Headline May 14, 2019/ '' 'JOBS -RAT RACE- JOOP ' ''


''SWEAT SHOPS : WORKING STIFFS : BULLSHIT JOBS. On your marks then, for the ''996'' rat races........

As The World Students Society's, ever great and master professional, operational research head :  Zilli, and her splendid team, research, and round off, some very advance research work on 'Corporate Social Responsibility'.

SHANGHAI : Shanghai software engineer, Wu Linfeng watched the silent comedy ''Modern Times'' recently and soon found himself crying.

Watching Charlie Chaplin's classic stressed-out assembly-line worker was like watching himself.

Overworked, underpaid, and feeling like hamster on a wheel, he is among China's masses of mostly male tech-industry staff whose long hours have sparked off a national debate about work-life  balance.

The coders, engineers, programmers, software developers, game designers and other IT manpower behind China's burgeoning digital economy have become known as ''996'' workers due to the 9am - 6pm, six day week they work, without overtime pay.

Wu, who asked that a pseudonym be used to protect his job, has followed that schedule for three years at a leading Chinese Internet company.

''You're the first girl I've spoken to in about a year,'' he told an AFP reporter, with just a hint of exaggeration.

Chinese tech companies have grown rapidly along with the country's digital transformation, becoming giants at home while some like Huawei and Alibaba are globally recognised brands.

The millions of tech workers behind their success had for years attracted little attention, but the issue went viral recently with the anonymous release online of a ''blacklist'' of Chinese companies where  ''996'' prevails. 

The list this week reached 139 companies, including fast-growing e-commerce platforms Pinduoduo, messaging and games giant Tencent, Bytedance, creator of popular apps and content platforms.

Its host page, located at ''996ICU'' - because working those hours supposedly puts you in intensive care - has been translated into more than 20 languages.

''BULLSHIT JOBS : A THEORY''............

David Graeber constructs some elaborate theories as to why this problem has arisen.

He suggests that automation in recent decades did cause mass unemployment but that society conspired to create a bunch of illusory jobs to disguise the fact.

He also argues that while executives in the Reagan/Thatcher era prided themselves on how many low level workers they could lay off, they hired lots of management flunkies to enhance their status.

*And he postulates that it is all part of a system of social control, in which young people are loaded-up with debt and then pushed into meaningless jobs in order to pay it off, thereby keeping them docile.

But these explanations seem inherently unlikely. Modern executives are motivated by share options  which usually require them to meet profit targets.

They are pursued by activist investors , who  may get them fired if they underperform. Given those threats, bosses would hardly employ lots of  useless, profit sapping staff.

Instead the problem lies in the nature of services company. In a factory, you can count the widgets made each day, which limits the scope for bullshit.

In a service business, it is harder to monitor the quality and quantity of output. Like the old quip about advertising, executives may know that half of their workers time is wasted, but not which half.

In response to this lack of knowledge, executives create host of targets, and hold a lot of meetings to try to understand  what is going on.

As Messrs . Hamel and Zanini put it : ''A growing percentage of time gets consumed in efforts to keep the organisation from collapsing under the weight of its own complexity.''

In other words, there is no need for Mr. Graeber to construct elaborate theories about neoliberal conspiracies to explain the phenomenon of wasted efforts.

Parkinson nailed the issue six decades ago : ''Officials make work for each other.''

With respectful dedication to the Corporate Leaders, Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all prepare for Great Global Elections and ''register'' on : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! - the Ecosystem 2011:

''' !WOW! -Weighs '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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