torture in the workplace

There are two news stories that I feel compelled to pass along this evening. One involves a Provo, Utah-based “coaching” company that’s recently been accused of using waterboarding to motivate its sales staff. The other involves a man in DC who just had a friend fire a bullet through his arm so that he could get out of going to work for a few days. I know they’re just two very small data points, but I think they illustrate pretty well this brutal trend we’re seeing in the evolution of corporate America. Business has people over a barrel, and they’re not letting up. I’ve said it before, but, at the rate we’re going, not only will we lose the 40-hour work week, but we’ll have kids back in coal mines in another decade. Sure, most companies aren’t waterboarding their employees yet, but there’s no denying that working men and women are being pushed to their physical and mental breaking points… Coincidentally, the “New York Times” in an article today poses the question — has business gone “from lean to mean”? I’d say, Yes.

[This post was brought to you by Barack Obama, who went into to Texas yesterday and did the unthinkable… He reminded people that homophobia isn’t Christian. And he earned my support in the process.]

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  1. Corp Tech
    Posted March 3, 2008 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    The corporation as a legal entity has rights and privileges far superior to those of mere American voters. And these corporations are consolidating those powers. The corporation is a modern day slaveholder. Make no mistake about it. We think that we’re in control, but we’re not.

  2. Neal
    Posted March 3, 2008 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    The man who had himself shot didn’t just hate his job. According to the article, he also wanted to avoid his drug test.

    If only he knew that he could buy clean pee on the internet.

  3. Old Paint
    Posted March 3, 2008 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    I can strip old paint with my pee.

  4. Ol' E Cross
    Posted March 3, 2008 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

    In the first week of my last job, I was standing at the urinal when a pubic hair came loose. Impulsively, I pressed it to the wall and it stuck (commence speculation on OEC’s personal hygiene, it’s likely accurate).

    In truth, it stuck for more than three-and-a-half years.

    It became my closest companion. My work buddy. During those years, I would daily stand at the urinal, saying to myself, “If that little pube can hang in there, so can I.” At times, I would find myself gazing in solidarity with my pube so intently that I, all too late, would realize I was peeing on the floor.

    During these years, I also often fantasized about running into a light pole for a day off work, and I walked to work. (I wasn’t on drugs, though maybe I should’ve been.)

    In 2007, I returned to work, post New Year’s, to find my pube had fallen. Some months later, I became willingly unemployed. My wife had been offered more income, and we couldn’t imagine how to spend the excess we’d receive if we both worked forty hours. Frankly, I’d been working for health care and we were sick of being health care’s hostage.

    We’ve already lost the forty-hour work week. For most American families, it’s now a dual-income 80 or more with good-night kisses for kids we barely know. For what? For health care? For multiple cars, multiple cell-phones, cable and square footage? For a few scraps from a 401k and any number of things that our species has existed without for most of history?

    We’re the system that’s destroying us. We’re our own victims. I’m still struggling with existing in our current ecosystem with my current lack of fun money, but, if I go back to a job like the one I left for a few more evenings at TGIFs, please, some kind reader, shoot me.

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