Chronal Caste System

Short rant for...
Ed, Pat, and Leo

image info            I was speaking to a prole brother at work a few days ago (he is in the shipping and receiving department at my work - and basically gets treated like a donkey), he said something I cannot stop thinking about. “The difference between your work and mine is that I am judged on what I did today, you get judged on what you did this week” He was wrong, I am actually judged on my output for the day, but I now see this as an extreme, immediate problem.

            There is a caste system based on time. At the bottom of the pyramid workers are managed for compliance, efficiency and speed. They have daily, even hourly deliverables. At the top of the pyramid workers are managed for creativity, innovation and discernment. CEOs typically get half or more of their pay in their yearly bonus, conversely undocumented construction workers get paid at the end of the working day. (it's not a coincidence that liquor stores in bad neighborhoods here in LA have glowing we-cash-checks signs) When we are judged and paid on what we did today, there is no room for greatness. The micro-management style that uses stress and surveillance to enforce productivity probably works best when applied to burger flippers and trash collectors. Film directors typically make one movie a year; most authors' cadence is even slower. Tenured academics, investors (Buffet claims to make only a few decisions a year) inventors, painters, physicists ect all get the “genius” branding BECAUSE they are judged based on what they did this decade, who is the world's great burger flipper?

            Genius is starved by short time horizons and fed by the long term view. Albert Einstein, the funko pop of genius said, “it's not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer”. Autistic people on average have an IQ around 80, but are hugely overrepresented in “intelligent” jobs like programming. I’d bet this has something to do with the common autism symptom of fixations - an intense focus surrounding a certain area or topic of interest. Anyone can be a genius in one highly specific area if they devote every waking hour to it.

            My point is: if someone is rushing you/compressing your time horizon you need to get the fuck away from them. You are only useful to the middle managers if you are thinking short term. Approval is not fungible! Do not work for the approval of those who have little tiny µ-dreams for you. They want you thinking about tomorrow, because they hate you. I want you thinking about next year because I love you.

            Actionable part: my best friend and I meet once a week to discuss what we worked on that week for the long term. I also do monthly reviews with myself but will probably add an accountability partner to this process to make it more legit. I’ll let you know in a few years if any of these tactics help.

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