By special guest writer Jake.
Repiphany - (repiph-a-ny)[ri-pi-fe-nE] noun, plural -nies
-(1) The reoccurrence of an intuitive grasp of reality through an even, usually simple and striking. (2) Reoccurrence of an illuminating discovery
- Middle Mid-West English repiphanie, Middle French Connection from the Language Previously Known as Latin repiphania
-Date: 22nd Century
Due to recent events in Toas, New Mexico, I have landed a desk job, which is foreign and hostile. However, were it not for my injury, I would not have had experienced my repiphany. To understand, I must take you to another time and another place....
It was summer of 2000, after struggling to find a summer job; I finally landed an inter-ship with a financial institution, which will remain nameless. The department I worked for did not deal with anything monetary; we stricly had a support role. My job was to help in with a Data Repository Program, no problem (previous computer experience consisted on email and word processing,w ith a smattering of spreadsheet work...you know, the Business Major special). When given my first assignment, I was able to turn it around by that early afternoon. No follow-up project, why you may ask? My boss expected me to finish the project in two or three days. Not all bad, I was able to go home early.
When I returned to my desk the following day, I had a project waiting for me...great! This project was finished before lunch. While walking to turn it in, I had an epiphany (an illuminating discovery). I have no social structure in this job...no friends who stop by my desk/cube/hamster box to talk about family or last night's debauchery. Earlier I had noticed a lot of chewing the fat occurring around me, but I was never directly involved. While those surrounding me were chatting away, I was working.
Could there be a direct correlation between office socialites and productivity? While most companies foster teamwork and an environment which allows for communication on multiple levels; were these same companies sacrificing productivity for a more cohesive workplace? The United States Post Office perhaps used an inverse model to my thoughts....
I decided to form a hypothesis: If worker "X" is provided with a social structure, then worker X will be less productive (the inverse is assumed based on my own experience). To spare you from the gory details, my hypothesis was supported and at the end of the summer I returned for my final semester of college.
Now fast-forward a year and three months to the present...I am in the office now, much different from my previously mentioned experience, much better. It was, however, the second day in the office I had my repiphany, was stuck again without a solid social structure (I say solid social structure because I actually know some of the staff and other volunteers in the office, but nothing more). My productivity was high, because I had no one to have a lasting coversation with. THe more I thought about it; most of the other volunteers were in the same situation. Their work seemed to be finished early, leaving them with hours of down time (see subsequent study on office work habits).
At this point I realized that work, no matter what the job, is a constant cover for making yourself look busy. Those whom look the busiest in their least productive states are rewarded with the highest commendation.
When do you think business figure this out; if we pay these people enough, they will screw us over....