- McJobs and Workers -

You could learn a lot from a Dolly.

Posted by: Gordo ( Bindlestiff Bums, Planet Earth ) on July 31, 1998 at 18:21:01:

In Reply to: ME? white flag? never!! posted by BASE727{mad cow patrol} on July 29, 1998 at 16:00:29:

Come on, people. Let's not exclude the "pro-business" point of
view, and it's a cheap, tired stunt to steal the Dollies' tag. If you
have something to say, say it.

I like the Dollies, and I think they have a lot to show us here,
though I have questions about them. (How many of them are there?
Two? Their use of the pronoun "we" is somewhat confusing - are
they a loving couple? Roommates? Business partners? Which one
of them writes the messages, and shouldn't that person take credit?
Generally "we" is only acceptable for "editors, kings and folks with
tapeworms", as the great working class writer Mark Twain put it.)

They've demonstrated a couple of big problems we have as
working people:

1. We hate each other. At least a lot of us do. Look how
ready we are to describe our fellow workers as lazy, stupid,
shiftless, not giving a shit about anything. If you gave "these
people" (the Dollies' employees) the authority to run things
for themselves, they'd spend all day in the break room with Cokes
in front of the TV. Yes, by God, fast food workers, never trust
them. Lazy bastards, if they had any courage or will power, they'd
find something better for themselves.

And because we think that way about each other:

2. We will take any opportunity to get ahead at the other person's
expense. We will bust heads. We will rat on each other. We will take
that management job, and then heads will roll. Look how fun it is
to catch someone stealing from the till - what a buzz! Look how fun
it is to give those troublemakers the dirty work - that will take
them down a notch! (Dolly, were you beaten up at school? I try
to imagine what would make a person enjoy that sort of thing, and
that's my best guess.)

There's no hint here, of course, that people can be anything
different, or that a lot of this behavior is in fact a defensive
maneuver which people learn in order to cope with having to spend
large parts of their waking lives doing tedious work that barely affords them a living. Laziness and boredom are natural human
responses to performing any activity for too long a period. And
along with the boredom comes the desire to liven things up a bit
by being "bad", just like we did as children. So we steal, take
long breaks, whatever. It's fun, and the consequences are minimal
so long as we're not caught; after all, it's not *OUR* money being

But notice how these beliefs make it harder to imagine any other
way of doing things. A co-operative business that the workers owned
themselves? No, it'd never work - I'd have to trust people. No one
would want to empty the trash. No one would want to mind the counter.
No one wants to do the dirty work. And why would I ever invest *my
money* in something like that, if it wouldn't make money for ME?

The payoff, of course, might come in other ways, like not having
to worry about a whole society of people who have learned that
being brutal, selfish and devious is how you get ahead in life.

Yes, Dollies, most people probably aren't ready to make the
switch yet. Billions of dollars are spent each year on
propaganda telling people that they'd better not even think
about it, it's not cool, it's not sexy, don't waste your time,
go have a beer, go eat, drink, buy new clothes. And if your
franchise does well enough, you can get that sexy new car.

It's amazing anyone thinks differently at all. But a lot of
them do. And they don't need to wait for you to change your
mind before they start taking control of their lives.


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