Uddrag fra Bullshit Jobs: historien om Eric

02.04.2023 | antropologi

Jeg er ved at læse Bullshit jobs af David Graeber. I den er der en del beretninger fra arbejdslivet - altså hvor meningsløst det kan være. En af de beretninger er fra Eric der har fået det job at implementere og vedligeholde et it-system:

I should have realized that this was one partner's idea that no one else actually wanted to implement. Why else would they be paying a twenty-one-year-old history graduate with no IT experience to do this? They'd bought the cheapest software they could find, from a bunch of absolute crooks, so it was buggy, prone to crashing, and looked like a Windows 3.1 screen saver. The entire workforce was paranoid that it was designed to monitor their productivity, record their keystrokes, or frag that they were torrenting porn on the company internet, and so they wanted nothing to do with it. As I had absolutely no background in coding or software development, there was very little I could do to improve the thing, so I was basically tasked with selling and managing a badly functioning, unwanted turd. After a few months, I realized that there was very little for me to do at all most days, aside from answer a few queries from confused designers wanting to know how to upload a file, or search for someone's email on the address book.

Eric begynder at gøre oprør (jeg er specielt vild med at han får lønforhøjelse hver gang han forsøger at flygte - hvor rædselsfuldt må det ikke være):

I started arriving late and leaving early. I extended the company policy of "a pint on Friday lunchtime" into "pints every lunchtime". I read novels at my desk. I went out for lunchtime walks that lasted three hours. I almost perfected my french reading ability, sitting with my shoes off with a copy of Le Monde and a Petit Robert. I tried to quit, but the boss offered me a £2600 raise, which I reluctantly accepted. They needed me precisely because I didn't have the skills to implement something that they didn't want to implement, and they were willing to pay to keep me. (Perhaps one could paraphrase Marx's Economic and Philosophical Manuscript of 1844 here: to forestall their fears of alienation from their own labor, they had to sacrifice me up to a greater alienation from potential human growth).

Stakkels Erics situation bliver værre og værre:

A colleague from the Edinburgh office, to whom I had poured out my woes when drunk at the annual general meeting, started to arrange phony meetings with me, once on a golf course near Glen-eagles, me hacking at the turf in borrowed golf shoes two sizes too large. After getting away with that, I started arranging fictional meetings with people in the London office. The firm would put me up in a nicotine-coated room in St. Athans in Bloomsbury, and I would meet old London friends for some good old-fashioned all-day drinking in Soho pubs, which often turned into all-night drinking in Shoreditch. More than once, I returned to my office the following Monday in last Wednesday's work shirt. I'd long since stopped shaving, and by this point, my hair looked like it was robbed from a Zeppelin roadie. I tried on two more occasions to quit, but both times my boss offered me more cash. By the end, I was being paid a stupid sum for a job that, at most, involved me answering the phone twice a day. I eventually broke down on the platform of Bristol Temple Meads train station one late summer's afternoon. I'd alway fancied seeing Bristol, and so I decided to "visit" the Bristol office to look at "user take-ups". I actually spent three days taking MDMA at an anarcho-syndicalist house party in St. Pauls, and the dissociative comedown made me realize how profoundly upsetting it was to live in a state of utterly purposelessness.

Det ender lykkeligt for Eric. Han bliver til sidst udskiftet af en yngre udvikler. Spørgsmålet er om han får varige mén. Han kommenterer selv på at det burde være et drømmejob - ikke at lave en skid og få en god løn for det. Men meningsløshed er åbenbart ikke en god løn værd.

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