Do You Have A Bullshit Job?

gdazegodgdazegod Posted 6 months ago
Do You Have A Bullshit Job? One of the regular online newspapers that I read is the New Zealand Herald (NZH). Though I've lived in Australia for over a decade, I find Australian news very derivative; with many regional/state newspapers all reading off the same page, excuse the pun.

To an extent, there is a lot of cross-pollination between the two countries, and when reporters get desperate for a story, they go trolling through Twitter, Reddit, FB and so on. Journalism has really sunk to a new low as a result.

Anyway, the NZH has recently begun regurgitating some of their so-called 'highlight' stories of the year. Similar to our Best Of articles I guess.

One that stuck with me when I saw it this morning was an article I distinctly remember when it was first published some months ago.

The article was titled: 'do you have a bullshit job?'

This article really appealed to me because I believe much of what was written (by British based Anthropologist David Graeber) was right on the money.

In essence, a lot of the current-day Corporate environment is utterly and totally nonsense and meaningless. One should apply the old adage: 'will it be important in five years time?' If not, why is it being done? Good question.

Most at risk are PR and Advertising Executives, Insurance Salespeople, Telemarketers, Admin Assistants, Report Analysts and Middle Line Managers.

I'd throw Journalists in there too, as they seem to be replaced by Bloggers and Citizens and Community Journalists.

With the advent of better technology, linked data and artificial intelligence (AI), humanity is going to have to think of new ways of being creative to earning a dollar.

The following are the five groups Mr Graeber defined as being nonsense in the current-day workforce:

Goons: These are people who act aggressively on behalf of their employer, even if their actions are pointless or harmful. Lobbyists, corporate lawyers, telemarketers and PR people fall into this category.

Flunkies: People serve only to make other people feel important. They include admin assistants, door attendants and receptionists.

Duct-tapers: Graeber describes duct-tapers as those employed to attend to problems caused by other employees. This is a bit like hiring people with buckets to empty the water out of a leaking ship.

Box Tickers: These are people who manage the performance of a business, compiling reports and presenting a breakdown of what needs to change. One bank employee who spoke to Graeber said the vast majority of the reports he developed were ignored or not taken on board by his employer.

Taskmasters: This category broadly refers to middle management, the group largely responsible for managing people who already know what they have to do on a day-to-day basis.

So that made me think about the purpose of GDM. Does it have a purpose? Well yes, I believe it does. If setting the historical record of our beloved genres of rock music is the goal, then it serves a purpose for the common good.

Much like other web presences out there which are also in the business of leaving a documented legacy. Such as Wikipedia, theirs is a noble cause which does cost money and time to build, but relies heavily on volunteers and donations, which sometimes you see as splash screens from time to time.

So in 2019, leaving more of a historical record is vitally important to GDM, and it may see a slight deviation in approach, especially around interviews which will probably be given a new lease of life, as more of our treasured individuals get close to Gods Waiting Room.

By the way, if I ever thought GDM's purpose was trapped in any of the five group categories listed above, I would've given the game away years ago. The fact we still continue after twenty years is a testament to our commitment to the cause. Consider it a public service, albeit a marginalized one.

Original article: NZ Herald Article

About gdazegod

I am the Super Administrator of GDM, and I currently live in Melbourne, AUST


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  • Explorer
    Is the NHS a `Corporate environment`?, in some respects yes it is.Will it be here in 5 years time?, well if the present government here in the UK has it`s way.....I believe it won`t. The NHS is over flowing with Middle managers, tick boxers etc, my department alone which only has 12 people has 4 managers...go figure, and all on 30K+ a year I bet.
    As for your question, do I have a Bullshit job?, I`d like to think I don`t (Cancer Services), some may disagree, I`m on my way out of the job market anyway and as I near retirement age I`m going even more part time come this coming week.
    Reply · · - January 03 2019 14:10:28
  • gdazegod
    Any job that is aimed at the public service in the right way, is of benefit.
    Reply · · - January 03 2019 19:22:58
  • Eric
    I also work in Healthcare as does my significant other. She's on the front-lines, I'm not. I've done so many different things in my life, I've never thought of any job as a BS job (I once had a job cleaning Horse manure out barns/ stalls in upstate New York as a teenager, I suppose that comes close!) just crappy managers and supervisors and the occasional dickhead co-worker. I've had to pay my bills, and made the best of it and still do. That said, the corporate thing is a little too much to stomach at times, but what do you do? I see a lot of pain, death and sadness in the Hospital and I guess seeing that on a daily basis, I'm thinking things could be a lot worse.
    Reply · · - January 06 2019 23:49:17
  • richardb
    For me getting up at stupid o'clock and travelling 5 hours+ a day to work in London eventually became utterly joyless. Due to a quirk of fate I ended up leaving my job in London and thank my lucky stars I managed to get out while I still had my sanity. Fast forward 5 years and I now count my many blessings. Being able to run a business from home with my wife that pays the bills is a huge plus and I have no intention of ever returning to the job market ever again. However I do worry what the future holds for my sons and the younger generation as as a whole..
    Reply · · - January 09 2019 23:00:05


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