Proverbs 14:1. “The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.” Today in your hearing, they tear down their offices, too.
Are we seeing the return of the closed-door office? I hope not.
By Barbara Krasnoff, 2 May 2021
So it seems that Google, the exemplar of the open-office concept, is trying now to figure out how to keep its design ideals intact while offering its employees at least some feeling of safety in these 6-foot-apart times.
That will be tricky. If the open-office concept is good for anything but fostering paranoia then it’s a well-kept secret and certainly not “some feeling of safety”.
Apparently, these measures may include a number of interesting concepts, such as inflatable walls. (A GIF of one of those walls slowly unfolding nearly had me doing a spit-take with my morning coffee.)
I don’t see it catching on because of incompatibility with panopticon-obsessed managers who project their hateful suspicions upon their maltreated proles. Barbie has nothing to worry about.
These rather complex measures may have some people wondering whether we should abandon the entire open-office concept and go back to a more old-fashioned — but in these pandemic days, safer — plan of separate offices and high-walled cubicles. To tell you the truth, it doesn’t sound like a bad idea. But.
It sounds like an AWESOME idea! Forget outlawing slavery, we should have instead passed a right to put a soundproofed-cardboard barrier between ourselves and that mouth-breathing, nose-picking neighbor. In fact, that’s what the Bible did. Instead of outlawing the putting of chains and collars on slaves, it instead mandated that subordinates be treated so humanely that there was no longer an economic incentive to slavery by ANY name.
USA doesn’t have slavery anymore. We have student debt, prison labor, alimony and new for Obama-2, mandatory recommended health guidelines. Totally different, except none of our leaders want themselves to be treated in the new ways, either.
First, let me assure you that I am not a great fan of the whole open-office concept myself. As someone who worked out of a home office for many years, and in a traditional office setting before that, while the comradery that the open office encourages is nice, I don’t love the need to dash for a closed-door “phone booth” every time I receive, or need to make, a personal call — or, in fact, any call. I don’t enjoy having to hide in a cubicle in the ladies’ room if I am even a little upset or angry.
If Cuckservatives only knew how unsuited women are to the workplace… temperamentally as well as physically… then they would furiously outlaw reality.
In fact, before the pandemic hit, I was strongly tempted to put a photo from the 1928 film The Crowd or 1960’s The Apartment up at my desk to show that, well, open offices aren’t exactly new to our times.
Exactly! What could be worse than such dehumanizing behavior?
On the other hand… One thing I definitely do not miss about the traditional office structure is what having a private office represented. It was status. It showed what your boss thought of you and your potential. It represented your place in the organization — both to you, and to everyone else.
So? There are always status indicators in the workplace. Privacy for managers had the extra advantage that they sometimes need to keep discussions with staff discreet. It’s status, sure, but status that serves a purpose. Like a CEO getting a company jet. Why force everybody to be unhappy because the alternative… uh-oh.
She could be the poster girl for “somebody who would rather watch the entire world suffer than be happy for a man in authority over her”.
Today, she is.
Years ago, a newly-appointed editor-in-chief at a publication where I worked decided that he didn’t like me, but didn’t want to look bad by firing an employee who had a good record with the company. So he reassigned me from a private office to a cubicle next to the sales department, where I had to try to do my work while the guy next to me spent the day shouting into his phone. I, and everyone I worked with, recognized the significance of the move. It was meant to tell other workers that I was a pariah. It was meant to tell vendors and PR reps that I was not respected by my publication, and perhaps they should be dealing with someone else. It was meant to convince me to leave.
In a truly open office, where nobody (including the editor-in-chief) has their own office, that is no longer an issue. There are other ways, of course, to mistreat an employee — lots of different ways. But the use of the office as an indication of your status within the company can be incredibly toxic.
And years later, she’s still bitter and resentful about that editor-in-chief? I cannot imagine why he decided he didn’t like Barbie and her “good record”. No, instead she wants no man above her to have a scrap more privilege than she does… which I’m guessing has, inexplicably, not increased much since being paired with Loud Howard.
In The Apartment, for example, Jack Lemmon plays a worker who is promised his own office if he allows executives to use his apartment for their extramarital flings. In other words, he is strongly tempted to compromise his own ethics in order to gain this status symbol.
There’s a movie that nobody saw… a man trying to sleep his way to the top of his company. *checks* It won a lot of awards, natch for early feminism… Wikipedia says eighth-highest grossing film of 1960, hmm, they didn’t do the blockbuster thing back then so I dunno. It was reportedly played for laughs at the time so maybe was popular for that reason.
Not that I’m going to watch a second of it.
If Google, and other current companies, can combine the better features of the open-office system with an increase in privacy and safety, then more power to them — even to their weird, inflating walls.
Yeah, so, feminism was never about equality. It was always about male envy.