I had never thought of the workplace this way, but it’s true. I’m a misanthrope and have little interest in socializing with my coworkers.

Bloody shovel

With all the late talk about median wages falling and the rich getting richer, it seems capitalism is becoming unfashionable again. Now I don’t define capitalism by any economic or policy parameter. I define capitalism as the system that supports and gives status to business owners. When you see students demonstrating against “capitalism”, they aren’t arguing against private property. They won’t share their precious iPhones, will they? They’re cool about people owning stuff. What they don’t want is status linked to the amount of property you own. I think this theory applies to the golden age of the labour movement a hundred years ago.

As a non billionaire with little interest in sleeping 4 hours a day and donating millions to sodomy activists to become one, I am naturally inclined to sympathise with the anticapitalists. Not only wages are going down, hours are going up,  and the poor fuckers…

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About thrasymachus33308

I like fast cars, fast women and southern-fried rock. I have an ongoing beef with George Orwell. I take my name from a character in Plato's "Republic" who was exasperated with the kind of turgid BS that passed for deep thought and political discourse in that time and place, just as I am today. The character, whose name means "fierce fighter" was based on a real person but nobody knows for sure what his actual political beliefs were. I take my pseudonym from a character in an Adam Sandler song who was a obnoxious jerk who pissed off everybody.
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18 Responses to

  1. mindweapon says:

    yes, I had a problem keeping a job because I was not able to hide the fact that I hate most Americans, at least the sort I run into in the Northeast US in offices. Liberals and/or sports fans. Yech.

  2. asdf says:

    People like you have something wrong with you. You tend to fuck up teams and make people upset. Often the loss in productivity in the team is worse then whatever your adding.

    It doesn’t require you to be peoples friends. Just don’t be a stuck up prick. People need to know your their allies, not someone you throw under the bus the first chance you get.

    • I’m always friendly, businesslike, and professional with everybody I deal with. But many people have the high school mentality that they will only work with you if you’re their buddy, and you can be nice to them forever and it’s still not enough. You pull out the word “team”, which people love, but on an actual team everybody does their assigned task and works together to win, and they are able to set aside their egos and personal animosities to do so. Being lazy, only doing what you feel like and blaming others when things go wrong is not the behavior of a “team”, so while the typical sports-obsessed doofus likes to think he’s on a “team” at work he’s not.

      • spandrell says:

        Word. Teamwork without leadership is pure soviet evil.

      • asdf says:

        I agree the typical office drone is a doofus. But that’s true whether they are sociable or not. And while sociable doofuses are usually harmless, the unsociable once often destroy teams. I’ve yet to meet a sports fan who destroyed an office dynamic, but I’ve met plenty of nerdy anti social loners who have.

        I tend to work on big projects were no one person could possibly do it all regardless of their productive output. People that can’t communicate or get along with anyone are useless in these cases.

        I recently had a person at work ask me why I didn’t tell him XYZ. I said its because I don’t trust him. Because he’s wed to process and has zero understanding of the human element, and that I didn’t trust him to use knowledge XYZ correctly. Trust matters.

        Ultimately, your trying to retain talent. Nobody stays at a company full of people they don’t like who they don’t trust. The second a better offer comes along their out the door. Now your retraining people and losing knowledge. And even on a personal level since they never got along with anyone they are unlikely to help extend your professional network or get you a job in the future.

      • Nerdy anti-social loners can’t possibly destroy the office dynamic, because they have no power to do so. That’s what “nerdy” and “anti-social” and “loner” mean. What the original post was about was the desire of people to use the workplace as a social environment rather than a work environment. That’s human nature, but such people should be able to cope with the presence of those who are not there for social stimulation. This attitude is what leads to many workplaces becoming monoethnic- people of some ethnic groups can’t tolerate being around people different from them.

      • asdf says:

        “Nerdy anti-social loners can’t possibly destroy the office dynamic”

        I’ve seen it happen. Too many of these people and the whole dynamic breaks down. They are like a tax on the normal people. Wierdos nobody trusts.

        Trust is extremely important. I don’t think I can stress this enough. When trust breaks down workplaces break down. All of that socialization is mainly about building trust.

        Workplaces become mono-ethnic regardless of how social people are. I’ve seen Asians and Indian offices where everyone is anti-social, but they are mono ethnic. Most people understand that decisions in large organizations are political, and they also understand ethnic loyalty. Having more people “on your side” is good for you. That’s why split office are tough, it can become an unproductive civil war. In these matters white people are by far the most understanding and inclusive ethnicity. The second you get a minority department head you can bet the ethnic cleansing is about to begin.

