Monday, August 15: Big Bro is Obsessed
Don't ever be afraid to take a six hour lunch break
Big brother is always watching, and he’s worried you’re not working hard enough. The term “Digital productivity monitoring” sounds like something out of “Brave New World”, but it’s the latest trend in quantifying exactly how an employee is spending their time, second-by-second. Gone are the days when the boss would patrol the office floor, Michael-Scott-style, pestering and distracting employees while trying to motivate them to work harder. Today, it’s likely your employer has remote access to whatever you’re working on or distracting yourself with, regardless of what type of work you do. It’s no longer just cashiers and delivery drivers having their every move analyzed, today most employers are using software that defines and measures what it considers work.
“We’re in this era of measurement but we don’t know what we should be measuring.”
Ryan Fuller, former VP for workplace intelligence at Microsoft
Personally I take issue with increased monitoring, and not just because I enjoy being distracted. This method of defining ‘work’ and doing everything in our power to squeeze every ounce of productivity out of workers doesn’t appeal to me. It promotes an unhealthy obsession with performance in a job that we often forget would replace us without a second thought. The expectation of loyalty is entirely one-sided, and any benefits of additional work would only affect the company’s bottom line. Most of all, basing an employee’s value on their job performance may seem intuitive, but it encourages workers to set aside the things that motivate them individually in pursuit of steady income, with a lingering fear of losing their hope of employment. If this newsletter does one thing, I hope it distracts you from your work, even for a few moments, to remember that there’s a whole big world out there, and it’s on fire.
A fire broke out in a Coptic Orthodox church in Cairo on Sunday morning, killing at least 41 congregants and injuring dozens more. The Coptic community in Egypt is under constant threat, and initially there was concern that this was a targeted act of foul play. But experts have blamed the blaze on faulty wiring on an air conditioner, and as with so many tragedies in Egypt, it appears a matter of negligence is what led to the disaster
In yet another sign that law enforcement ‘officials’ have no empathy, Norwegian authorities thought it prudent to kill Freya, a 1,300 pound walrus that had taken up residence and delighted onlookers in Oslo. Authorities claimed Freya was a danger to those around her and that she was “in an area that wasn’t natural to her”, which is a weird thing to say about a friendly aquatic tusked compadre. Long live Freya, down with the police state
As we approach the 75th anniversary of the Indian-Pakistani partition, it’s disappointing to see such a focus on division and nationalism in the region. The Modi regime in India continues to persecute Muslims and foment a general sense of nationalism and animosity toward their Muslim neighbors
Thanks for reading The Mourning! I know it’s Monday and you’re tired, but I’m so proud of you for getting up and getting after it. Keep going!