“Sticking it to the Man”
I’m not a very old guy, by most standards I’m still quite young. It’s been 24 years or so since I was born and already I feel aged in at least a few ways (mostly my knees). I’ve worked in 6 different retail environments now: Martial Arts, Food, Toys, Garden, Electronics, and Video Games Community. Each one had a unique set of people that would come in and a unique set of needs that needed to be met.
In the case of Food I worked at Arby’s, I was behind making sandwiches so my work consisted largely of creating a sandwich and passing it to the people making the contact with faces. Arguably this was one of my favorite jobs, however there was one thing that kept me from ever wanting to do it for long term. By the end of the day you reeked of fry grease and meat. It was nauseating to say the least. If they would take care of their employees and install proper ventilation in the work area I think that would be a solid job for any person.
For Martial Arts it was 1 part instructing aid, and 9 parts cleaning up. I still look back fondly on this job even though it depressed me to degrees I cannot full express. The major issue was that 90% of my work was over the time I should have been training. It felt almost planned. They never had me not working during my class time. I was eventually let go because “I looked depressed.” I wonder why.
For Toys I worked at the Navy Exchange, as I did for Garden, and even Electronics. This was interesting because it was entirely to military personal and their families. I learned at that job that I love helping military men and women, but unanimously, I hate Navy Wives. I never met a Navy Husband but I imagine they are just as annoying. These were the most annoying individuals I have met in my entire life, even more so than what I’ll discuss shortly. They seemed to think their position beside someone in the military made them exceptional, I disagreed. (I will note also that the higher the military position the sweeter the individual was to me, if they had a chest covered in medals they’d love to chat about anything with you and never complained about slowness in service).
I also worked Electronics for Circuit City and Best Buy, in the case of CC I went as far as to become a Technician only to be dutifully demoted at Best Buy where I had to direct people to a “Geek Squad” that was less knowledgeable of PC’s than I am. That was mightily depressing in it’s own right. Keeping in mind I’m not a PC wiz by any means, but from experience the average GS agent doesn’t do the work. They hook it up to the internet and it’s outsourced to another state.
My most recent job is Community Management for GamesCampus. I suffer the unfortunate luck of having the word “Manage” in my title, this gives the average person the incorrect view that I’m anything more than a glorified customer service agent. Any policy ideas that I present are murdered and mutilated to such a degree that by the time I see them I am shocked that anyone would attribute them to me. This job is much like my time in Martial Arts, standing on the sidelines watching others while I clean up the mess.
At any rate, I tell all this in a rather disjointed and uninformative manner because it leads me to my next point. There was something I noticed across all these jobs, minus Martial Arts, that has dumbfounded me and continues to to this day. There is an idea that is at least as old as I am, known as “Sticking it to the Man”. The idea of this is that you will stop purchasing from somewhere, or buy from somewhere else, or write a really mean letter, something to tell “the man” that you won’t stand for his nonsense.
That’s all well and good except that the primary way of "Sticking it to the Man” is to harass the only people you can come into contact with. Entirely helpless peons, the lowest totem pole in the building. People shout at Cashiers, Sales Associates, and even Janitors in the false belief that their outbursts of rage will somehow trickle up in a reverse Reagan to the top. CEO’s don’t care about their employees in the broad sense, nor does the board of directors, nor the investors, these people are all just looking at profits.
But most people don’t protest in the previously mentioned “buy somewhere else” pathway, they do it by being an absolute troll to some random gal or guy. I’ve been on the receiving end by Navy Wives, Soccer Moms, Angry Men and Women, and recently even people in countries I’ve never been.
In the case of my most recent job I have an older man (likely retired) who spends 8 hours a day harassing the company I work at. Not once has he directed his dislike towards Management, or Upper Management, it has instead been entirely directed at the Sales Associates (because, as mentioned, they have the word “manage” in their title). Recently I was asked to talk with players in our golf game “Shot Online” because unlike, I presume, everyone else I actually like people.
Well this has put me in the unfortunate limelight once again of an angry person wishing to “Stick it to the Man”. This older man who goes by the name “Bob” has taken it upon himself to make endless accounts ridiculing me and pronouncing that I am “Ghey [sic]”. I realize at this point the reason he doesn’t call and talk to management is he knows he’d be reported to the police but that doesn’t change the fact that he’s unleashing all his rage on the bottom of the barrel, people who are already largely miserable the moment they walk in the door in the morning.
To crap on a King is one thing, to crap on a pauper leaves a miserable peasant all the worse.
I imagine until he is identified and criminal charges are pressed he’ll continue his onslaught. Ironically I don’t need his help to be miserable at work. 40 hours a week of talking with people, documenting problems and suggesting fixes, and watching all that being actively ignored then destroyed is enough in itself.
I know he’ll never read this, and chances are if he did he’d take it upon himself to begin harassing me on here. So I finish as I began with the title. I’ll never understand the ways people go to “Stick it to the Man.”