All at once, here on the train home, I realize that I have maybe one more year of being able to survive in an office environment without bloody murder being done. It's probably good for my motivation to promote my musical self when the product at last issues forth.
I believe it is becoming less and less possible for me to hear co-workers who've been there since Watergate threaten to quit every time their boss's back is turned; to listen to them complain about micromanagement after having ripped the mouse from my hand like Nick Burns, Your Company's Computer Guy; to hear managers feign enthusiasm for prepackaged and mandatory "creativity and stress management" shut-ins that aid in neither creativity nor stress management because those same managers are right there in the room; to bear witness to overtime-martyrdom competitions between baggy-eyed functionaries who somehow believe that their bosses will reward their selflessness by not not firing them the instant HR says they're costing the company too much money now that they're making a living wage; to watch the AS400 try desperately to interface with the new software on a Windows 95-equipped Ferris Bueller-model PC; to alarm co-workers by going to lunch before 3:00, and to eat it OFF PREMISES; to realize that the only director's name that isn't in bold on the phone list is right between the names of the President and VP, and to realize that there was probably an ego involved in that decision.
Look. I was present and accounted for when my generation dove into the dot-bomb, hoping for the end of office life as we knew it. I understand that many of us now hold that era at least partially responsible for the crappy economy we now find ourselves wading through. But don't let's throw the bathtub out with the baby.
It is possible for a company to make a profit (even an actual PRODUCT) without turning its employees into a bunch of soulless, Dilbertized wankers. It has to be.
If it is not--if millions of years of evolution has brought us to a place where speech is memo, knowledge is report, and history is dusty file cabinet--then I pray you, George W. Bush, melt the glaciers, for we know not how to live.