Kate Baggott, 6/20/2010
Kate Baggott is Employee of the
Month YEAR! When it comes to WORK, Kate knows all the ins and outs. Save yourself some trouble and take the following lesson from Kate. She is WORK’s grand prize winner.
Current Occupation: Freelance writer and English teacher
Former Occupation: Camp Counsellor, Library Assistant, Theatre Usherette, Director of Research, Internet Content Strategist
Contact information: Kate Baggott is a Canadian writer living in Germany. Her work ranges from technology journalism to creative nonfiction and from experimental fiction to chick lit. Her latest book is called Tales from Planet Wine Cooler for which she is actively seeking a publisher. Links to recent pieces can be found at http://www.katebaggott.com
The Third Way Work Dynamic
This is how capitalism generally works:
1. If you are a worker, your job, ultimately, is to do as little as possible for as much money as possible.
2. If you are an employer, your job is to make your employees do as much as possible for as little as possible.
Without these two positions working at cross-purposes, capitalism would collapse. However, there is a third way out of this quagmire that is high-value, demands low-output and is immune to supervisory accounting. Put simply, if you do not feel like working, or supervising, you must traffic in answers.
To begin your career following the third way in the capitalist dynamic, start at the lowest level of company meetings and work your way up to consulting. Remember, to effectively traffic in answers, you must gain control of the question period. To gain control, provoke questions that make everyone feel insecure about the future and their ability to adapt.
To avoid any pitfalls, you must overtake the most vocal pain in the ass (MV-PITA) immediately. There will be resistance to your efforts to make everyone feel insecure and they will usually come from this character. MV-PITAs are generally fairly smart people looking to differentiate themselves through conversational domination. They have the tendency to make meetings last longer when everyone else just wants to get out and get back to doing as little as possible. For this reason they are highly unpopular.
These MV-PITAs will start speculating about the current state of affairs based on his — or more rarely her — own observations. Become a hero and gain respect by listening to their ramblings with an indulgent smile for exactly 2 minutes. Then, raise your hand and interject with one of the following comments:
“I am not sure that is an especially productive direction to head off in.”
“Let’s not get off track here.”
“I’ve certainly heard that before and it’s certainly the more traditional route to take, but let’s prepare ourselves for the new order of business.”
You may then proceed to answer your own questions with confidence, aplomb and big words in new grammatical structures. This process is known as creating a market and driving the market.
Note that there is no need to have original catch-phrases in your answers. In fact, your market will probably feel more comfortable if you steal the big words used in new grammatical structures from someone else. Then, your words will resonate as being complicated, and yet, familiar. In fact, you may even steal ideas from the MV-PITA and re-present from a more palatable source.
It is obvious that commitment to this third way in the work dynamic has grown in the last generation. It is also clear that more participation is needed in order to assure that pointless corporate spending in the face economic insecurity continues to prop up capitalist organizations everywhere.