Tuesday, March 10, 2015
Petty Tyrants in the Workplace - Why Lick Boots for $11 an Hour?
By Mel Carriere
The picture you see above is of my boots, and trust me when I tell you they are not fit for licking. They have been places and stepped in things that should never get close to your tongue, and I would not even lick them in exchange for the $27 per hour plus benefits that I earn at the Post Office. Therefore, it is beyond my comprehension why anyone would stoop and give these dirty old boots a tongue cleaning for a measly $11 per hour, especially without health insurance, which they will definitely need later if they engage in this disgusting and unhealthy act. Surprisingly enough, however, there are people who make a practice out of this, and they are everywhere.
To get extra bucks I sometimes work part time security. Last Thursday my security gig took me to the local shipyard, a place I really don't like to work because there are prying eyes and boot licking lips everywhere, but the mortgage has to get paid one way or another and California ain't cheap. The security supervisor at this place is one of those low budget petty tyrants who seems nice enough on the surface, always sees you off with a friendly "take it easy bro," but behind the scenes breeds a climate of distrust, spying and suspicion where people are encouraged to tattle on their co-workers. He used to do the same thing at another post where he was the boss. I think he gets an extra 50 cents or so per hour for this privilege.
This petty tyrant supervisor has created a host of even pettier tyrants, sub tyrants if you will, whose delusions of grandeur grow even more expansive in inverse proportion to their place in the food chain. Their eagerness to celebrate minor, completely uncompensated victories reaches pathetic proportions the lower they are on the ladder.
This shipyard post actually involves guarding a ship, and I guess I better not give too many details in the interest of national security. When I arrived at the ship on Thursday I was told by a very nice black lady that it was my turn to patrol, so I went ahead and did what she said. After the patrolling was over I then took my turn checking bags on the quarterdeck for an hour.
Enter the pettier tyrant, the boot licking protege of the boot licking supervisor who is just slightly above him in the grand boot-licking hierarchy. When he came aboard I assumed it was my turn to patrol, but he pushed his way past me and said that I was mistaken, that it was his turn. I explained that my feet start to hurt when I stand in one place too long, and I didn't exactly fancy standing there for another hour. Sounds like whining and maybe it is but everybody is supposed to take turns doing everything, in rotation.
To his credit the level two boot-licker let me go ahead and patrol, but later on he took me aside and told me, a little rudely I might add, that he was the shift leader and that the nice lady who had told me to patrol, apparently out of turn, was "messed up in the head," to paraphrase. I get the impression these two don't exactly like another and have had these kind of conflicts in the past. He also informed me he had sent an email protesting all of this to the supervisor boot-licker, next up in the boot-licking chain of command, for what purpose I don't know except to maybe score some boot-licking points so he can remain senior assistant auxiliary substitute shift leader, or whatever his lofty title is.
Ambition is not a completely incomprehensible notion to me. I don't operate this way myself, but I can understand the human desire to make sacrificial victims out of one's companions in return for tangible material benefits. We are animals, after all, and social Darwinism plays a role in governing how we interact with one another. I cannot, however, understand the motivation behind throwing your peers under the bus when all you will get in return is a meaningless title and not even a pay raise from say, $11 to $11.25 per hour.
One of the ways Corporate America controls us working stiffs is by handing out these meaningless little titles instead of handing out more money, knowing that there will always be those who will leap at these bogus honorifics eagerly, like dogs jumping up for a treat. I'm not saying we shouldn't do our jobs honestly, I'm just saying that we don't have to go out of our way to dance to the tune of the boss's secret agenda, especially when the reward we have to look forward to is no health insurance, no pension plan, and wages below the poverty level. Think about it, all you wannabe boot-lickers.
Photo is mine. To satisfy your boot-licking urges feel free to apply your tongue to the image, but I do not advocate or encourage any actual licking of boots.
The combustible mixture used in The Truth Bomb includes a generous portion of java from Starbucks and other corporate coffee conglomerates, and none of this is cheap. Therefore, unless the ads to the right and above complete annoy and offend you, please investigate what my sponsors have to say.