Missing from the Monday Meeting
Have you ever had a co-worker missing from work on Monday to find out that they were suddenly let go on Friday? Miami IWW member Adam Weaver reflects on finding himself in that situation and the uneasy feelings and insecurities that capitalism serves to us.
By Adam Weaver
It’s Monday morning and there’s a team meeting today at the office. Coffee in one hand and notebook in the other I arrive at the conference room but glaringly absent are two of my team members. From past experience I know best to say nothing and hold myself back from making a light hearted remark about people not getting the proverbial memo. I’ve seen this scenario happen before and I’ve been on the receiving end as the person told to pack their desk late Friday and then is suddenly absent on Monday.
Three weeks earlier I had been moved to a new team. Rumor had it that the two older workers in their 50’s were fairly slow and accumulated a backlog of unfinished work and the team lead wanted to bring in a fresh young person to clear things up, ie me. With the news of our departed team members being announced the rationale given was that the company can’t justify paying people when other workers complete four times the amount of work.
My feelings are mixed. I’m left shocked at the departure, not that I was very close to them, but where things at the company had been relatively relaxed, the screws of productivity and numbers are now beginning to be tightened as always in the corporate world. I begin to also worry about myself and my own productivity (I mean I’m typing this very article when I’m supposed to be on the clock). But then I realize that the “four times the amount of work” basically applies to me. I’m the only other person who did the same task as these two in our digital assembly line of work and I was the one brought in to shape things up. I’m sort of relieved that maybe I’m not as close to the chopping block as I thought, but then my stomach sort of sours to think that my work help send two others to the chopping block.
I’m left thinking how capitalism sometimes gives us little in the way of choices and clear sides to stand on. Insecurity abounds.