In order for your CEO to install a new basement in his yacht's garage, he needs more money. He gets that money from you. All those people in that chain from you to your CEO mean nothing. It's a game between the two of you. He wants more money, and you're going to make it for him. You're going to make it by working harder and selling more chestnut ice cream or whatever it is you sell. Or you're going to give it back to him by working fewer hours and therefore getting paid less. Or maybe you're going to just use a rickety ladder by yourself to put up a new sign instead of having the company buy a new one and schedule a second employee to ensure your safety, because it's way cheaper to risk your life than it is to make sure you can do your job properly and safely.
Now, the reason your direct boss is a douche is because he does figure into this financial tree somewhere, in that he gets more money if you produce more money. You never get more money. But your boss probably gets a performance bonus of some kind if your location does better this fiscal year than it did last year. And if the whole region does better, then the regional manager gets a bonus. And so on. So that means pressure goes downhill like a waterfall all onto your poor, drowning carcass.
Or a piss and flush on you, the urinal cake.
So have you ever gone into McDonald's, only to be faced with an employee who's practically drooling and can't figure out if he sells fries or not? It's because that location couldn't keep anyone there long enough to master the full menu. This is the same reason that when you go to Walmart, no one can tell you where anything is: They don't know. Because the company didn't bother to train enough people or even staff enough people day to day to make the experience of shopping there convenient for any customers. Because at ground level, they don't care. Walmart management knows you're going to shop there because they sell everything cheaper than everywhere else, and that's all that ever matters in the long run. Most of us can't afford to shop with our principles, so we'll go to the cheapest, easiest option, even if we hate going there because the employees are either never around or completely untrained buffoons. And the CEO gets his yacht basement.
In a fair and just world, you as an employee would be treated as a valuable individual. In fact, you'd be treated the way the company pretends it treats its employees. We've all had to sit through an employee meeting or read an employee handbook that talks about corporate culture and accountability and how it values its employees as resources. And after working there, you know it's total bullshit. No company will readily admit they're a corporate butthole festering above the squalid toilet of minimum-wage-paying idiocy, but the fact is that many of them are precisely that. So they hire HR and marketing people to paint themselves as responsible corporate citizens who make the world a better place while selling reasonably-priced goods and blah blah get fucked, you 9-5 chucklehead, no one cares about you here.
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"What we've lost in Steve, we've gained in a new coffeemaker for the break room. Now let's hit some quotas!"
Is there a way to escape? Yes and no. Like I said, I quit one day by simply telling my boss I thought he was an asshole and that I didn't need to put up with the never-ending string of dumb shit I was being subjected to. But as I've said, not everyone can do that. You may desperately want to, but can't, and that's how they screw you. That's how your next job will screw you. Because en masse, we let them. We can't do anything but. So until the CEOs become responsible and intelligent and aware, the workforce is probably just going to stay on their hands and knees, praying for a little lube now and then.
For more from Felix, check out 4 Badass Works Of Art That Shouldn't Exist and 6 Worst Kinds Of Sex Partners.
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