Written by Alex Hickey
Monday 9th October
Micromanagement is like an espresso corretto, some people find it to be a fundamental end to a meal; others can’t imagine the thought of it. Regardless of your opinion of it, it will leave you awake at night with bad heart burn and unrested the next day. Now don’t be fooled ye painters and plumbers and self-employed types, fact of the matter, no one is safe from this burden, society is being run like a business; awful meetings that come on a Monday morning to explain absolutely fuck all. This is your life now.
I woke up early today despite not having to start work until 1pm, there was a meeting at 10.30 and I was still wearing the clothes I had on from my date last night, not to mention, I hadn’t even gone home yet. A change had to come, people who sat around the water cooler were not happy and the way things were being run could not go on; revolution was in the air. I figured it would be a hard liner, mano a mano with the boys in the suits, enough of this pussyfooting and more actual questions being answered. What I got was a 45 minute run through the same things I had written up in a report about months ago. Now it was an online, anonymous survey about the principle things which are pissing everyone off.
So instead of actually trying to fix problems, mend bridges and sort out issues, we just got a visual reminder of what things are pressuring us, now what do you think, what’s your opinion, what’s pissing you off, just a lot of open door policy praise and a lot of lost hopes. The odour was enough to kill a skunk; the words were just a way to kill time.
Why is this relevant to anyone reading this? Well this is the daily grind of bureaucracy that sadly plagues everyone’s life. In taxes, in development, banks and everywhere else you can possibly imagine. A friend of mine was planning on buying a house to restore and eventually live in with his boyfriend. The government promised up to €10k back as part of a conservation effort in the country, he has all his life savings and a job he’d been with for three and a half years with a part time contract. The guy needed something around a €50k loan over a period of a number of years.
Obviously, the bank denied him outright.
Which obviously seemed natural enough, banks in this country are really careful with what they dish out. And that’s a fine way of going about business, I suppose. You see, the issue here isn’t about the banks way of shutting out all but the elite, that’s another story for another time. But let’s put it this way, for the most part, I live in a fine old townhouse in the middle of a sprawling middle class town, family bought. My mom and dad bought this place when they moved here from LA back in the early 90s and paid something like €17k (inflation considered) around 25 years on, debt paid and maintenance upheld, the place is worth a whopping €200k.
Let that sink in.
I was talking to a friend who’s interested, as I am, in the stocks game, much like myself. Now this guy owns business and doesn’t need any goddam loans and I hope he won’t for a good while. But even the fact that he plays the market keeps him on the black lists. Which I myself find extremely unfair, when you look into things deeply enough, this country you can see that it is not an enterprise friendly country.
Anyway, we digress, what does all this have to do with micromanagement anyway? Well, though the institutions that run this place, perhaps and I do say that with reluctance, have the continued progress of the many in their sights, they fail as they often do to consider the reality behind all the files on their desks and the graphs on their screensavers. I’m not subscribing to the view that these people are totally clueless to the ways of the common man, but I would say a half blind donkey would know his way around a housewife’s bedroom a little better than the men in suits in that eyesore of an establishment at the gates of the capital.
Later on in the week, I was asked personally to speak with some of the higher ups in the company regarding their 45 minute meeting. I was fucked I thought, figuring they had heard some of the obscenities and choice words I had for them. Regardless, as the good worker that I am, I went and sat cool and collected and ready for conflict, teeth like chainsaws. And as we sat, he began explaining how even after the meeting on Monday, people seemed to be discontented. To which I must admit, I chuckled a little and spent the next 40 minutes explaining how unless you let the masses vent a little each day, they are going to keep building and building until eventually you’re going to have an angry mob on your hands. And nobody wants that. Me, myself? I have nothing to lose and from this point on, I hope I never will again. Seoul is waiting for me, but I made an intimate promise to myself that I want to make this a better place to ‘live’ and work in before I head out. And damn it all if I don’t get my shot.
And perhaps here too, I can leave my mark not on my job but on the common society or at least those of you who will read this and think for a moment. JFK once said, ask not what your government can do for you but rather what you can do for your government. I tell you this, in these ever changing times, the greatest thing we can do for our government is stop them when they are wrong, keep an eye on them and don’t let them get away with this micromanagement, pussy assed, bullshit. We are the constituents, we make up the masses and if we can’t afford our own houses anymore, if we can’t take a gamble in the international market, if we can’t tell our bosses when they are wrong well I apologize but the people who are actually willing to put in the work may just be packing up their skills and business and taking them elsewhere.
And governments, listen to your people, we have the best interest of all in mind, don’t just gloss over everyone in your “One shoe fits all way”, that’s a very managerial thing to do.