4 July 2014
Blue-collar new norm America: Dadio’s handy manual to break workers’ spirit – Keep’m Standing.
This entry was posted on 7/4/2014 1:31 AM and is filed under Broken spirit.
The production facility I work in gives me lots of fodder to put into instructions how to destroy workers. The joint is a bottomless pit of tricks encompassing a gamut of banal, inept, and intentional, institutionalized methods to “break workers’ spirits.”
Sometimes, I think I have seen it all in 50 years of working fifty or more crappy jobs in several parts of the state, country, and world. Many at the same time, hence, 50 in fifty years. Often I have worked three jobs at once. But, then, when I think I’ve seen and heard it all, something is presented to me that has been right under me nose for years. It just needed presenting by a different pair of eyes.
One day I was chatting with a fellow from the apprenticed end of the building. Those guys are union and get benefits – insurance; vacation; sick time; lunch time; and breaks. The production starts on their end and heads to us non-benefited rabble.
Before the production started up I mentioned how I never used the break room as no sooner a guy will pop in there to sit for a minute and try to eat a sandwich after five hours straight of production, management, or a minion thereof, will scramble in to shoo you out and back to the production floor.
The fellow I was chatting with has been at the place 30 years. He quietly observes the nuances of the blue-collar drama without fanfare.
He paused, smiled a faint smile and said, “Keep’m standing.” Then he said, “It’s been in the game plan for ever. Transcends decades, management, and employee turnover. Keep’m on their feet, it keeps ’em disoriented and disheveled. Do it long enough and they don’t even realize they’re being conditioned.”
Then he smiled that little smile again, turned, and went back to work and vanished into the shadows of his big production machines.
“Keep’m stand’n,” I thought….., It’s been right under my nose for years. Just couldn’t put it into words.
Note: This blog “Blue-collar new norm America: Dadio’s handy manual to break workers’ spirit” – book version Category is a work in progress. These original vignettes are being edited for book form. Go to the Cooldadiomedia Web site and the Broken Spirit Page for an ordered chronology of the book vignettes (chapters).