There are many articles comparing business leaders to psychopaths – sociopaths and worse.
To be blunt it is not unnatural for people in society with certain predilections to pursue leadership.
It is entirely possible that I am not free from certain tendencies either, to put it mildly.
Yesterday I went to the annual Christmas dinner at work. It was held in a little Italian restaurant a kilometer away from the business.
I dont quite understand how the business functions but I do know that my fellow workers are ex alcoholics – people with various forms of physical and mental disabilities who have been on state funding for some time and that the business is there to ease people back to work.
Where I fit in I am not sure but the person overseeing my inter-reactions with Nav, the Norwegian state run organization appears to be a good listener but clearly is not really interested in anything other than making sure her world is unruffled by anything that does not fit the pattern.I dont.
So back to the dinner and the business. The dinner was all very jolly but it was interesting to note the number of people who one does not normally see in the day to day running of the place. I sat next to a man who apparently was the leader of the committee overseeing the project – the mayor of Eide. We did have a little chat but it lacked warmth. I was not management.
I told him that a choir was a wonderful thing – the choir master could organize it so that it was perfect, but it was not any good unless those in the choir received joy from what they were doing. His response was to ask me if I was in a choir. I dont know if he missed the point but I rather spect his status forbade him from hearing.
After dinner the speeches began – they were about how marvelous this or that person was – how hard the committee worked and so on –
Recently I had been in an accident at the factory – I had refused on many occasions to use dangerous equipment – I had refused to do certain jobs unless I was allowed to make protective equipment which they clearly did not have – the cost, very little.
Finally I had agreed to use one machine for a particular job and had the top of my thumb broken and the nail removed by a piece of plywood projected back with considerable force – the foreman had exactly the same accident but with 2 fingers some 20 minutes later.
Sitting there listening to the bosses droning on about themselves I got very angry –
This dinner was about them – not about us – the business was in reality about them, not the workers – as I pointed out to my boss some days before – every single attempt of mine to introduce some more interesting project or job had been met with refusal.
It was almost as if we were here to be punished.
I had written to the Arbeidetilsynet because of the dangerous machinery and practices – the result was very little – in fact not even a course for those using the machines – I am the only one showing people how to use push sticks for instance, without them people were holding down material with their hands centimeters from large unprotected circular saw blades. (they still are)
I wrote to them again recently suggesting that we were being ignored because we were disabled in one way or another. No reply this time.
Finally the speeches of self praise droned to a halt.
Has anyone else anything to say said the lady boss – Yuss says I.
Stand up then – I said no – I have a painful leg and anyway everyone can hear me quite well.
I said that this lunch was about the bosses, not about us. Funnily enough though I only had that one sentence to say I received applause – was I right??
God they need stirring, those who sit in ivory towers – then need reminding that we all have a brain and that they are just the same as us. I constantly receive reminders of what people are capable of, the incredible things that people can and do do – the bosses at Svanpro need reminding too but unfortunately that has to come from someone of their status as clearly they wont listen to anyone else.