Life Spans and Short Cuts

In Health, humor, SlavesInc, Technology, work life balance on October 29, 2012 at 04:08

Your brow is sweaty, your heart’s a beating and you sense a vague but seldom felt emotion…that of being alive! Maybe it is a mix of adrenaline and testosterone coupled with (shudder) normal blood sugar. You have not exactly jumped out of a plane but in a nine-to-five cityscape, this is the closest you can get to physical exercise.

Walking. That’s right. Plain old walking. On your own two feet. Imagine that. Just like our ancestors who climbed out of the trees.  That is all you have to do for good health is what some ‘experts’ will have you believe. But it also all you can do for good health. Fair trade. But even you know that walking while eating a king size cheese burger is just fooling yourself.

And to think all it took to get you vertical and in a non air-conditioned environment was a series of seemingly unrelated cross-leveraged events, like Cloud Atlas. Powers that be in your galley decided the long term cost of employee insurance would take us all down like the Titanic. Gone are the good old days when you could select your slaves by looking at their dentures and shooting them dead when they were too frail to pick in the fields. Now, you have cover for their medical expenses. What a scam!

WalkOn they call it, for lack of a better name. And quite a pile on it is. Each employee is given a Pedometer, you know, those devices that magically count the number of steps you take. They are kind of like cattle tags except you can harness them on your person without the need for painful piercing in the absence of anesthesia. The cost has probably been claimed as depreciation already. But a lot of pomp is beaten up citing ‘employee engagement’. You have heard the word ‘care’ so many times over the past few weeks; it has begun to sound like something dangerous. They just stopped short of getting Johnny Walker to sponsor it. Something about company policy and alcohol came in the way. It was close.

So if you haven’t got it by now, here is the dough: Fat employees eating up too much insurance-Need to whip them into shape-No time left after insanely long office hours and working on weekends-Gyms too expensive-Simplest way is to make the blobs walk-But they are bound to cheat-So we stick them with cattle tags linked through the magic of GPS to their Slave numbers (employee IDs) and hence their insurance benefits and salary accounts-Wrap this all up in the shiny gift wrapping paper of employee engagement and…

There is one problem. Motivation. Yes, it is in short supply. We can’t give out more green, if anything, we should be giving out less. So you tie it with up with team building-KRA- inter-department-competition hoopla, add weekly updates via mass automated mailing and voila – Healthier Slaves!

It is a modern day miracle.

So on a typical Monday morning, typical meetings begin as such:

Colleague X: Hey, we can’t start, J is not here

HS:  Oh I have put him on…another assignment

Colleague X: You mean the new product? That is a dead end

HS: No-no. This is a very important assignment; he is taking one for the team

You see, walking is a team activity with team goals and you can’t expect to HS to be out walking when there is millions worth of business walking past us. So you agree to do his part of the walking and a little bit more. It is a pain to carry a change of clothes and sneakers. You look like you are going out hunting in the morning and your use of deodorants has increased significantly. But any bit of work-life balance is welcome, random events and ulterior motives be damned.

PS: The Pedometer is not a very smart device; it continues counting even when you take a bus. It gives you a feeling of bastardly smugness, like a Hedge fund manager. But that is not how you were raised.

– J.

  1. Hi Thomas

    Materialism and Corporate greed, that is right up my alley, will surely look it up

    But why is this billed as a debut? I thought you have published before

  2. You’ve got to be kidding me! And here I thought all these programs were based on patriarchal concern for the well being of the slaves.

    Speaking of which, forgive the shameless plug, but I think you might enjoy my book. It’s called Identities and it is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle and the Book Depository as a paperback. E-reader versions are trickling out. Search on Identities Stazyk and you should be able to find it. Here is the blurb from Amazon to give you and idea of what it’s about:

    Thomas Stazyk’s irreverent debut, Identities, objectively explores how individuals’ constructed identities determine their worldview and examines the contemporary issues of materialism, corporate greed, and personal identity with startling clarity.

    Dave Locke just got the call all executives in corporate America dread: the company is going in a different direction, thanks for all of your hard work, but we don’t need you any longer. His sense of self and his place in the world shattered, Dave’s experience and connections quickly land him a role as a senior partner in a management-consulting firm.

    As he settles into his new job, Dave takes a hard look at how narrowly he has defined himself and his life so that the mere loss of a job could be so personally devastating. He is disturbed by the greed, selfishness, and shallowness of some of his fellow partners, clients, and even his own son, Jim, a Wall Street executive. At the same time, thanks to his wife Jill, who is doing meaningful volunteer work with the less privileged, and his younger, rebellious and altruistic son, Alex, he learns to see the world differently.

    Dave evolves a new perspective on life and career, and he decides to change corporate culture and the capitalist system from the inside. A lot of people don’t like change, however, and Dave finds that he has to pick his battles carefully. His mission sets him on an entertaining collision course with entrenched bureaucracies and office politicians as well as his ambitious son. It turns out to be a frustrating and risky business.

    Stazyk’s scathing satire takes aim at materialism and greed with intelligence and humanism, challenging our definitions of success with a fine-tuned understanding of collective behavior. As inspiring as it is insightful, Identities is a thought-provoking commentary that redefines the modern landscape and encourages us to change our world for the better.

    Let me know what you think! Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: