Let me tell you something, dear reader - I am a two-faced hypocrite.
No, I am, and let me tell you why.
If you go back through my blog history you will see a variety of responses to The Way The World Works (tm). You will find that a great many of them lean quite far to the left, and are critical of - amongst other things - corporate hegemony and supremacy.
So...how does a man that likes all this... claim to have a half-decent work ethic?
Isn't the entire idea of a work ethic antithetical to the resistance against the environment which requires a work ethic? Can someone really take pride in being on time and putting in good hours when they regularly speak against the concept that employment as it stands in this day and age is inherently anti-person?
You know, I actually used to struggle with this one. When I was a teenager I couldn't see how someone could work and be against the system that makes work a necessity, because I lacked nuance - or the foresight that I could sit around and yell about business sins all I wanted, I still had to eat, and I probably needed shelter.
Okay so peep this: under the current system, if you're not in the capital class, you work or you die. If you can't work, the state is allegedly meant to help you, though it takes every single opportunity not to. If you can't FIND work, the state is allegedly meant to help you, though it takes every single opportunity not to. If you just don't want to -
Well that's it, you're done. You work or you die.
(I predict that a minority of those who read my blog at this point will take off on the point of some people living on benefits that don't deserve to. Frankly - yawn. Look up some figures about tax avoidance and get back to me.)
So. Given that we have to work - because everything costs money - we are all in the same position. Everyone below a certain level has to put in the hours, and that means that we have to rely on each other in order to succeed.
This is even more important when businesses tighten their belts, as many of them seem to do constantly. Staffing levels slowly slowly slip downwards, the remaining staff left to cope with an increasing workload because they've coped with the other workloads before. Cuts in provision leaving gaps that the individual employees have to fill. The thin end of a wedge, of trying to reduce costs while providing the same service.
Here is where work ethic comes in.
Basically - you can spin it as respect to the business, respect to the image or brand or whatever else. What it is, is respect to the person next to you. Did a Grecian Phalanx learn how to lift his shield properly to honour the city-state he was from? No. He learned the positioning of his shield to defend the dude to his left.
So you turn up on time, and you put in the work, because if you don't, then someone else on your team has to. You make sure your work is decent quality, because otherwise your team suffers. Because that's how we survive. We band together in our groups, and we hang tough, because not doing so will lead to difficulties.
We don't do so blindly. We should know and understand that this isn't the ideal way for a world to work, and we should educate ourselves and others on ways this can change. That is why we aren't doing this (and doing this well) for the logo or the suit. We're doing this for the people to our left and our right, who are earning a wage just like the rest of us are. We show up and we work, and we do so together.
We also owe it to ourselves to know our rights, to know where we go if there is an abuse happening. To know that we are protected if something happens, that we can find that protection and that it isn't withheld from us. And just as hard as we work, just as early as we rock up to the office, we should also work hard to make sure those rights are defended and expanded.
It's not about the business. It's about us, as workers.
Lemme tell you a secret: if the business sees the value in your work, rather than your kowtowing to the flag or repeating the spiel, then it's a step up. It means that you and yours that support and amplify each other are going to get recognised for doing that.
Yes, we know that the surplus value created by our hands props up an entirely different class of people. Yes, we know that changing this is key, that inducing a change in the accumulation of power and wealth is how we as a race survive this phase of our existence.
But until such a time as we can do that - and we do need to be PREPARED to do that, and read up on what it means and how it happens - we stand side by side and we put in the hours.
I can do both.