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Monday, 30 August 2004

personal.jpgIf you aren’t in the mood to lis­ten to me pule like the waste of space I am then you prob­a­bly want to stop read­ing right now. LiveJournal lies ahead.
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Sunday, 29 August 2004

ivanhoe.jpg I fin­ished read­ing Ivanhoe the oth­er day. It was good, sur­pris­ing­ly so. I end­ed up lik­ing the main vil­lain more than any oth­er char­ac­ter.
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Punching the Clock

Friday, 27 August 2004

time-clock.gifTo round off the week on the cor­po­rate theme, here are some emails we have re­ceived for log­ging our hours. The rules are more in­tri­cate than Sharia law. But Don’t Call It A Time Clock.
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Corporate Feudalism

Thursday, 26 August 2004

heraldry.jpgI must’ve picked up the phrase ‘cor­po­rate feu­dal­ism’ some­where, and as I con­tin­ue work­ing as a serf this sit­u­a­tion is con­stant­ly re­in­forced.

Tuesday we were re­quired to at­tend a meet­ing that would ap­par­ent­ly ex­plain how we are com­pen­sat­ed for our work. Not on­ly was it ter­ri­bly thought out and pre­sent­ed, the ob­vi­ous il­lu­sion-work and sta­tis­ti­cal gym­nas­tics on­ly end­ed up re­in­forc­ing that we are on­ly paid enough to max­i­mize prof­its. It is quite dif­fi­cult to ex­plain ex­act­ly what they tried to pull on us with­out show­ing you the pow­er­point pre­sen­ta­tion but I will try.

First, they use da­ta gath­ered from many oth­er cor­po­ra­tions to de­ter­mine pay lev­els and the av­er­age pay for that lev­el. Secondly, they de­ter­mine what the pay range for each lev­el should be. I am lev­el 4 and the range is $25,100 then $31,000 then $38,000 then $46,000. Level 5 pay starts at $28,000 and in­creas­es just about pro­por­tion­al­ly to lev­el 4. Despite be­ing told that my com­pa­ny pays the na­tion­al av­er­age for every­one, it seemed that most peo­ple get paid the bare min­i­mum. It al­so seems to ex­plain why they are so ea­ger to pro­mote peo­ple to a ‘high­er’ pay grade. By keep­ing us at the min­i­mum pay for a grade they are able to give the il­lu­sion of re­ward­ing ex­cel­lence while ac­tu­al­ly sav­ing them­selves some saw­bucks. The les­son here is to refuse pro­mo­tion and its added re­spon­si­bil­i­ties in or­der to make more mon­ey.

Then we learned about rais­es and were shown an­oth­er chart that rates job per­for­mance to the amount of raise we should get for each lev­el of per­for­mance. Since I seem to be ex­ceed­ing ex­pec­ta­tions, I would qual­i­fy for a 3%-5% raise at the end of the year. According to the chart. But then we were told that ‘mer­it in­creas­es’ are lim­it­ed due to the amount that is bud­get­ed for said in­creas­es. Thus, most peo­ple won’t get as much as they de­serve be­cause the peo­ple who de­ter­mine the rais­es haven’t been giv­en enough cash to do so. There are two rea­sons that this makes em­ploy­ees not care about their work. 1) It sends the mes­sage that the high­er high­er-ups choose to lim­it our com­pen­sa­tion com­plete­ly in­de­pen­dent of our skill lev­el and 2) The dif­fer­ence in a raise com­par­ing a be­low av­er­age work­er to an above av­er­age work­er be­comes no more than $50-$100 a year. I’m as­sum­ing, of course, that prof­it mo­tive is sec­ondary to jus­tice.

I call this cor­po­rate feu­dal­ism be­cause, with each year that pass­es, the gap be­tween the vas­sals of the lord and the serfs in­creas­es by the amount that we serfs de­serve pay­ment for but do not re­ceive. Also the corporation/​manor is in­creas­ing­ly be­com­ing re­spon­si­ble for all as­pects of the serf life. The of­fice now of­ten has its own cafe­te­ria, its own day­care, its own health care provider. And we are con­sid­ered skilled la­bor since our jobs ap­par­ent­ly re­quire a col­lege ed­u­ca­tion. As un­skilled la­bor in­creas­ing­ly be­comes au­to­mat­ed or ob­so­lete, those work­ers will be­come a men­di­cant class. I wouldn’t mind this so much if I was more than a serf. Or if there were still prop­er knights need­ed to de­fend the cas­tle in­stead of lawyers and ac­coun­tants.

And I learned the word ‘face-time’ which is when you have no work to do but can’t just leave be­cause you still have to keep track of every 15 minute in­cre­ment of a work­day.

These are the links to oth­er things that I have found re­gard­ing cor­po­rate feu­dal­ism. They are quite lib­er­al­ly par­ti­san, which tends to de­tract from their worth as they end up sound­ing more like whiny rants against con­ser­v­a­tives than any­thing mar­gin­al­ly more in­ter­est­ing.


Etymological Roots

Wednesday, 25 August 2004

indoeuro.jpgI’ve been look­ing for lists of pre­fix­es, suf­fix­es and word roots, and while I’m not find­ing ex­act­ly what I want, I am find­ing some­what in­ter­est­ing tan­gen­tiums.
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Crossroads: A Parafable

Tuesday, 24 August 2004

crossroads.jpgIt hap­pened that three men died at the same time. Since this oc­curred in such a syn­chro­nized man­ner, they de­cid­ed to trav­el to­geth­er to the realm of the dead.
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