office

It’s funny to be involved in designing these other buildings- courts of law, hospitals. Nonetheless places where people work, where the numbers of those who work there is not an entirely insignificant share of the total number of users. Admittedly, always a lower share than for office buildings. However, the permanent users. And then office buildings. The interesting thing is that control seems to be one of the core functions and aims of these whole ventures. Control of the employed that is. Not work per se.

Meanwhile, clients commissioning courts of law and hospitals, are interested in easy or proper process, good communication between departments, physical security of users, sustainability. Strangely they don’t seem in the least bit concerned with reducing socializing spaces so employees would not be tempted to slack off work, nor to make sure desks are located such that screens are visible from corridors to facilitate control (on top of all other monitoring technologies).

So people involved in providing medical care or resolving legal conflicts don’t have the same tendency to slack off as those working in office buildings. They’re simply a different brand of people. A bit of cheap sarcasm. One view is that there is something big happening in hospitals and courts of law. Lives are saved, destinies are decided. While presumably nothing of much importance really happens in office buildings. Procedure and protocol are a reality in all environments. However, following this logic, for office buildings it’s procedure applied to a relative void. Which is ironic per se. Another fact supporting the thesis that nothing really happens in offices, except an agglomeration of people involved in the economic cyclical paradox, is that control is a primary concern by so much, that it may be that the following concern (general fire safety regulations?) barely gets mentioned. Either way, office buildings seem to be pretty much a function of control and not much else. Second hypothesis, making the experiment of personalization, is that office environments are a function of the leader’s remarkable insecurity- remarkable meant as also somewhat impressive. This would be consistent with a number of everyday events I witnessed in office environments…standard questions: “did I tell you to do this?”, “what did I tell you to do?”, non-standard derivations “what did you do with the paper comprising my instructions, did you make airplanes out of it?” (despite the hint being maybe just a little bit funny, the context wasn’t funny at all), “why are you helping your colleague? is your colleague the one paying you?”.

Such that, keeping it short, much of life as employed in such environments consists of tending to a person with a marked psychological dysfunction…making sure they’re OK, and nothing disturbs them too much. And then- procedure…where procedure barely has anything to do with the quality of work. As we’ve already established there isn’t really any work. Procedure and lengthy contracts have to do with protecting data. And codes of conduct restricting freedom of expression and aimed at protecting the self-made aura of the company/ boss.

So- some work spaces remain a function of personal paranoia, while in others something is actually happening. Now return to start.

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