huge trucks, left and right
north and south, run me over
daily life at work
The commute is bad enough but the real traffic problems often don’t start until I get to work.
Imagine a tic-tac-toe grid.
I am standing in center square and there is a land mine in all the other squares.
My first email of the day says, ‘take one step in any direction.’
Complicating the issue is the inbred all American feeling of work place justice.
A feeling that this situation isn’t right, it isn’t fair.
I don’t have to put up with this.
I am not going to put up with this.
The notion persists that THEY can’t treat me this way.
This is the country of The Caine Mutiny after all.
Young American Men, in a time of war yet, a national emergency, take on a petty tyrant and expose the injustice of their workplace situation, list the faults of their commander and triumph against the system.
Yeah, well kinda sorta maybe.
The movie shows the scene after the trial where Barney Greenwald confronts Tom Keefer and belittle’s Keefer’s and the other officers for their actions.
The book is a little more in depth on the after trial.
The verdict in favor of Steve Maryk and the other officers is vacated as a miscarriage of justice.
And this is somewhat overlooked, Willie Keith goes back to the USS Caine.
The same ship.
The same crew.
The same Navy.
The same rules and regulations.
Queeg was gone to be sure.
Had all the officers let go of their personal outrage and supported Queeg the best they could have, Queeg would have been moved along by the Navy.
I understand this.
What was different.
I think I am watching the wrong movie.
Reading the wrong book.
Perhaps I should turn instead to the classic No Time For Sergeants.
The first night in boot camp, Sergeant King comes out to explain life in the military.
He says, “Well, I’ve been in for 18 years and it ain’t like you think it is at all.
It’s a quiet, peaceful life, if you mind your own business.
It’s like there was a big lake, nice and calm.
I’m in a canoe, you’re in another, the captain’s in a canoe and the colonel.
You know what you do if you report somebody or complain about somebody …or request something?
You make waves.
I hate to pull rank on you, but for your information … you got the smallest canoe in the whole lake.”
On the whole, this is a much better outlook for the modern american workplace.
I am writing it on my office wall as you read this.
Because tomorrow we are all back in our canoes out on the lake.