My boss put together a team event at a kitchen in SOMA just before Thanksgiving break. We all cooked and ate lunch together. It was pretty good and we had a good time.

When I came back to work on Monday after Thanksgiving, my boss had fired someone.

This points precisely to a problem I have with my job, and jobs in general. There is this attempt to take the trappings of community and social bonds and apply them to the workplace. The firing didn’t bother me. The lunch did. It was essentially meaningless and dishonest. Cooking and eating together is supposed to mean trust. We’re in this together. Let’s share the fruits. But no, it meant nothing of that sort. It slathered on a veneer and put on a show, like a forced smile. Not only do we have to toil, but we have to like it. It makes me want to work in some crappy industrial revolution factory or something where there are no illusions about what’s going on, where everyone treats work like what it actually is: a place where labor is extracted from workers and mixed with capital to yield profits for the owners. At least that’s honest.

Most people know this of course and have gotten over it and accepted the situation for what it is. It’s a sign of maturity and responsibility I guess. Some enjoy their jobs and the people they work with and find meaning there. I can’t do this. I’m no good at making the best of a situation. The dissonance burns me out from the inside. Whatever good feelings of accomplishment or satisfaction of a job well done get corrupted and turn to ash in my mouth. Let me hate work in peace.