Cheap Lunches and Cheap Bosses

Earlier this afternoon, I had a flashback to when I first started working at a B2B magazine publisher’s headquarters in Detroit back in 2000.

At that time we were at the location on Woodbridge, near the Renaissance Center, and I worked in technology services in the basement. Also in the basement was the break room, which had anywhere between 2-3 working microwaves at any time. The payroll office was next door to the break room.

The payroll team used to complain that during the days leading up to our twice a month payday, they would “gag” because “everyone was out of money and eating cheap microwave food,” and all of the smells would combine and concentrate into their office.

Now, I’m not begrudging them that it did stink. But let’s look at the disconnect here:

The company wasn’t paying people enough to be able to eat better lunches. And it wasn’t just a particular department of low-paid employees – it basically was everyone except the executive team.

So we’d all have our little $1 microwave “meals” and laugh about how we’re waiting for payday. This was regarded as dozens of personal failures on our part – not an indicator of a failed system, despite the evidence right in front of everyone. That’s part of capitalist cult conditioning.

This is the same company that bragged about its “famous 40 cent pop machine” in job listings, as a sign of how well they treated their employees.

This is the same company that allowed my technology services/publishing software specialist co-worker RP, of Royal Oak, Michigan, to continually harass me nearly every day, despite my reporting him to HR. His harassment included unwanted touching, hostility, backstabbing, and attempting to get me in trouble with our manager because I wasn’t sharing what I learned at community college courses I took at night ON MY OWN TIME AND DIME with him.  If he and I were alone in the department, particularly if we were doing after hours production support on the days things went to press, he would SCREAM at me and behave in a threatening manner. He complained about my chronic illnesses to our boss and told her I should be fired, something my boss shared with me.

This is the same company that downsized me and a bunch of my co-workers – all of whom just so “happened” to have chronic illnesses that meant we used our health insurance coverage and most of us had at some point been on disability – in 2008-2009. They “culled the herd” of those of us, who, to their minds, were too much of a drag on the system, regardless of what contributions we made to the company. They tried to cover this by saying that they’d lost so much money that they couldn’t afford to keep staffing at those levels. A few years later, they said WHOOPSIE! We actually -made- millions, we didn’t lose it back then! Liars.

My health was severely impacted by my experiences of being employed there under those hostile conditions. I suffer to this day from it. Others do too.

Capitalism is a death cult.

 

 

 

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