Human Interest

Wresting control from others who would control you

English: 1920 British National Health Insuranc...

English: 1920 British National Health Insurance stamp. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Whatever work it is that you do, as long as you’re doing it, your days are flying by. You can try to think of it as otherwise, but the days you live and the passage of time that mark them, are about as in control of you as you think you are of them.

Time management is overrated.

Do you ever think you have time management down? I mean, really down? Well, you don’t and you won’t ever. Time is something you can’t keep track of. It often gets away from us. It leaves us feeling helpless.

“I just met that deadline for Biff and now he’s giving me three more things that will be almost impossible to get done on time. What the heck is wrong with that mother lover?”

Who knows. Biff is just doing his job as your boss. You get something done and let’s say it’s ahead of time, before you know it you’re a candidate for more work to be heaped upon you.

“You’re just so awesome, Bob. That’s why they keep giving you more and more work.”

I don’t think it has anything to do with my awesomeness (although I have been endorsed for it repeatedly on LinkedIn.). It’s just a matter of getting things done. If you finish something ahead of schedule, it stands to reason you’ll be given more to do. And sooner rather than later.

If you want to skate go fly a kite.

The way metrics are in the corporate world, the days of slacking are long gone. Besides, if you’re a slacker, your co-workers are incentivized to turn you in or at least to reveal or out you. We long ago gave up our right to privacy. We have our credit records monitored because everything else about our lives and us is already under observation. So, it doesn’t feel too unnatural when we say, “Go ahead and tell me not to send that email unless I am comfortable with a 100 gazillion people reading it.”

This image was selected as a picture of the we...

This image was selected as a picture of the week on the Farsi Wikipedia for the 13th week, 2011. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am comfortable with it. In fact, I am conditioned to it.

Big Brother and everyone else is watching everything we do. But, of course, we like it that way. We’ve grown accustomed to anyone and everyone checking us out. Truth be told, we encourage it and try to get as much attention as possible. We’ve become no better than dogs who bark simply to be noticed by their masters.

 If the Internet is King why can’t we vote online yet?

The main reason we haven’t had elections online is because of the control the government would cede to the will of the people. Instead of only a small percentage of the population actually voting, influencing things and making important decisions, we’d have practically all of the citizenry of the United States involved. Think of how everything could be truly democratic. Think of how real, positive change could begin from within with that kind of influence.

You say logistically it can’t be done. But you’re dead wrong.

The government has already proven how powerful the Internet is when it comes to a proposition that serves its interests. Look at how we are able to do our own taxes. Even though this is an example of the freedoms of the Internet (and TurboTax), the government’s influence is never far behind. We have the mandate that everyone must have health insurance. When you use TurboTax or any other software to do your taxes, the government will pry into your personal life and penalize you for not having health insurance.

So, it’s already been done.

If we can use the Internet to sign everyone up for health insurance, and I mean everyone, there is no reason we all can’t vote online too. I say we could combine the two in the interest of expediency. File and pay your taxes and then vote for the politicians of your choosing—all at the same time. Eventually, we wouldn’t have to do both at the same time, though.

Plus, we wouldn’t need to miss work to go vote. Since many employers already provide time off to vote, we could just vote online while at work. Or we could do it before or after work from home. You can’t tell me that working the whole voting online thing out would be more difficult than getting the insurance for all online thing done.

It’s about control. Always has been. We always feel the need for control. But so does the government. So do our employers. How do we keep control while other entities are wrestling for control of us and our lives?

Take Control

Take Control (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There is no easy answer. Just like there’s no easy way to slack at work anymore. You’re being watched. I’m being watched. There’s nothing we can do about it. Best advice I heard that I didn’t understand totally, was when I was told, “Just be yourself, Bob.”

That might work in terms of maintaining control, if only I knew who that was.

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