Shout out from the Omega Dog
The reason why the subordinate shows their neck, is the more dominate wolf can chose whether or not to attack, or accept the submission. (Source.) Or, to put it in terms I can understand, the Omega Dog meets his inevitable fate…
I’m always amazed when I encounter extreme naiveté in my travels. One recent example was my therapist when we were discussing my need for his sliding scale. He said, “I thought you said you worked full-time.” Yep, I sure do. “Then why don’t you have insurance for this?” Gosh, he seemed so genuinely confused. So innocent. So untainted by the realities of life.
Ha ha ha! Good one. Um, wait just a hot damn minute here. I’m going to be paying you money to help me?!?!? I’d better seriously reconsider that. 🙂
He had the unmitigated gall to actually be surprised that someone could work full-time and not have insurance. Please oh please tell me you’ve been outside these four walls. Tell me you’ve visited a little place I like to call the “real world.”
One thing I can seemingly never get enough of is complaining about my job. It’s like another form of currency, the only benefit (besides raw dollars) to working in the shithole. Without this form of self-entertainment all would truly be lost.
Before continuing to my next point, a quick diversion:
Between 1924 and 1932 some experiments were conducted on workers at a factory. Being tested was the use of higher and lower levels of light on worker productivity. They tried one level of light and productivity went up. (Try to picture researchers saying, “mmm,” and scribbling on clipboards.) They then tried different levels of illumination and productivity increased again. What the?!? (Now picture researchers with surprised looks on their faces.) Eventually they concluded the study and productivity levels decreased.
What to make of results like these?
It turned out that employees were not responding to variations in lighting. They were actually responding to what they interpreted as improvements to their working conditions. The study came to be known as the Hawthorne effect because the name of the site was Hawthorne Works, a factory owned by Hawthorne Electric outside of Chicago.
Fast-forward back to today and me in my shithole job where I’m treated like shit. I hate my working conditions, my rate of pay, the tasks I am expected to perform and the way I’m treated. Do you think my productivity might suffer? You bet your ass it does! I think I could use a little Hawthorne effect myself! 🙂
For newer readers of this blog I will recap and attempt to be brief:
- I was working at a job I hated. Customer service, retail counter, heavy phones, etc. I then connected with my current company and interviewed for a technical and professional position that was right up my alley. They hired me and it was a very exciting time. Then I was brought in for orientation before my official start date. This was during the two week window between jobs. I had already accepted the new position and had put in my two-weeks notice at the company I was departing. To make a long story short, the new company proceeded to train me on the phone system, voice mails, the retail counter, the cash register, the retail floor and the entire freaking product line. That was the ONLY training I received. The writing on the wall was plain to see. I had just jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire. At the end of that day I walked out to the parking lot and vomited by my car.
- The company puts unreasonable demands on employees. (See my previous post: How to destroy your employees.) One such demand is that you are forced to attend off-duty functions, unpaid and on your own time. Here is an example to illustrate: One year invites went out for the yearly fucking known as the office Christmas Party. I declined. My manager applied pressure. I declined. I explained I already had plans with family on Dec. 24th. (Which was the absolute truth.) Then the CEO hit on me. I declined and declined and declined again. He kept ramping up the pressure, telling me, “If you don’t go, it’s like you’re not a team player.” I tried to be gracious and explain that I already had plans. It’s not my fault he calls a Christmas party at the last second. (What a wonderful way, by the way, to celebrate the birth of Jesus. My boss is, after all, a rabid Christian.) Eventually he tells me it will be “worth my while” to attend. I say, “still can’t go.” Finally, he lays all his cards on the table. “Employee bonuses will be distributed there. If you don’t go, no bonus for you.” Guess what? I told him, “Guess I’m not getting a bonus then.” This example illustrates the way my company chooses to operate. I eventually did capitulate after the CEO continued putting the screws on me way beyond the limits of good taste, forcing a completely awkward situation.
So, I came across a new book recently. It’s called “Drive” and it is written by Daniel Pink. The book makes the case for productivity gains that can be achieved via “intrinsic motivations.” You know, things other than fear and money.
From the Amazon.com page for this book:
According to Pink, everything we think we know about what motivates us is wrong. He pits the latest scientific discoveries about the mind against the outmoded wisdom that claims people can only be motivated by the hope of gain and the fear of loss. Pink cites a dizzying number of studies revealing that carrot and stick can actually significantly reduce the ability of workers to produce creative solutions to problems. What motivates us once our basic survival needs are met is the ability to grow and develop, to realize our fullest potential.
I haven’t read this book yet, but it sounds like something my boss should read. The way the Christmas party went down is the human version of a wolf making a submissive subordinate “show his neck.” That leaves it up to the Alpha if the submissive lives or dies. “Perhaps I will rip out your throat and watch you die. Or perhaps I feel more benign today and will deign to let you live until tomorrow, when we will meet to roll these dice one more time. Either way, the decision is all mine, baby!”
I am the Omega Dawg, yo. Woof!