Thursday, May 30

Don't believe what you learned in Art, blue doesn't mix with anything.

In 1974 a Hungarian sculptor and professor invented a 3-D combination puzzle that was widely released in 1980 by the Ideal Toy Corporation as the "Rubick's Cube".  As a child of the 80's I coveted the puzzle I would never solve without taking it apart and reassembling it or taking the stickers off and switching them to make it look like I was a lot more clever than my surface let on.  

As a longtime lover of both metaphors and similes I don't think it's a bit of a stretch to say that most people are like Rubik's Cubes.  Each color of the cube represents a facet of peoples lives or interests... blue is career, green is children, red is loves, white is faith, orange is hobbies... and most of us are unsolved.  We mix things up, career ends up next to hobbies and faith with a square of love... until the whole things is mixed up up and you find every facet of your life overlapping into each other.  

Rarely does one color remain untouched by another color; if it happens it typically doesn't last. 

There is a level of dogma here in the Widget Factory by those in power who believe that this is a family friendly, nurturing, and flexible work place; they believe they encourage you to be a Rubik's Cube and to be mixed up.  

Employee's are constantly reminded how much the Factory is like a Family Friendly Club Med! And then quickly encouraged to vote the Widget Factory as a Great Place to Work*.  

Unfortunately, when it comes down to it, the family friendliness and flexibility is really only available when it is convenient to those in charge, and the nurturing is a pipe dream.  I would classify it as hyperbole by hypocrites.

In the recent past I had a less then friendly interaction at work, and from my understanding, the crux of the problem is my personality.  

Actually, scratch that.. it should be the facet of my personality that demands my life not revolve around my work was the stated problem. I was instructed that I should leave my home life at home and not bring those emotions to the office.....the irony is that I was only bringing personal joys to work because there is more than enough sorrow here to choke a herd of elephants.  

What I presume was an unintended consequence is that I am rarely happy or joyful in the office and I talk nothing of what I do before or after office hours be it fun (vacations, accomplishments, social fun) or sad (funerals, divorce and illness).  I've become so disconnected and those I work with are so unaware of what goes on in my life that when they overhear bits and pieces or learn things from others they are taken aback, shocked, and sometimes even look foolish.

Obviously this is now a problem for the powers that be and my always friendly and professional interactions are not good enough.... so I'm being questioned about what I did over the weekend, last night, where I'm going on vacation.... WHY are you so quiet?  

I learned my lesson - always friendly, but not too, always professional... blue doesn't really mix with anything.

*The Widget Factory never makes the list and are always shocked so they spend money on promoting their family friendly, nurturing and flexible work place policies instead of giving their employees raises, adding staff where necessary, increasing the 401K match, cutting red tape, or holding down the increases in health insurance.  


Anonymous said...

The same sort of thing goes on in my corner of this factory over here! The often trumpeted Work/Life Balance is not so much balanced in my space. "Don't work sooo many hours!" "But this MUST be done!" Aaargh.

Betty in MN

Chris said...

Stoopid widget factory. :(

You're making me appreciate where I work and the people I work with/for a lot more.

kmkat said...

That sucks.

=Tamar said...

What I found most annoying was their implied assumption that they have any right to know anything about my life outside work, good or bad. My solution was to give the bland socially required responses and never give details, treating work as a role I was playing, complete with costume.

Jen said...

I'm sorry things have gotten so out of whack, everywhere, from the sounds of it. :(