Hiccuping the Corporate Ladder by meeks
April 25, 2012, 8:56 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

On the moon, without an atmosphere or other travelers a footprint can last years, even decades. Wandering and wondering around the busy metropolis of Seattle, I know that any trace physical of my footprints will be swept over almost immediately.

At least there will always be the internet, where people just don’t know your name but probably also you date of birth, IP address, your exact location, social security number, shopping habits, parents maiden name, the next vacation you are planning. Don’t believe me? try it. 

Scene: My boss calls me into her office.


‘How is your affidavit filing project going?’ she deadpanned.

Considering that she had hardly talked to me at all the previous week, I was cagey trying to weave this open-ended question into a series knots until I could gather more information as to her intentions.

‘Well, I have been discussing scanning options with Bob, and he wants everything for the ALT files in alphabetical order, but just the ALT files…the non-ALT files have a different scanning protocol. I will have to reference Christian…’

‘Well, I am not sure if you have looked over our internet policy….’ She graciously cut me off. ‘But we monitor your computer activity and you were doing a lot of browsing yesterday afternoon. We will have to ask you to just use break and lunch time for the internet. We pay good money for our temps….’

I felt rush of feelings- naked, vulnerable, and most of all phony saying one thing and unequivocally having done another – all while emoting nothing.


Looking back, I believe my separation of action and intention stemmed from my own ambivalence towards the job. Some part of me when entering the corporate world still felt a need to ‘stick it to the man.’ To prove to myself that I’m not really part of the system, I felt a need to put one over on the man.

Experiences like these that round ideas into humans maybe is part of the maturation process how most people evolve from fiery teenagers to staid adults. I now realize that the man that I was really putting one over on were the people that trusted and vouched that I was a capable worker- my temp coordinator Pat with whom I bonded over going to college in Minnesota, and my roommate who also works in the accounting department to name a few.

Regional’s monitoring process could have been a lot more extensive. A friend of mine works at a company where he completes the same kind of mind numbing 3rd grader work that I do. He is subjected to weekly productivity meetings in which his quotas are digitally recorded and compared to his peers as well as to his previous weekly output. I will leave Regional Accounting still believing that technology is neutral; people are the ones to implement the morality and that my bosses are really not that bad.


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That’s pretty intense. I like your observation of how experiences like this are what turn people into “staid adults.” I’m terrified of undergoing that transformation and I hope I can stay away from jobs that require it for as long as possible. Of course, I think there’s just a healthy amount of fear and insecurity on my part over the responsibility and professionalism required in many jobs.

Comment by Andy Shenk

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