Wednesday, February 25, 2015
The Work World is Run By Narcissists!
I haven't worked in years but I am noticing as an outsider the job world is getting meaner and meaner. As a Christian I should expect this as the world descends more into the abyss, but this one is hitting home and has and it's tough. There's too many people I know who have been thrown into poverty seemingly for no reason but that the sharks won't let them in the pool. The lines of people with extensive degrees taking orders to grill hamburgers and clean toilets are long and sad. The work world is becoming a cold hard place. Some may say "Sure what do you know, you haven't been in it for years"! My flying monkey cousin via my mother thinks I am laying about eating bonbons, she can trade bodies with me anytime. I'll go work her factory job rather then putting up with what I put up with in this body.
Friends suffer from cruel bosses and of course I saw what my poor husband was put through. Honestly the narcs and sociopaths are rising through the ranks. Do any of you think they are all the ones in charge now? With the "right to work" crap, more like "right to be fired" every serf in America knows they can be fired in a heart beat. Boss had a bad hair day? Out you go! Told a coworker during a political debate in the break room, that you don't want the cultural marxist who wears nothing but ugly pants suits as a president in 2016? Told another you think both parties suck? Out you go! 10 minutes late because the bus showed up late? Out you go! Jobs have become even more unforgiving.
They convinced the right wing to throw out unions, so now the only system where one could demand some things like a decent wages and hours are gone. Sure some became corrupt, but the money-masters sure pulled that one over fast. That's why wages are the same as in 1999 for many jobs. I made 11.00 an hour as a residential counselor during my last year in the mid 1990s. This would be a good wage in some areas but not where I lived at the time. Residential counselors now make 8.00 an hour. Newspapers still want to pay reporters around 25,000 a year.
They could outsource jobs to their heart's content and hire only people from overseas as Gen X and the millennials saw their ambitions collapse. Woe to us with narcissistic parents who had great 9-5 jobs just from showing up and a guaranteed suburban house. They saw our failures as personal rather then systemic.
Everything is about weeding people out. Some of the narcissist inspired love their power to deny opportunity at the flick of a wrist. Why are some let in the door and not others? I almost became a middle school art teacher in 1993 but was told my lungs were too far gone and failed the medical exam. This experience was replicated twice with a mighty dosage of reluctance too for my then low to mid 200s body. Thus started my descent into poverty. This was one reason I went to school to become a paralegal because I knew my health was going down hill, was anyone going to hire a big fat paralegal? I just wanted to do paperwork in a back office. I think I would have been good at it, if my body hadn't further imploded, but I see the long list of employers shutting the door in my face away from the good jobs, as a puzzle piece in my descent into life long disability and poverty.
So watching what happened to my husband was hell on earth. He worked the 14-16 hour days, and still got tossed away, even with great writing skills. What does a person do then? Even if he has his quirks, does that mean someone is now supposed to starve? He mulls about the piece-meal freelance slave factory and that is exactly what it is. He used to be a newspaper assistant editor. Some may so wonder you two are poor, newspapers went the way of buggy whips, but what of the other copy ad writer job where the resident sociopaths felt no compunction about uprooting people's lives and firing a spinning door of people? We counted 7 ads for his position after he was let go within a very short period of time.
The work world always seemed a mystery to me. Back stabbing ruled as the office narcissists gossiped the day away. It seemed the people actually getting any work done were few in number. There were more discussions about what clothes everyone was wearing then any actual emphasis on the job at hand. As an Aspie, I realized how much of the work world was not based on actually making or doing anything outside of my stints of being a soup and salad cook and art teacher but on "busy work" and "workbooks" for adults. These were the worse aspects of school revisited. I suppose Common Core will put the final nail in the coffin as they make even 2+2 impossible to understand among the nation's youth. Common Core honestly is "busy work" and bureaucrats screwing things up for kids. They make add 10 steps to an otherwise simple math problem.
I noticed things were mean at jobs. While a nice boss popped up here and there, they were far rarer. I had this person who even achieved MENTOR status in my mind for a few years when I was an art teacher at a juvenile home, and a nice Arby's boss took pity on my growing health issues. These were the exception to the rule though, many of the bosses were just flat out mean.
While in school one gets a mean teacher here and there, most professors are accommodating and nice, the bosses often weren't. I learned to avoid many of them to avoid write-ups or being yelled at for "saying the wrong thing" the latter often a special abuse for Aspies, especially for me who was in over her social head while trying to keep 12 violent and mentally ill youths from committing suicide or killing each other for 12-14 hours a day. I will say this, no one jumped me unlike each and every one of my co-workers, and there were no great tragedies that required an ambulance, though one time I needed the cops there pronto. Unlike other coworkers I avoided being pushed down the stairs, beaten to a pulp, bitten on the wrist or locked in a closet.
I know with the narc parents, I had learned to fear authority. Too many were there to destroy my life and not help me. While oddly I had a bond with some teachers and professors that was the opposite of this, with work bosses, I was always shaking in my boots. It brought out the hammer from some of the most predatory ones. I was the agreeable sort of employee, I would sign up for overtime, and try to keep my nose clean and often just wanted to be left alone, but some of course didn't give me that peace. With the health deteriorating, fear set in.
