Quotation of the Day for September 17, 2009

“Managers may truly believe that, without their unremitting efforts, all work would quickly grind to a halt. That is not my impression. While I encountered some cynics and plenty of people who had learned to budget their energy, I never met an actual slacker or, for that matter, a drug addict or thief. On the contrary, I was amazed and sometimes saddened by the pride people took in jobs that rewarded them so meagerly, either in wages or in recognition. Often, in fact, these people experienced management as an obstacle to getting the job done as it should be done. Waitresses chafed at managers’ stinginess toward the customers; housecleaners resented the time constraints that sometimes made them cut corners; retail workers wanted the floor to be beautiful, not cluttered with excess stock as management required. Left to themselves, they devised systems of cooperation and work sharing; when there was a crisis, they rose to it. In fact, it was often hard to see what the function of management was, other than to exact obeisance.”

– Barbara Ehrenreich, in Nickel and Dimed.

Submitted by: Chris Doherty
Aug. 25, 2009

(via the Quotation of the Day mailing list).

posted at 10:13 am on Thursday, September 17, 2009 in Personal | Comments (1)

1 Comment

  1. David Brake says:

    On the other hand, check this out:

    Schoneboom, A. (2008) Hiding Out: Creative Resistance among Anonymous Workbloggers.

    Abs: Anonymous workbloggers — employees who write online diaries about their work — are often simultaneously productive workers and savage critics of the organizational cultures in which they toil. Looking at how bloggers indulge their creative and political aspirations while “hiding out” in office jobs, this research assesses the potential of blogging to transcend individualized cynicism and contribute to the critical transformation of work. Broadly surveying media and organizational responses to the workblogging phenomenon, and engaging in ethnographic study of anonymous workbloggers on both sides of the Atlantic, my dissertation explores the relationship between emerging networked technologies and resistance. Considering workers as authors, it documents the diversion of significant creative and intellectual resources away from the labor process. Situating workbloggers within a rich tradition of iconoclastic literary and artistic responses to work, it explores whether embedded writers, in spite of their ambivalence about the alternative, can constitute an effective counter-hegemonic force.

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