Workplace Caste System

At my new job, I’m working at a huge bank. There’s an obvious workplace caste system

There are 4 types of offices on the floor.

At the lowest tier is an open area. Desks are packed together closely with no space or privacy. This is where I’m sitting.

At the next tier are cubicles.

At the next tier are offices, located by the windows on the side.

At the highest tier is the corner office. It’s also larger than the other offices.

In the lobby, they have a janitor mopping the floor all day. The expression on his face says “I can’t believe I’m such a pathetic loser that this is the best job I can get. Is this all life has to offer for me?” It’s also a brilliant mind-control method, although I don’t know if anyone did it on purpose. When a janitor is mopping the floor all day, that’s a subtle reminder to everyone else, “No matter how much your job sucks, at least you aren’t this pathetic loser.”

Once in awhile, I see one of the higher-ranking managers. If I smile at them, their reaction says “How dare low-ranking scum like you be friendly with me!” That’s offensive. It’s a symptom that the leaders have evil tendencies and an exaggerated sense of their self-importance. If you’re working on the same floor as someone, you should be somewhat friendly.

A bank workplace has a clearcut caste system. Legally, everyone is equal, but some people are more equal than others.

6 Responses to Workplace Caste System

  1. Anonymous Coward October 3, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    In past jobs, I’ve had to write code converting masses of financial transactions from one system into another. It was so long ago that I can’t remember if the trades were worth tens of millions of tens of billions of dollars.

    Anyway at the time I was sitting in an open area.

    The company I worked for was mainly a software company but they also were branching out into the organization of training sessions.

    So all the time I was trying to write this software dealing with billions of dollars, there was a man behind me on the telephone all day and talking in a very annoying voice.

    I thought it was just plain stupid and that I could accomplish more if I had some peace and quiet. I think to make up for it to some extent I worked late evenings and weekends, which I don’t recommend as a solution.

    In another job, it was pretty much the same arrangement. I was writing software that would save manual computer work for several companies, but behind me were a group of people doing different work. Their work wasn’t as intricate as mine and they often chatted for hours at a time about of all things sport.

    I did ruin my concentration. The stupid thing was the company I was working for at the time had a few empty offices.

  2. It’s like when the elevator door opens, and they are all in business suits. I have to excuse myself, not dressed.

    How many jobs have you had in the last 5 years? You are good at getting jobs, but not at staying at them. Take a pill.

    I have had one software client for 14 years, and one for 5 years. I advertise on Craigslist about once a decade. There is no reason to be an employee, and you can work at home.

    • It’s a large bank, so performance has nothing to do with profit at all. Who needs good software and good workers, when you can get the government to give you a bailout?

      My job struggles are a symptom of a collapsing economy, rather than anything I’m doing wrong. My problem is getting backstabbed by coworkers and bosses threatened by my ability, rather than my ability to write good software.

      It isn’t that easy to start a software consulting business. That’s more about salesmanship than writing and delivering good software.

    • Anonymous Coward October 3, 2012 at 8:33 pm

      I’ve had quite a few jobs when I was working for companies, rather than for myself.

      The reasons why I’ve had so many jobs are given below and also some reasons that apply to other people (not necessarily me).

      1) My early jobs were low paid. They had long hours (much evening, night, early hours of the morning and weekend work) as well. Despite being obviously competent, new employers just tended to match my previous salary i.e. a crap salary followed me from one job to another. A survey has shown this rule applies to other people as well.

      2) Jobs tended to use me for my existing skills and never gave me the opportunity to learn new skills. Only in a couple of jobs could I learn significant new stuff.

      3) Recruitment consultants (scumbags) just tend to put you forward for almost exactly the same jobs you have had before. It takes a while to realize just what is happening.

      4) The unspoken rule is that once you have a crap job you are never given a good job.

      5) Most managers I’ve encountered either do nothing or create problems.

      Now that I work for myself I have a reasonably stable income that is stable as measured across years. I have been very lucky though. It is a pity that the corporate environment couldn’t offer me a stable job and make better use of me.

      So why I am a success when I work for myself, but a company manager will view my 5 jobs in 10 years and say I am a complete failure?

    • Anonymous Coward October 4, 2012 at 9:03 am

      I think there is something about the software industry that sucks.

      At the moment I make a decent living working for myself. In my niche, my customers say I have the best product. Certainly for several years I was head and shoulders above any competition.

      When I was working in companies, I don’t think I had one decent manager. Or if there was a manager that didn’t cause any damage, then his superiors would mess up other parts of the company and (perhaps as a consequence) be mean with money.

      Dishonest management, company policy to cut x% of employees every year and shifting blame onto workers for bad decisions (or a lack of decisions) is part of the course.

      Towards the end of my “career” I had one interviewer comment on having 5 jobs in 10 years. This is not due to the employee, but rather the way the system works.

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