Thursday, July 14, 2005

Slogging away in hi-tech hell

I have been swamped, positively swamped these past few weeks. Being the only one in my office who does what I do can have its perks (such as surviving three rounds of firings in the years that I've been here), but there are also drawbacks (such as being forced to work at a frantic pace in order to meet impossible deadlines made even worse by unexpected projects thrown my way, as has been the case lately). My brain has been sucked dry due to what seems to be the misguided belief that I'm some kind of magician and can do an infinite number of projects in a limited time period. As such, I've been unable to focus on blogging, which I'd much rather be doing than all of these asinine, thankless projects put together. "He" has also been otherwise occupied, though with much happier things (which he may or may not choose to share with you), which is why between the two of us, we haven't been able to get a decent (or any, for that matter) entry posted lately.

Of course, it doesn't help that the person who owns my ass in the office (due to the last unfortunate wave of firings, forcing my beloved former boss to seek out new - and hopefully greener - pastures) seemingly has no grasp of the knowledge-based aspects of my job, and thus chooses to focus on trivial issues where input is normally not required, nor is it especially welcome, given that it often clashes with the way I believe that something should be done. Never an easy situation to be in, and due to this individual's reputation as a serious ballbuster, I usually opt not to argue, having reached the point where I simply don't care anymore. I do, however, take solace in the fact that said boss has the same effect on everyone (even those not under direct command), and thus I'm not the only target.

In an ideal world, I would be a "real" writer, being paid to stir up people's emotions. Instead, I find myself stuck in "Dilbert" World, where the brilliantly created works of Scott Adams often so closely reflect the daily goings on around here that I often wonder which cube Mr Adams sits in. Aah, yes, the joys of hi-tech, where in exchange for being paid a decent salary (though I know for a fact that I could probably do better elsewhere), you are expected to give up all extracurricular thoughts and activities, and dedicate your life to your masters, erm, I mean, bosses.

I am burned out, tired. What kind of world are we living in if freakish amounts of overtime receive high praise, while leaving on time is frowned upon? Is it so incredible to want to get home at a reasonable hour, to want to spend time with one's family? I look around at my colleagues and friends, many of whom have small children, and wonder how many of them actually see their children awake during the week. I come into the office in the morning and check my emails, noticing that some were sent during the wee hours of the morning - 2am, 3am, etc. - times when normal people would be asleep, or at least in pursuit of something far more pleasurable than writing error messages. What happened to the good old days, when people worked from 8am to 4pm, leaving them with less take-home pay, but certainly more quality time for other pursuits? Okay, I suppose this still holds true in the public sector, thanks to Amir Peretz and his cronies in the Histadrut, but for most of us working stiffs, the idea of getting home during daylight hours is nothing but a dream.

Admittedly, I am not a big fan of the French, but I must admit, their approach to work (35 hour work week, isn't it?) suits me to a T. Parts of Scandinavia as well, where they work less hours during the Summer (and even regular full-time hours are quite reasonable), and receive six weeks of vacation time per year (I receive just over half of that, after nearly five years in the company), not too mention all sorts of interesting little holidays sprinkled about the calendar. Say what you will about the Europeans, but it seems, at least with respect to work ethics, that they've got their priorities straight. Now if only they would do something about their cowardly pansy attitude regarding the militant Muslims in their midst, we'd be all set.

1 comment:

Nicole said...

poor you :-(
Of course, you could write an email before you leave each day and set it up to only send at 1 AM - and so make people think you are working later too (or does that only work in a company big enough that people don't actually notice until what time you are at your desk?)