Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Blind King and his Hollow Men

So I am free at last from the shackles of my former employer and am free now to wander the wilds of society for a couple of weeks before my new job begins. I would like to be clear about one thing: I did not hate my job. Much to the contrary most days I loved it. The people I interacted with for the majority of my day were all funny, competent, and sensible. They were always quick to laugh and joke, but also to take firm in hand any problems that arose. Most importantly: they could be reasoned with. If something made clear logical sense then it was adopted and implemented with little to no grief.

But this was middle management. We were not on top of the dog pile and those above us were the issue. It is difficult to look at someone who sees you as a liability and a drain on their wallet and not get sick every time you do it. It is near impossible to discuss serious growth policy when you are told that "Quality is not what is important, just completion." It is absolutely insurmountable to overcome the feeling of absolute loathing that comes from watching people take pay and hour cuts just so those at the top can toss a few extra pennies into a bucket full of millions of dollars.

I understand that every business must make money. Thats the whole point of being in business in the first place, but we aren't talking about quantities of pencils or a quota of rough spun wool, we were talking about people's lives and careers. If you have never had someone look at you as if you were asking for their lung or liver just for asking for a budget of $10, then I assure you that the feeling you get watching Scrooge yell at Cratchit about putting another coal in the fire doesn't even come close to how it really is. The bit about $10 for a budget is not an exaggeration or hyperbole, it was a fight that literally lasted weeks on end.

It is like looking into the eyes of a starving animal. There is no understanding of the hunger, no thought to what is consumed as long as the pain and desire are slaked at least for a short time. I do not understand it, nor can I without some context. But when I recall this time, I will forever see the Blind King upon his throne, bloated but starving, draining the substance from those who serve him until they feel they have nothing left and thus will never run.

So now this Wandering Scholar leaves behind the Blind King and his kingdom of husks and noble souls to move on to a new puzzle to solve.

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