Thursday, June 28, 2018

When legal remedies are blocked, other shit happens

The Supreme Court's union busting Janus decision reminded me of one my favorite books from the Reagan era: Sabotage in the American Workplace: Anecdotes of Dissatisfaction, Mischief and Revenge. This is a delightful, and sometimes slightly scary, compilation of anecdotes from workers about what they did to get back at a system which used them as miserable cogs in a profit machine. The technological environment of current workplaces is different, but I have no doubt that frustrated workers find ways to screw with the bosses.

Here's a bit from one I enjoyed. "Santa" was a kind of stock clerk; today his workplace might be an Amazon warehouse.

I snuck out the back door of the store during lunch hour, pushing five shopping carts into the woods behind the store, every day, for close to a month. Then I would pull out some rope, which I stole from from the hardware department every morning at seven, and tie those five carts onto the rope and hoist them up various trees.

Finally, twenty-seven working days and 135 shopping carts later, a store manager walked into this "forest of sabotage" ... It took three hours to pull these carts out of the trees.

I committed these acts partly out of boredom and partly out of revenge. ...

The employer never figured out who did it.

Today there would be surveillance cameras, but contemporary workers are no less creative than their parents 30 years ago ... When people are blocked from expressing their dignity in communal, organized ways, they don't stop seeking alternatives.

The book is still available -- really cheap.

1 comment:

Rain Trueax said...

I would guess that's the justification for all dishonesty... serial killings, burglaries, any of it.

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