        The only offices with good race relations that I’ve seen are where everyone embraces at least the bare bones of socialization. Go to the happy hours. Eat together at lunch. Spend the give minutes a week to learn whether the football team won. Etc. Many minorities never talk to his co workers and then wonders why he is outside of the loop on everything.

      • The ethnic part aside, you seem to be saying that the social people are unable to function without a significant amount of reinforcement and reassurance from others. That this is necessary for trust doesn’t wash, because the kind of people you are talking about are not at all trustworthy, and they will screw even their “friends” if it’s to their advantage. I would certainly encourage people to socialize to a certain extent with their coworkers, for just the reason you are saying; but I would tell them not to get *too* close because the kind of “friendships” you are talking about are largely about temporary and shifting alliances.

      • asdf says:

        Everyone is unable to function without social bonds. A person sitting in a cubicle alone can’t produce anything of value unless he can interact with other people he is working with.

        It is unfortunate that you don’t believe in trust. Perhaps if you had better social skills you would have been able to form relationships with a lot of positive value for yourself. The people I’ve met have been instrumental in developing my skills and getting me jobs.

  3. Heil Hizzle Mein Nizzle says:

    Off Topic, but Breivik just got sentenced to 20 years of Belgian Waffles and Swedish massages at a ‘Norwegian Prison’ (an oxymoron if ever there was one). He’s earned some respite. Killing liberals is to be rewarded. Hail victory, hail vengeance.

  4. Abelard Lindsey says:

    asdf,

    You have good points. But I stand with our blog host on this one. Work environments are supposed to be professional. Being professional means you get the job done, period. You do not bring social or emotional baggage into the work environment. This shows a lack of professionalism. People who make the work place into a social environment rather than getting the work done are being unprofessional. Unprofessional people have no place in the work environment.

    • asdf says:

      Getting the job done means interacting with people. If you are incapable of social interaction and trust building then you are not getting the job done. Being a part of the group is part of your job.

      • spandrell says:

        You are on the record for saying that your banking job is value-destroying and most of your coworkers are evil.

      • asdf says:

        And what is your point?

        This advise would apply to a job whether it is good for society or not. I’m talking about effectiveness. Whether the product of your employment is good or evil being able to interact with people is going to make you more effective at whatever you are doing.

      • What’s significant to me is the degree of negativity you feel towards people who don’t meet some level of sociability. You believe they are actively interfering with your ability to do your job and actively damaging the organization. How social with one’s coworkers does one need to be? Who gets to decide? I think the product is not irrelevant, and in “value transference” workplaces there is a high demand for sociality.

      • asdf says:

        I work in a pretty nerdy field. I.E. quant finance and insurance. Most of my co-workers right now are actuaries. So its a group rather low on social skills. I’ve seen a lot of borderline aspies foul up departments.

        Wierdos really make things hard on the group. They can’t be trusted and they are often extremely poor communicators. The crossover between people who are too irritable to go to happy hour and people who can’t make a decent presentation so someone understands the work you’ve done it pretty high. My current boss has a PHD in math and an FSA, but he can’t hold a conversation even on work related matters. He might as well not exist in terms of productive work we get out of him.

        I can tell exactly how effective a place is based on how people are interacting socially. At the companies I’ve worked where everyone is normal and they get along all the work goes smooth. Information is communicated, projects are run efficiently, things get done. It also helps that these places have been the main source of my networking opportunities.

        By contrast places where people are anti-social and irritable are almost always basket cases. Tell me how often a department goes to happy hour and I’ll tell you how productive they are.

        The type of work we do is very technical and much like what you would find in an engineering or software company. I think the crossover in cognitive profile and nature of the work between my job and those “value creation” fields is very similar.

        Dilbert is about an engineering firm. Do the people in Dilbert seem to be social? Do they seem to be productive?

      • Abelard Lindsey says:

        Yes, dealing with people is a part of work. However, people should be professional enough not to bring all kinds of emotional BS or unproductive gamesmanship into the workplace. If they cannot control themselves. They should leave the work environments to those with a more professional attitude.

        There is no excuse for unprofessional behavior in the work environment.

  5. spandrell says:

    We’re talking past each other. I’ve seen offices go to hell because people just can’t shut up. You’ve seen offices go to hell because people can’t talk enough. I guess it happens. But that wasn’t my point.

    You can be social enough and go to Happy Hour every now and then, but not focus your body and soul in office politics. Not all jobs require lots of teamwork and trust building. It shouldn’t be an easy of trust really, if the boss does his work.

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