Not that this would be particularly interesting to anybody -- which is nothing new, really -- but I'm oddly compelled to relate a funny little story about a confrontation I had this week with the denial-ridden, deeply-closeted Stalinist Bushniks by whom I happen to be employed. It's a microcosmic explication, it seems to me, of the macrocosmic heap of existential dog-doo we all find ourselves in these days.
Anyway, it goes something like this:
I made the decision recently, for a variety of reasons, to return to college. No big deal, you know. Nothing earth-shattering, nothing especially original, nothing likely to dramatically alter the trajectory of human history; merely a moderately desperate, mid-life-crisis-fueled attempt to change, however fleetingly and/or delusionally, the direction of the gaudily empty merry-go-round on which every last one of us is so speedily heading towards oblivion. A tough bill to fill, and an ultimately futile one, but it's all about the journey, not the destination. As the more enlightened might put it.
Yes, well. In any event, all this modest project would've involved was one lousy class, twice a week, necessitating a minor alteration to the hours my fascist employers require me to toil for them. You'd think, perhaps, what possible problem could there be -- after all, this is a case of someone choosing to continue their education, and high-minded Americans place such a premium on education, don't they? Aren't we constantly being harangued and bludgeoned and otherwise battered with rhetorical shillelaghs about "bettering" ourselves, particularly when said "bettering" involves a school of some sort? Aren't the supposed economic rewards of a college education dangled before our over-credulous noses like radioactive carrots, starting when we're too young to understand what the fuck it's all about ...?
The shitwits I work for were obviously out sick the day they taught the critical, paramount importance of education. When I informed my would-be corporate "masters" that I would have to leave early a couple days a week, since there was only one section offered for the course I was taking, this is what they cobbled together, in what they euphemistically referred to as "seeing what they could do" for me: I would have to give up my present position, swallowing a $2 per hour pay cut in the process; I'd be re-assigned to the exact same work I was doing a full twelve years ago; and, best of all, they would alter my hours so I could leave earlier -- but not early enough to actually make it to school on time.
How's about that?
As my boss was trowling out, with an amazingly straight face, this ridiculous joke of a non-solution to my rather simple and prosaic educational dilemma, it required a huge effort on my part to keep my lip zipped and my opinions to myself. In the dank wake of this noisome managerial bilge washing over me, I couldn't help but think: if I was a sycophantic salary-earner there would be no problem at all, but since I come out of the hourly-wage monkey class I deserve no consideration whatsoever. I realized that this was just a very minor skirmish within the much broader class war -- you know, the class war that, supposedly, only liberal democrats and union organizers engage in, not ass-sucking Republicans who live in an area that repeatedly sends somebody like John Doolittle to Congress. That's the bottom-feeder I work for.
Like I said, there isn't much reason to think that this is of any interest to anybody, except maybe for those whose workplace environment is unduly influenced by the corrupting poison of present-day political culture, as is mine. If anybody has a similar story, I'm all ears; if anybody thinks there's something "actionable" here, I'm all ears for that, too.
In the meantime, I guess I'll just get on with the business of not "bettering" myself, since the Cheney fetishists I work for won't allow it. Surely they know best. Don't they?