The picture above is a crossing for “peatones” (people walking). I think this is an appropriate image for what I’m going to rant and rave about today because “peatones” also (to me at least) kind of implies “laborers.” This word in turn (to some) kind of implies “lower class.” Now…right away let me stop and say that I don’t consider laborers to be lower class. In fact, common laborers are the only people in our or any society that do any work. There are a lot of illusions about “decision makers” doing “work,” but the truth is that’s just a lie perpetuated by rich, fat, lazy jerks who don’t want to actually do anything but enjoy their position in society at the top of the heap.
I have to admit that in my life I’ve never really made a huge effort to advance in society. In case any of you were wondering about the type of mindset that leads one to just grab a back pack and leave America for 10 years, an intolerance to stupidity is a big part of it.
Some people have a great ability to just “go with the flow” and survive within the stupid, hypocritical and oftentimes contradictory belief system of any random community. Actually, I kind of envy those people because they seem to float above the conflict that drives me absolutely crazy. My wife is one of these people. Like anyone, there are things that set her off, but she has an amazing ability to just put up with crap at work and not let it bother her.
I’m a different story there, I tend to go on rampages.
For example, when I first met my wife, we were both working at teachers at a small school in La Molina. During the first couple weeks, we had time to prepare our classes, write our exams, etc., before the students started showing up.
So there I was diligently writing up tests and assignments when the “English coordinator” approached me and asked me to make an excel spreadsheet for grading purposes.
Ok, I thought, and I set about designing this awesome spreadsheet with weighted columns and everything laid out all perfectly.
So I turned in this spreadsheet, and the coordinator said that they’d changed the format without telling me so I had to redo it.
Well, I thought, I was new at this school so I figure I’d just make a good impression and set to work again. Mind you, the time I spent wasting on this stupid spreadsheet was time I couldn’t work on my assignments and lectures…but it was all in the name of being part of the “teaching community.”
So I finished the spreadsheet and turned it in again and WHOOPS, they’d just changed everything, so they sent me back to the drawing board.
So I went, but this time I was irritated. And when I brought in my fourth spreadsheet and they told me that they’d redesigned everything, I finally lost it and told them that they were wasting everybody’s time and they could just come and see me when they had it figured out and finalized and I’d do it then.
Well, they were totally surprised by this reaction, because in any office setting when you’re not wanted they just expect you to tolerate mistreatment and continue to jump to their beck and call instead of pointing out the obvious. So then the obvious necessary thing was to sit down with me and have a bunch of “rational productive discussions” in which they told me to be more “adaptive to their way of doing things” since I was the new person and I hadn’t figured out their system yet.
Apparently they thought I was going to submit to a little bit of pressure which was their mistake because I reiterated my point that they needed to get organized and stop wasting my time and the school’s money and we could all go and talk to the head director if they wanted to (both they and I knew damn well that the head director was on my side).
Their eyes got wide and they didn’t know what to do with this. You see, at that school, they were technically the “supervisor” and I was the “supervised” but I essentially told them I wasn’t going to submit to any kind of stupidity and that I was, in effect, going to “supervise” them.
I think it’s good to turn the tables on authoritative relationships like this frequently. Too often, people get power drunk on their positions, but the way I see it, if anybody’s “evaluating” you, you’re doing yourself a disservice if you aren’t also “evaluating” them. For example, in college, I used to have the mentality that the professors were evaluating themselves by the grade they gave me. Either they did the right thing and gave me an “A” or they proved themselves to be a prejudiced idiot. I had this attitude because I knew that I worked darn hard, attended every lecture, and diligently did every assignment. In short, I was already on board with the program, and any decent evaluator should have been able to see that. The problem is when you get some imbecile who thinks they have to “earn their salary” and find a problem even when one doesn’t exist.
I guess the real problem is that when a person whose job it is to evaluate you recognizes that you’re better at the job than they are, they start getting worried that you might take their position (so they begin to sabotage you).
At the school, the result of the conflict was that I simply stopped doing the idiotic things that the supervisors asked of me, which led to tension of course. But the supervisors pretty much kept it away from the school’s directors because, like I said, the directors were on my side.
Now, in that same position, my wife would have just kept making the spreadsheets until they stopped pestering her.
The end result of all this, is that I’m more inclined to get a job at a damn gas station or something where I can just put in my 8 for minimum wage and then try to double it in the stock market, rather than endure the bullshit, non-productive politics of some “more stylish” job just so I can earn a larger salary. I wouldn’t necessarily say that I have a “confrontational” personality. But I’m just not going to jump to some obviously redundant/inefficient task just because the person who tells me to is some kind of authority figure.
I’m sure there are psychologists in various parts of the world that could sit there and tell me how wrong my position is. But the thing they don’t realize is that psychology is pseudo-science so none of their conclusions mean a damn thing either.
Could it be that society needs a massive population that will do whatever it’s told without questioning anything to even function? Honestly, I think the whole “celebration of obedience” motif that seems to form everything (and which stems from religion) has to get thrown out the window before the human race can take the next logical step in its development.