Morons Need Jobs Too!

3.5" floppy disks

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To each person his own job is or becomes important. Morons need jobs, too. Give them their space; let them do their work.

When the average joe looks for a job, his primary objective is usually to find an occupation that will bring in enough money to pay the bills. Other considerations become secondary to that. If he can find something to do that he believes is important; wants to do; is trained for; puts him in an agreeable work environment; allows him to cultivate a measure of satisfaction in the act doing it; and also pays more than the minimum required by the job seeker; then those gains are all added benefits. But without sufficient money, other compensations are secondary. This is why many talented artists, musicians, and actors are sometimes seen working at mundane jobs.

On occasion a person gets a job that to most people seems stupid and purposeless. In order to maintain one’s own sanity and sense of worth, the worker adopts or invents the employer’s supposed sense of importance to it.

One example of that is the involuntary soldier, one who is impressed into service to fight, and risk and possibly give up his life for a cause that someone else in power believes in, but has found a convenient way to circumvent the need to fight for himself by convincing or forcing others to do it for him, even at the risk or cost of that other person’s life. How often we will hear soldiers in the field sing the praises of the flimsy causes they have been sent to do battle over, as though they thought of doing so themselves.

When I worked at Motorla we had POPI inspectors. POPI (which I pronounced “poopy”) stood for Protect Our Proprietary Information, a slogan that represented a whole well-intended system by means of which the corporation went to extraordinary lengths to prevent Bad Guys from stealing company technical information, including much that even the most jaded spy wouldn’t give a toot about.

Much rigamarole was involved, including the need to mark printed documents with ominous classifications, keep all cubicle drawers locked when we were gone, including those that contained nothing but pencils and paper clips, screen lock programs active, and even removable media such as floppies and tapes out of drives and in locked cabinets.

On occasion official POPI inspectors would show up at 4:00am, when theoretically no one would be there, to check each cubicle for violations. My own office was located in the remotest part of a secure building that was as far from the guarded gates as it was possible to be. Nobody was ever seen in that area who did not belong there. Furthermore, there was absolutely nothing in my cubicle of any interest to anyone, even to me. Nonetheless, I arrived one morning to find a pink citation for leaving a blank floppy disk in a computer that was not plugged in and had not been turned on in at least a year.

I had to wonder about the sense of pride and accomplishment it must have brought to that POPI inspector for having made such an important find. Here was a case of a man (possibly a woman, but let’s assume otherwise) doing his job. Why? Because he seriously believed that ferreting out such hideous violations was important to the good of Motorola, the country, the world, and the universe? Excuse me while I gag. He did it because it was a job, probably the only one he could get within the company, which was at that time in a business death spiral, and because he was probably too much of a moron to do much of anything that was actually important.

Ironically, there was a co-worker in my department who could not sleep because of a back problem; he lived less than five minutes from work, and who would get up daily sometime after 3:00am, and would always be there between 4:00—5:00am. Imagine the surprise of the POPI inspectors upon entering that office and finding someone there at that hour. (It happened.)

If there was ever a stupid job, that was one, but someone made at least a part of his living carrying out those inspections at the direction of persons who certainly would never do them themselves. And because a man’s job is his livelihood and often a measure of his self worth, he took it seriously and carried it out as if the future salvation of mankind depended on it.

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About Lynn

o Writer and Editor o Computer Technologist o Composer o Ultrarunner
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