Monday, December 24, 2012
Those of us who have spent time within the confines of a Fulfillment Center will be familiar with a phenomenon that begins to proceed apace at this time of year. You come back from the State mandated "fifteen minute break with pay," smile at you neighbor, roll the eyes and otherwise signal associative-ness. There's a bonhomie, to use the French word, a camaraderie which is a word that looks better if it starts with a 'K', but which if it starts with a 'K' it does not pass the spell test, or when uttered in public subsumes a person to the bottom layer, a category that includes 'commie.'
Then you turn to the lonely business of maintaining a 'productivity,' which is a measure through mathematics of 'quality and quantity,' around which the ambitions of managers revolve in their never ending quest to achieve what I guess must be some idea of their own perfection as measured against the perfection of others of their rather unpleasant and venal kind. And oddly enough in that part of the Fulfillment Center that occupies me, the manager has his picture on the department's notice board, and under his name is the word 'owner.' When the Afternoon arrives there's "Jingle Bells" through the loud speakers and you look up to grin at your neighbor, but your neighbor is gone, disappeared. It's to the Rapture perhaps, to the infinite made possible, but more likely it's to a winter without work.