Middle Management and Aggressive Mediocrity

First off, I need to apologize for talking too much about my overly dead professional career. But it is dead. I’m not expecting a resurrection anytime soon, unless there’s some talent agent that just so happens to read philosophy blogs.

But I did start a new job. And it really sucks….but not in the way you might think.

Have you ever had a dream where you woke up laughing? Am I the only one that happens to? Perhaps that’s a bad example. We’ve all seen Apocalypse Now, right? About the journey into madness?

That’s what my job is like, minus the Vietnam War and Robert Duvall. But the farther down river you journey, meaning and logic cease to be. What’s left is pure madness. And that is what this company is. They don’t produce anything. They probably don’t even make any money. But the company exists only to drive you insane, much like the nature of war itself.

Only my job is hilarious! I mean, I don’t even know what the hell I do! What kind of company operates like that?

Anyways, the basic organizational structure of this operation brings forth many sociological issues. We’ve all seen that video where that teacher segregates her students by eye color. We all know about the Stanford Experiment. Well imagine a company that does the same thing. Not for any productivity purposes. Just for the hell of it. In fact, the more I think about this, the more I become convinced that this company isn’t real. It’s just a covert study by the government.

Members are segregated by jersey color. Yes, I said jerseys. What function these jerseys serve…I do not know….other than the blue jerseys are the “managers”. I put “managers” in quotations because I never really see these people manage. They just loom in the background and look at Facebook on their phones. One would think that managers would be, you know, older. I’m probably older than all of them. 18 year old kids running around claiming to be a “manager”. But they appear to have been randomly handed a jersey and told to just “act like a boss”. They’re not the ones to fear.

The real pain-in-the-assess are the ones in the dark green jerseys. You are to fear them. I suppose we could call them the “supervisors” or “middle managers”. Again, randomly selected. Their one and only purpose: to hand you papers and be a complete and utter bastard. Don’t look them in the eye or else you’ll get a mean and sarcastic comment. These are the whip-crackers (is that how you say it?). You fuck with them, you are as good as dead (probably literally).

Then there are those in the orange and lime green jerseys: the pee-ons. I wear a lime green one. And once again, everyone is randomly selected. There are at least five within this group that are college educated. One even played D1 college football. But they all do the shit work. But there’s a reason why there are two colors at the lower echelon: to divide us.

The dark green jerseys prey on our weaknesses. They want us to turn on each other. As a lime green, I am told to hate the orange. THEY are the reason why WE can’t get anything accomplished. I imagine that the orange are told the same about us. Occasionally a dark green will whisper into the ear of a tenured lime green-orange: you could have this power! Thus forcing the individual into moral crossroads…tearing apart their soul.

This organizational structure is a representation of our own society: The ruling class ominously watching over us, with their attack dogs keeping the lower class in line. So the evidence is clear. I am working for a poorly constructed and asinine governmental experiment.

But really, fuck those dark green jerseys!

It’s proof that when you give people a little bit of power, they go fucking ape shit. But the real important lesson here is what I like to call aggressive mediocrity. Or aggressively reaching for middle management, or some safe profession, and bemoaning those that don’t strive for the same goals.

It breeds contempt and a false sense of superiority.

We all know someone that’s ‘aggressively mediocre. Perhaps you yourself are suffering from this. I’m not gonna lie: I was aggressively mediocre. As I stated before, I went to college to find safety. I wanted to find the soft middle ground of life, where I would neither be poor or possess any ground shattering responsibilities. And I falsely believed that those that didn’t strive for this were idiotic. This is the great and well-traversed path of aggressive mediocrity.

And the truth is, some people will find success. Perhaps great success. But in our capitalist society (as I’m sure Zizek would tell you), not everyone can be a winner. Some of us HAVE to be losers. And in order to find solace in our doomed fate, this capital machine offers a solution to keep the pain and anger at bay: the middle-management profession.

The ruling class and company executives want YOU to feel like you are making a contribution, that you are a valued member of the team. YOU are making decisions that change people’s lives. They give you the title of manager, but that’s only to disguise the real purpose of your job. You are nothing but a sheep dog, there to nip at the heels of the sheeple, to keep the machine running. But you’ll never be one of THEM. Because to them, you are nothing but a dog.

Look, what do you want out of me?

This job kicks my ass, so it’s extraordinarily difficult for me to write philosophy that will kick your dick off. So my apologies for straying away from philosophy in the last couple of posts. But my ultimate point is this: If you’re going to be a manager (or supervisor), and you work in a high-turnover warehouse, it’s probably not the best strategy to be a dick to your workforce on day 1. Just sayin’.

But more importantly: Don’t be a dick!

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