February 5th, 2006


Fear Change, Hate Your Life

I'm reading this article -- more of a rant, really -- about a couple of corporate philosophy buzzword books.

Two lines from it particularly stood out for me:

I work because I need the money to pay my bills, period.


I choose not to enable those who are screwing me

The rant targets two different books, and as it happens, I've read both* of them at the request of my current workplace.

The message of WMMC? is "change happens, adapt and change with it." The message of the Fish! books is "Sometimes you can't change your situation, but you can always do your best to be happy in it."

The author of this rant hates both these books. His alternative recommendation appears to be "Change is bad. Be angry when things change! Certainly you wouldn't want to change anything yourself. And don't be happy about the way things are, either! Instead, spend your life being angry about it. But keep working to pay your bills, 'cause of course you have to, but it's best if you be misearble about it. Yeah, that'll teach those bastards!"


Somehow, I'm having a hard time finding his message inspirational. "Quitting the Paint Factory" and other paeans to the joys of giving up on the corporate world and doing your own thing, those I can relate to. I may not do it myself, but I can understand and admire those who do. I can even understand (if not agree with) those who advocate socialism or communism as an alternative to capitalism.

But this attitude of "Corporate America sucks and I hate being a part of it -- but I'm going to anyway, and my only act of protest is going to be in being as miserable as possible about my own life" -- that I can't understand. If you're not going to change the situation, why not make the best of it? If you're unwilling to make the best of it, why not change it?

Oh, I understand that it's not as simple as "choosing a good attitude" or "change when necessary". Both of the books are simplistic at best, and it's hard not to be cynical about them. Still, to reject both concepts as utterly devoid of merit ... buh.

* Although I don't think I read the same "Fish!" book he did -- there are a bunch of them and I don't recall the title of the specific one I read. Still, I doubt the philosophy changes much from one to the next.