Structure? Think again!


I sometimes hear, “I do much better in a structured environment.” Oh, dearly beloved, please allow your humble enlightened one to disabuse you of that notion. Unless you are talking brick and mortar buildings, you are headed the way of the buffalo. Even Charlie Tuna has a fin up on you. Life was less complicated back in the womb too. My problems actually started when they cut the cord.

Life is less confusing when strict rules are imposed. Just don’t color outside the lines. Easy! Like labs rats and inmates. As the future nudges you into your next corporate incarceration, a structured environment is not where you want to be unless you’re waiting for that minimum wage bump. Imagine your McDonald’s retirement party.

I have heard some beauties in my day. My favorites responses from some of my younger ex-employees: “Sure, just tell me what you want me to do.” “That’s not what you said to do.” “I was waiting for you to tell me what to do next.” “That’s not MY job.”

Creative thinking separates the winners from the losers, the living from the dead and our fat asses from the office furniture.

I heard a very interesting analogy in my younger days. I asked someone what the difference between a blue collar worker and a white collar worker was. He said “The blue collar guy gets paid to do exactly what he’s told and the white collar guy gets paid to think of things to tell the blue collar guy to do.” What an asshole, I thought.

I now know, as a business owner, the white collar guy, (let’s say executive,) has to be able to be extremely creative, handle a higher level of stress, politics, some backstabbing and lots of second guessing. When the shit hits the fan, you better be able to find a new fan.

Having been on both sides of the fence, I led a very enjoyable stress free life performing my assigned functions to the letter in the early part of my career. It made me a star of sorts. You give me a clear objective and I will swallow it whole right before your eyes. Notice I said “clear.” Plan the shoot, shoot the plan.

I was also a member in good standing of the Steelworkers Union back in the 60’s. This is where I learned about job pacing, not being too helpful, double checking with the shop steward before performing a requested action from management and then watching some alcoholic loser get a promotion before me because he started two weeks earlier. It’s only fair, right comrade? The upside is, you learn so many union chapter rules word for word, you can skip Harvard. (If you only paid that much attention in high school.)

This is where your body, your soul and your mind part ways. It’s where your gray matter turns to sludge. This is where some code monkey writes a program that takes you completely out of the picture. Congratulations, you’ve just been automated!

So what is it? Do you just want a job or an adventure?

Or maybe some sentencing guidelines?

Please note: I welcome comments that are offensive, illogical or off-topic from readers in all states of consciousness.

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