- McJobs and Workers -

DT could learn a lot from opening its mind

Posted by: Quincunx ( IWW ) on August 02, 1998 at 21:58:34:

In Reply to: You could learn a lot from a Dolly. posted by Gordo on July 31, 1998 at 18:21:01:

G: Come on, people. Let's not exclude the "pro-business" point of
: view,

Qx: Let's not. I agree. It has such a dominant position that even McD's alone spends about 1.8 billion dollars a year to sell their image. It should be fun to calculate the sum of all corporate propaganda and then compare it to the vastly smaller amount spent by activists trying to fight for justice and democracy in the workplace. That's why the IWW and McSpotlight came along.

G: and it's a cheap, tired stunt to steal the Dollies' tag. If you
: have something to say, say it.

Qx: Don't accuse me of it. I wouldn't put it past this composite character going byb the name of Trollie Dollies to do such a thing on behalf of you know who. Look for the Nit Nurse postings dating back to about a ear and a half a go (this website) and it's exchanges with Siamak.

G: I like the Dollies, and I think they have a lot to show us here,

Qx: I bet you do. Perhaps you can collaborate with them on avalanching these debating rooms with pro-capitalist, pro-McDonald's swill.

G: 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.)

Qx: Pretty irrelevent if you ask me. If they really are that sincere they would have fessed up a little ways back.

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

Qx: OK. Go ahead and try selling the image of managerial elites as working people. It's all a part of corporate newspeak featured in so many new managerial theories derived from cross-pollinated and half-baked theories.

G: 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:

Qx: Oooops! I think that tends to be the attitude of many folks who are in managerial (boss) positions.

G: 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
: wasted.

Qx: Not bad for but I would like to see some more light thrown onto the subject of low wages, unsafe working conditions, and the high salaries that McD's executives get for just being at the top of a corporate heap. Care to mention it?

G: 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.

Qx: And that's where the economists will not pay any attention to. after all, it has to show up on the books in monetary terms and the human dimension is externalized.

G: 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.

Qx: Conspicuous consumerism with all the incongruenty is the order of the day. Just last night I saw a program that highlighted the use of Gandhi's image to sell all sorts of ephemeral playtoys and sexy garments. Waking up to this sort of thing is a stepping stone to breaking out of the cookie cutter consumer mold. It'll take time.

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