My bad health problems aside, the mystery of some getting in the door while others don't befuddles me. How do some have simple lives with guaranteed jobs that pay enough for a decent life. How did they manage it.
I think of the secure lives more people used to have with jobs that would actually last. We are seeing our communities fall apart even from this. The jobs are like merry go rounds, with people jumping off and on. One shocking thing about obits for people in their 70s and 80s plus is they always talk about them having had the same job for 25 years plus. My husband tried various government jobs including apply for the post office when his legs were not yet a problem. So many slammed doors. So many unlived lives. They tell us in America we supposedly have endless choices but really for most of us our fate has been determined by various bean counters behind desks. The job world is like the Lotto, and the entrance fees are perfect health, a good body, a decent car--no broken windshield and not being too old, and more and more a conformist personality that doesn't offend anyone. I often thought "What if I had gotten the good non-grant based school district art teaching job?" One thing about me, I believe I was a good art teacher even if my time in the field was short.
Connections really help. Almost everyone I know who has gotten a good job had a family or other connection getting them in the door. Skills help too, but even there I have seen the highly skilled left in the dust. If you have rare computer skills you can write your ticket it seems, but not all of us have those aptitudes. It is scary to be 40 something, well 50 something in husbands case and to end up in the poverty world. Me because of my health and him because of being "thrown away" in the work world to the point of extreme disheartenment. I look back and have my regrets. I think of things like "life skills" and "how does one make REAL money that can change a life" and trying to help improve things but I am beyond stumped. He sold books on ebay last week and I got a 10 dollar gift card from taking a survey. I try to do what I can to survive.
I had my days of tears and regrets too over the art ed choice, but have forgiven myself for that, it was something I was good and interested in. I have done volunteer things related to it as late as 2013 when I did an art therapy presentation. I was not a businesswoman type nor the type to ascend in a corporation.
And speaking of corporations, I have noted more and more there seems to be a corporate personality. I live in a town that is kind of a "company town", and one can almost tell who works there. They all seem to have these personalities, I do not get. More cold? Very rigid? That is what I have seen. The few good people inside look scared and repressed. Corporate people are all told to dress "professional" ie all the same. I feel like everyone who works at "Widget Corporation" [my made up name] are all in a cult. It's like an Amish guy with his hat and certain look, they all have it too. Some make an easy 6 figures with job titles I don't even understand, innovation directors, risk analysts, lead analysts. What do these people exactly do?
Innovation seems to be beaten out of our society with a business world that considers creatives unless they are independently wealthy multimillionaires like they are poison. I know of one company that hires computer gifted Aspies in the entire nation, but most Aspies even the ones with high IQs are floundering in forever underemployment or underemployment, lacking the skills and ability to conform to even manage to get a job. Why are things like this? How come there are no bosses who hire differently outside of the resume system? Socially in the job world, the straight A nerds unless they are computer gifted or get themselves into science fail. Aspies who fail to connect often fail to find secure employment.
I am not up to working but disabled people have noticed there are no job programs for them anymore outside of the set ups for the developmentally disabled. If you are disabled, the job programs simply aren't there, or you are forced to compete with the healthy who are always chosen over you to keep the health care insurance costs down. Vocational rehabilitation counselors throw up their hands or suggest fields that you can get a job in, like residential counseling because no one else wants to do it.
I still cringe wondering if the timing of me going on my husband's supplemental insurance, was the reason for his toss-out at the last job. It may be the reason why he had a good evaluation and all of a sudden they changed their mind and did the "you are not a good fit" song and dance. That's the song and dance that allows them to legally discriminate to their heart's content and there isn't one thing you can do about it. The lawyers would laugh at you, how could you prove it? Your economic life is bombed at the hand of an uncaring narcissist.
I don't agree with Bob Black on everything, but he nails down the terrible way that many employees are treated.
"And so it is, although it is nothing but a description of the modern workplace. The liberals and conservatives and libertarians who lament totalitarianism are phonies and hypocrites. There is more freedom in any moderately deStalinized dictatorship than there is in the ordinary American workplace. You find the same sort of hierarchy and discipline in an office or factory as you do in a prison or monastery. In fact, as Foucault and others have shown, prisons and factories came in at about the same time, and their operators consciously borrowed from each other's control techniques. A worker is a par-time slave. The boss says when to show up, when to leave, and what to do in the meantime. He tells you how much work to do and how fast. He is free to carry his control to humiliating extremes, regulating, if he feels like it, the clothes you wear or how often you go to the bathroom. With a few exceptions he can fire you for any reason, or no reason. He has you spied on by snitches and supervisors, he amasses a dossier on every employee. Talking back is called "insubordination," just as if a worker is a naughty child, and it not only gets you fired, it disqualifies you for unemployment compensation. Without necessarily endorsing it for them either, it is noteworthy that children at home and in school receive much the same treatment, justified in their case by their supposed immaturity. What does this say about their parents and teachers who work?"
