“Bonjour Laziness: Why Hard Work Doesn’t Pay.” This aptly titled bestseller is a book everyone should read. Not simply intended for those in business or those tirelessly working towards a career in business, this book is a veritable bible for anyone contemplating what they should pursue for work or who may be questioning their current career status. Upon further reading, the book begins to take shape after a brief overview of the topics covered within the text to become a testament to the contemporary middle class worker. Making up the majority of this nation’s work force us middle class students/employees have, for the most part grown up with parents forever employed in big business. Half of us probably couldn’t truly put a finger on exactly what our parents do for forty plus hours in a week. Yet what we probably fail to realize is that rather than the deceitful monster this entity we call, “big business,” has become back when our parents were our age it was a developing giant open and willing to accept and nurture brave new ideas and thinkers of it’s time, or so it would seem. To fully explain this reasoning I must directly quote Ms. Maier, ” Working in big business only shackles the individual, who, left to his own devices and using his own powers of comprehension, might begin to reflect, doubt, or even question authority! It’s clear that in a world where one is advised to be flexible, to change tact every five minutes, and to stay in sync with others, the individualist is a troublemaker, a tinderbox of discord. In addition, corporations prefer the cowardly, the insipid, the obsequious guy who bends over backwards and plays the game.” Thus this is why many of our middle and working class brethren are choosing careers in the arts, sciences, and teaching, all disciplines less integrated into the capitalist game.
After the initial outline she goes on to individually examine many of the devices used by big business to condition and uniformly integrate its worker bees. Anexample of this is a look at the jargon commonly used by business to keep everyone thinking and speaking in circles. By decking itself out in “a gaudy array of technical and managerial terms,” the language of business offers nothing but flowery words describing simple things but made to sound far more important than they really are. The more technical and abstract the language the more important it seems. As well, the use of acronyms has become a veritable secret club allowing those who know their meanings to experience a false privilege and misguided confidence. Wondering what I mean? Ms. Maier sums it all up perfectly with a look into the language used in a typical meeting, “AGIR has become IPN, which supervises the STI, divesting the SSII of control of the DM. but the latter will waste no time in subsuming RTI.”
Basically, the entire aim of this book is not to sway anyone truly away from business but to help the individual realize that he or she is just that and it is in letting ourselves go that we submit to a current culture that wants simply that… O and your money of course, don’t forget to clock out for lunch.