The Good Fight
While a lot of people dismiss fighting shonen mangas/animes like Bleach and Naruto (or back in the day, things like Ranma, Hajime no Ippo) because of their strong bias towards of stubborn, underdog charcters, I think there’s a valuable lesson to be taken from all of them.
I’ve been talking about the workplace a lot lately because that’s been occupying a lot of my mind. I really feel that the hospital is a place a miracles– yet the work environment is terrible. There’s a lot of exploitation, a lot of lack of respect, a lot of bullying (which, actually, according to the hospital charter, all constitute intolerable violence).
Sometimes [Chere] tells me to give it up, that I’m wasting my energy. True, I’m using energy– but as to wasting? That depends on how much effect I bring about– and just because I don’t see immediate results, it doesn’t mean that I am not obliged by my own sense of morals to act.
So I’ll fight with my managers.
Every time they don’t remember to pay me, I’ll give them a day to fix it, then report them to the union.
Every time they try to introduce a protocol that I think is inefficient, I’ll make noise about it.
Every time they “create work” that doesn’t need to be done and gets dumped on me, I’ll “put it on my list,” which I’ll show to them later when they wonder why I never have time to be friends with them.
Every time they make a reflex to say “yes” to some other manager without asking us first, I’ll call them on their lack of democratic consultation.
Every time they throw something on my desk, I’ll give them a dirty look and say “what’s this?” even thogh I might know what it is.
Every time they say something vague and inspirational, I’ll demand to know what the pratical implementation of “we’re getting there” or “this needs to be discussed at the next meaning” means. I will point out explicitly that they have said essentially nothing of value in the past few minutes. They love that.
Every time someone has a problem with management that is management’s fault, I’ll help to build a case to compalin against management.
Ombudsmen? Please– they’re my best friends. I always help the ombudsmen go after management.
Mind, you, I’ll do everything legally and tactfully. I’ll be working within the guidelines of the work practice– but if I can make management’s life a living hell, to the point where they wake up in the morning and say “fuck, I don’t want to go to that place….” then I’ll have done my job.
It’s nothing personal. But you have to train people like you train dogs– when they’re bad, you treat them bad. Conversely, I’ll encourage them whenever they do something right.
My point is, we shouldn’t just roll over and die, not even for what appear to be impossible fights. Policies might not care how much you try to resist them… but the managers who enforce them, they’re human– they can be affected, if you’re persistent enough.
The real trick isn’t resisiting policies– it’s making managers feel so stupid about enforcing bad ones that eventually they change them for better ones. But until that happens– sure, it’ll feel futile.
If you believe that you virtuous, though, no matter what, fight.