Changing Times

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Where did Americans get the assumption that if I work in the same office with other people, they’re automatically bosom buddies entitled to know everything about my life, and entitled to regale me with humorous anecdotes about every detail of their lives?

If I wanted to know about your kid’s Cub Scout dinner last night, I would have asked.  If I wanted you to know the details of my weekend, I would have told you.

Am I a curmudgeon, or is everybody else a gasbag?  Or both?

I asked a friend who said: “Yes, you are a curmudgeon.  The other people are being sociable.  They are assuming (apparently incorrectly) that you are socially engaged with those around you.  It’s a social contract.  When trapped in an elevator or mine shaft or cube farm for 8 hours, you talk a little.  You work in a government bureaucracy, so your social contract requires even more talking, plus loafing, web surfing, coffee drinking and paper shuffling.  There are other rules the social contract.  You are not required to engage in certain topics, for example.  Although that’s where the problems tend to arise these days since under the new and improved version of the social construct you are expected to be diverse, agreeing with the Liberal mantra at every opportunity in your own unique way.  That’s something you’re no good at; hence, the curmudgeon label.  You should work from home making millions in your spare time, I see ads for those jobs every day.”

I suppose he’s right.  Only 13 years until I can retire.

Joe Doakes

I’ve become very thankful that I get to  work from home.

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5 thoughts on “Changing Times

  1. I had the pleasure of working in a dept for several years that was half chinese (a couple from taiwan the other 8 from mainland) and it was a pleasure – they showed up on time in the morning, worked nonstop until lunch, came back from lunch and worked hard til quitting time and since everyone else felt compelled to keep up it was a very quiet and very productive dept. Since the corp believed in sending people off for team building/indoctrination seminars every few months (apparently the chicoms have similar indoctrination regimens) those were the only times that any socializing occurred. It was one of the best jobs I ever had. Going back on the next job to a standard workplace where social validation is job one was very oppressive.

  2. “I’ve become very thankful that I get to work from home.”

    Six years ago, I was forced to re-think my career objectives (nice way of saying I was fired). I will never work in an office again. If you work in an office you run the risk of having to deal with people. People, I now realize, are very flawed.

  3. Well, Big, that is true. I’ve been in my share of bad offices and have also officed at home when I worked for an Oregon based company.

    Funny though, in my current office cube farm, I am surrounded by attractive, smart young women (millennials) that all have a sense of humor. Everyone does their job, but there is some socializing and good natured teasing, that does not send them off to safe spaces.

    Some offices aren’t so bad.

  4. I work alone in a room. All my human interaction is with scientists over a closed circuit television.
    It’s great.

  5. I would think in a week or so people would discover what an a-hole you are and stop talking to you.

    Then you’d probable complain about that.

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