January 16, 2006

Affe arbeit - It's German for Monkey Work

Western 'freedom' is a myth. It depends heavily on a strict set of rules which restrain us but also allow us to live peacefully and happily side by side. It's a flawed system though.
One flaw, for example, is that we are allowed to drink massive volumes of a dangerous synthesised drug (alcohol) which turns us into noisy/depressed/romantic/violent idots. Yet the same system criminalises users of an ancient herb which makes people eat lots then fall asleep. The Chancellor of the Exchequor can drink whisky in the Commons but if he sparked up a biffter he'd probably get rugby-tackled by Charles Clark and Black Rod, or, even better, David Blunkett would unleash Sadie the guide-dog on him.
Even though it's a warped system, subjected to frequent change and regional variations, it keeps us reasonably safe from things like murder and robbery. Some people, however, are left vulnerable.
One particular arena where more rules would be a good thing is the minimum wage trade. This is because work kills, especially the kind of menial tasks that pay £5 an hour. Work is the biggest killer in town and the few existing rules governing it ain't up to the job.
I have, therefore, devised my own set of rules to be followed by any wage slave wanting to live a longer and happier life. If you can think of any other rules, email me and I'll add them to the post.
1) £5 WORKERS MUST BE SLOPPY. Employers! If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys. Workers shouldn't be too neglectful but neither should they go beyond the call of duty. Minimum wage buys your presence and that's about it. If an employer want to utilise your intellectual capacity, they can pay for it. Any shortchut will do as long as it gets you to the pub quicker.
2) £5 WORKERS MAY NOT SMILE. That costs extra. Whether the extra cash comes from the employer or customer is unimportant. If anyone tells you a smile costs nothing, headbutt them and tell 'em to cheer up.
3) £5 WORKERS MAY NOT BREAK A SWEAT. There's no need. The security industry is great for this. Nightwatchmen get paid loads because they can work lots of hours when they're fast asleep. I used to work 70-80 hours a week like this. One guard I knew used to clock in to his site, go home, spend 10 hours tucked up in bed with his wife then come back to work in the morning and clock out. I was his boss. Trust me, there are thousands of jobs that permit this level of slacking. You do not have to work for £5 an hour.
4) £5 WORKERS MUST TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE BOSS. Your boss is probably taking advantage of you so be sure to return the favour. Kick the arse out of the staff discount. Get cheap stuff for your friends, your family, your priest, your postman - anyone. Have steak for your staff meal. In fact, nick some steak and have steak for dinner too. Make full use of any spillage or breakage books you have. Get a scam going with any delivery drivers that visit your work - things fall out of trucks all the time; your boss expects it. Be sure to flog contraband booze and fags to your colleagues - everyone loves a bragain and you need the cash. Make long-distance phone-calls and surf the web at work (I write this blog at work). And don't get me started on expense accounts...
5) £5 WORKERS MUST BE UTTERLY DISLOYAL. Think cat , not dog. There is always something better out there. Don't think for a second that you're employer wouldn't give you the flick the moment you become surplus to 'business needs'. I've had over 20 jobs since I left school eight years ago, 16 of them at uni, and I've never been fired once. If you find yourself breaking any of these rules, quit. It's easy. You deserve better. There's thousands of shit jobs in Tony's Britain and most of them do not require you to bust your balls/tits.
6) £5 WORKERS HAVE TO BE DRUNK. Time passes much quicker when you are drunk/stoned/high so get wrecked before your shift starts. Try anmd stay pissed at the company's expense. If your employer notices this sort of thing, refer to Rule 5. Getting minced at work makes it bearable, especially if everybody is doing it. Afterall, they can't fire everyone can they?
7) £5 WORKERS MUST LOOK BUSY. Even when you are doing nothing, give the impression that you are. This is an artform. A good trick is carrying a cloth from one end of the bar to the other with purpose in your stride. Another is to be invisible. Just disappear for a while. When you come back, everyone will think you were out back cleaning bins or something.
Don't work too hard. It'll kill you one day.
DISCLAIMER: These rules apply only to shit-suckin' dead-end jobs in service-type industries. If you have an apprenticeship, traineeship or entry-level job with a good firm, work hard, even though they pay crap. Otherwise you'll get nowhere.


caz said...

hmm...a wonderfully crafted, collection of advice for those about to encounter or not yet fully utilising the (5 quid an hour)shit services industry. Being a member myself i can fully relate. i do feel you may need to add something extra in your disclaimer however, about drinking at work. What with things like heavy machinery, n stuff that can kill people,you may find an increase in the number of compo claims. But shit no pain no gain right.ha ha.. keep up the good work hun x

kez said...

i like your rules mike. i have adhered to a very similar set for some years now. unfortunately i am going to have to develop a more covert set as my better half now works with me. any suggestions?