apartment.
See how cynical I am? This world made me, this is my generation, completely alienated, terrorised, ready for the big crunch at any time. With nothing to lose, well, you can expect anything at any moment; we no longer care.
All right, so working from home would solve the first problem of work. The second one is management. This obsession with authority, supervision, competition, people constantly checking on others, telling them what to do every minute of the day, micromanagement, starting to freak out or panic if we are five minutes late or went to the toilet for too long. All this needs to end. Measuring the results of an employee’s work not by the time they have worked on it but by how much they have done whilst at home is a solution.
Management never ends, you have a Line Manager, a Main Manager, another few Managers in between who can all control you as well, a Director, sometimes an Assistant Director (and dear me, if you have an Assistant Manager, you might as well shoot yourself right now), another bigger Director, VP, perhaps even a few more, and then ultimately a boss, General Manager, Managing Director, President, owner, whatever.
So what do you do, yourself, when you are at the bottom of this hierarchy or even if you are stuck in middle management, with a person or two to supervise? You are a slave, you cannot be anything else. You have more people telling you what to do, and double checking that you are doing it correctly than there are actually people doing anything. And since all these meetings and talks and checking up take most of your time, in the end no one is really doing any work. No productivity whatsoever. The downward spiral of the corporate hierarchy.
We are all way too absorbed into management games to work. It has become our whole existence. So much so, that when we return home, we cannot think about anything else but work. We cannot do anything else but think about these mind games. Perhaps we may even work at home in the evening, as I did so many nights before, as it is the only way to actually do any work, free from the corporate structure. So the society of leisure was a utopia.
How do we solve the growing problem of management? A few decades ago it seemed all promising. New books on the market came out and suddenly we were all going to have a new management style, a soft touch, a human side to management, understanding and all. Work would become a happy place, and as a direct consequence, a more productive place.
It never materialised. Management works with Personnel and HR departments, collecting information about you, to eventually get you sacked. And they succeed big time, working against you all the time. This is all we can think about. I can’t see this changing any time soon. Production and results are, as a direct consequence, quickly reaching zero.
You cannot motivate a suicidal employee or one you could so easily tip over the edge by simply saying that he or she cannot take a day off in the next two weeks. That employee is already dead, and certainly unproductive. Counterproductive most likely, moaning all day long to anyone still willing to hear that bull.
If I were paid on how much work I do instead of how many hours I do, unsupervised, I’m sure I would be much more productive and motivated. The harder I would work, the more money I would make. Simple idea, and yet, it has never caught on. They decided instead to pay me by the hours and use the whip to make me work harder. That leads to neuroses, depression, lack of loyalty, a frank desire to sabotage the organisation I’m working for.
If I didn’t have so many people to deal with, if there was not so much pressure on my shoulders, if I were given the possibility to do my job, I actually might be able to do it. I didn’t say I would enjoy it, but at least I could do it. So less management would be an idea. Fewer meetings. Fewer reports. You should find other ways to measure my work, ensure that I do it, without having to threaten me or send me off the wall. Micro-managing us the way you do is a bad idea.
The thing is, what these managers don’t understand, is how humiliating it is for us to be told anything. The smallest comment has such a huge impact on us, the smallest sentence rings in our ears and will be repeated in our minds for at least 12 hours afterwards. We are all trapped in time loops and we cannot help it. Anger builds up so quickly that anything could ignite the little ticking time bombs we have all become in the work environment.
How do you get rid of management and still ensure that the job gets done? You should pay by the work your employees do, not by the hour. If one lazy bastard doesn’t want to do anything, he or she simply won’t get paid. If what he or she did is not good enough, find a way to make that person understand it without igniting the ticking time bomb. Surely there are ways, besides sending us all to the asylum.
At the very least, avoid having any management talking to him or her. The less verbal contact you have with your employees, the better they will feel. Send a nice memo, accompanied with flowers and a box of chocolate. You get the gist, use kid gloves. We all desperately require it, and expect it.
If I never had to speak to any manager or director or boss ever again, I would be beyond pleased. And if I never ever had to meet and work with any of my working colleagues ever ever again, I would be doubly beyond pleased. In fact, if I never ever ever ever had to work ever ever ever ever ever again, it would simply be perfect!
Now you understand the worker’s mentality. Any motivation, any way you could invent to motivate positively your employee to achieve anything, is essential. We do not give a f*ck about the millions and billions you dream of. If you so desperately seek them, and depend so desperately on us to get them for you, you will have to get creative, you will have to work for it, and think hard in order for us to work hard to make those millions and billions for you. Slavery is no longer an option. That little tyrant you hired to micromanage everyone, has got to go.
And now you are scandalised by such a statement. What you don’t know is that everyone thinks the same damn thing. We all entertain murderous thoughts about our Line Manager or Line Director, VP, or even the President. And whilst we think of that, we think of little else. So take that under your hat, and make that damn working place a worthy place to work in, a place where someone can actually still have a wish to live.
This article is an excerpt of the book “Destructivism, The Path to Self-Destruction”, written by Roland Michel Tremblay. It is available online for free on his website, it also contains all his previous political articles:
Roland Michel Tremblay is an author with six books published in France. He is a French-Canadian born in 1972 who has been living in London UK for 15 years. He can be contacted at this e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org