I worked at Toy's R Us one summer when I was around 18 or 19 where they literally patted us down at the door and made us open up our purses treating us like would be thieves. I think of the abuses at other jobs--at one I discovered my secret dossier in the bosses desk while looking for a stapler, a hand full of write-ups they never showed me. Some bosses seemed to think working 70 hours a week was to be expected. One complained about me losing my hair and my clothes being too old. I remember my IBS up in the bathroom, being yelled at for taking too long during a 16 hour shift. At one job I got accused of smoking in the bathroom, something that would automatically kill me, and caught an assistant manager sneaking a ten out of my cashier drawer. I had no choice but to quit there.
Many jobs seemed to be continuations of my abusive childhood. While every now and then you were left alone, many places you were not. The bullies of my elementary school paled compared to the bullies awaiting me in the workplace who always had a smile on their face and daggars behind their back. These types had to create drama and stress for their own entertainment. As an Aspie, I had to cloak too, hide all stims and "fake" the small talk and smiles. I knew if I didn't my new home would be a gutter in the street but this took a toll too. It gets tiring to cloak to survive as an Aspie in a neurotypical world.
I think of my long list of jobs, sometimes 3 and 4 jobs overlapped with another. The norm for me was having two jobs just to keep a room and a car running. There was a period of time I had 4 jobs at once. Some of these were summer jobs too in between or even during college semesters. I dug up work anywhere and anywhere, even working as a temp childcare worker during a college Christmas vacation.
Salad and soup cook/salad girl--2 different restaurants after one went out of business-high school and college
Dorm Cafeteria worker--cook, check-ins, sandwich maker
Substitute teacher K-12/some long term assignments/special ed
Home health aide and housekeeping/temp aide for the disabled
French Fry Maker and Cashier at Arby's
Arts and Crafts director and counselor at Girl Scout Camp
Child care worker
Temp in graphics studio
Temp plastics factory worker--3 month assignments and others
Grant based juvenile home art teacher
Residential counselor for violent and severely emotionally impaired teenage girls
Part time legal secretary [unpaid internships here too in law offices]
Games counter at Toys R Us
It was an extreme challenge to make a living. Even to get a job because of my weight, I had to move heaven and earth. This means for every job I actually got I filled out dozens of resumes. The temp agencies were the bane of my existence, I would have done anything to have a stable factory job even back during those years.
The best jobs were the ones where I was left alone. I still remember the satisfaction that came with concocting salads and making soup from scratch at one restaurant job, a healthier me may have wanted to be a chef in another life. The art teaching job also was very enjoyable even if I had a few Aspie run ins with co-workers out of the classroom. Paperwork in the few office jobs is something I liked doing. Teaching jobs were good in that you ran the show usually on your own. Substitute teaching ranged depending on the school, but working in very rough schools was very tough at times--think "Dangerous Minds" territory here. However the worse thing I remember about the work world was the long list of narcissists and sociopaths making the work experience far more miserable then it should have been. Some jobs I was spared while others it was a nightmare.
Maybe some people out there do find stable jobs they enjoy and where there is less abuse. They don't live life with the sword of economic Damocles hanging over their head. Maybe they find nice kind bosses. I wish my husband had found a mentor instead of the people who seemed to fire people for fun. One of his firings came the week after he even got letters from the community praising him for an article when he was a reporter. Maybe I wouldn't be on the soup kitchen line then.
Something is really wrong with our work world, and it is getting worse. No one is calling it out. The Republicans and libertarians will sing the praises of big business, destroy unions and Ayn Rand stockholming even their socioeconomic challenged followers into accepting political policies that add to their own demise. The Democrats will throw open the borders and praise amnesty ignoring the working class sinking into worse and worse poverty as their love affair with globalism supercedes their own countrymen's needs. They don't care about someone like me. They'd rather hand everything over to the rest of the world. The politicians have only made things worse.
One sees pundits writing nasty little articles about how we should all live in tiny houses and have towns without cars to praise the future descent into poverty with Agenda 21 leading the way. This is all about stripping away the American standard of living. The elites want a reduced life for us all. Some write that stable jobs are in the past and that the young will have to piece together contractual work to stay alive. A disposable workforce is nauseatingly the new norm. One's bills aren't disposable which basically means one will be living on the desperate edge. These are all things that bring them profit but they sell these things to people telling them these are the times now and you are "entitled" to want anything different. Don't be fooled by that crap that Gen X or even the millennials have "entitlement" when they lament not having a job that would actually buy them apartment or allow them a decent life. That is one gaslight going on for the entire society.
Abuse at work is now accepted and a given in an increasingly growing wicked society. No one speaks of an honest day's pay for an honest day's labor. The work world is run like the Lotto and Hunger Games. That's a huge problem. When 90% of the population is scrambling, it's not going to build secure communities. If some of us seek recovery in our personal lives and reject abuse, it should be applied to public life, where some people say no more abuse when it comes to the work world and life on the job!