Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Real World Frustrations-Productivity Paradox

Why does no one do their jobs?

Are they too stupid?

This is my essential frustration with life. Back in high school, I slogged through tedious lectures, 8 hours a day or more, dealing with droning idiots who could not handle standard Algebra. Or identify a Halogen on the periodic table.

I thought college might be better. It actually was a step down. Most of my friends attended top-tier schools (Northwestern the largest around my area), while I enrolled in a mid-tier state university. Our first business calculus test, on which I scored a perfect 100%+extra credit, had a median score of 54%.

Someday, I hoped life would change.

It hasn't. Instead, I realize I have simply cosigned myself to dealing with these people for eternity.

Do you remember that missing $17,000?

Which we actually determined was $700,000? (Side-note: NEVER outsource your work if you can help it)

We have not seen a single penny of this money. Despite providing a complete list of all our missing checks, our partner insurance company has been unable to schedule a single replacement payment.

Most of my work problems boil down to a situation like this, one way or another. Honestly, I can see why companies would outsource their work: American employees often churn out crap, demonstrate no work ethic, lie, and look out for themselves. If you're getting that result anyways, hell, why pay $60,000 (once you include benefits)?

Work comes to define our lives, a lot. A lot of people have trouble adjusting to the full 40 hour week, I guess: I saw waist lines expand dramatically in the years post-college, among all my friends. Moods sank incredibly. Now a few years in, with some more money, and more time off, everyone has picked up their spirit somewhat, but that old youthful luster died.

When I look at my coworkers I shake my head, because they've largely become drones, burned from 8 hours doing nothing,  and seeking escape in anything. Smart phones, offering an endless stream of banal tune-out, have become their primary social release, and online rage-articles offer a cheap emotional validation and sense of purpose. It's the new religion.

People might think better of themselves were they to accomplish something more during their work hours, but rarely does that ever occur. Instead, even after identifying issues, creating action plans, and working with others, nothing gets resolved, life slows down and becomes a slog, and morale tanks.

I'm an Economics guy. And what concerns me a lot is the slow-down in productivity growth. The so-called Great Stagnation silently strangles entire unborn generations in the crib, robbing them of years of growth. No jet-packs, no matter replicators, no nothing.

I understand that academically.

But in practice? I see that low productvity stat in sagging eyebrows, defeated faces, and glum voices. Every corporate drone sulking through the queue is the victim of an unhealthy, unproductive workplace, and they carry that culture like a virus, and they spread illness to their friends and family.

Productivity, it's a health thing. 

No comments:

Post a Comment