Today I have had a crisis of belief. A worker who I have been very critical of his work performance came up for a vote of confidence. I work in a worker owned cooperative. This means we manage ourselves on all levels. We have coordinators which are elected every year so that each department member has a chance to go this type of work. It is meant to be empowering. It also exposes how many people actually want managers or are unable to escape the concept of top down management.
This worker tries to work as little as possible in his and my home department. I do not like this. There are many things I do not like about his work habits. Many times he should receive a notice and he worms out of it. If you receive 3 notices in a 12 month period then you will get a vote of confidence by your home department. This was his 4th one in the 16 years he has been at work. He has had 3 in the last 5 years that I have worked there. This being his latest one (4th one) I figured the department would finally not have confidence in him.
I was wrong. I was very wrong. The majority of the department in attendance voted to have confidence in him. 16 in favor, 4 against and 3 abstaining. Abstaining counts as a no vote. A soft no if you will.
This made me realize 2 things. 1, The department is fine with someone who is a total piece of shit worker as long as they are nice. And nice in a totally fake way. The way of a worm just trying to slime around and not get picked off or stepped on. Work performance doesn't mean anything unless they don't like you and need an excuse to use something of substance against you.
2, I am the odd man out in my feelings and actions. I have been the coordinator secretary for 4 1/2 years. This means I keep track of all the data that the cashiers create. I track it and pass it on to the coordinators so that they can decide what should be done. I have also been the department secretary for 3 years. This means I keep all the minutes of the meetings and run all of the department elections. Both of these jobs require me to care about department and corporate policy more than I should. They have developed me into a bureaucrat which I define as someone who upholds things that they do not believe in or care about.
I want to state, again, that as a worker owned business we manage ourselves. We make the policies, rules, that we use to judge ourselves. We also have the ability to change those rules at any point in a department meeting as long as the majority of the department votes in favor.
I am now left wondering what the point of me working at Rainbow or being in the cashier department is if the department does not really care about judging someone on their work performance and adhering to the policies that we have all agreed to. Like, what is the point? What is the point of me going tomorrow for the CCC meeting and recording the data? What will it really accomplish if we only care if someone is nice? We might as well just have smiley face stickers and gold stars and see who can get the most and use that to see who should have a VOC.
I did come across a great quote in the forward to Alejandro Jodorowsky's The Panic Fables. "The winner is not the one who hits the hardest, but who puts up more resistance," by Luis Spota who was a boxing commissioner in France.
I have been typing all of this while I listen to this audio I made from a dog doing this musical whining. The dog sounded like some kind of middle eastern instrument. I sampled it into a Dr Sample 404 and used the BPM Looper and DJFX Looper effects to warp it into little tone fragments. Its over 12 minutes long and it is good to help me focus and clear my mind out. I'll probably sequence it in a computer to make it a little more coherent/rhythmic. Maybe I will just put it up on my soundcloud page and see what people make of it in it's raw state. I've listened to it 4 times while writing this.