Blue-Collar Suffocation in the White-Collar World

The utopian, ergonomically, “diverse,” artsy culture in every office across the United States makes for a soul crushing graveyard of an environment for the Blue-Collar Brainiac. You know, the ones who had worked their way up the corporate ladder with no college degree. They’re normally unable to interact properly with those involved in office cliques and/or the dredged office gossips and their politics. The blue-collar tends to be reclusive within this setting, focusing on their work and not the social constructs needed to survive in this type of work environment.

Those offices, the dark-windowed hollowed buildings, filled with cubicle barns arranged in groups like unopened moving boxes. Barely anyone plans to retire from these places, but some do, and no matter where you go, you can expect variations on the same fluorescent lighting, corporate wall art and water coolers, or the lovely skylights above your head, your eye blinded into two computer screens for 9 hours a day. Inputting data, creating budgets spreadsheets, writing contracts and doing whatever your boss expects their right hand to do.

Intellectual history of our customizable pens within a society of college graduate lemmings, where working from the ground up is frowned upon; however, those who you’ll find strive and push harder, just to find that they’re in the twisted results of utopian thinking.

Boys and girls, pay attention because this is important as it applies to those with or without a college degree; it’s just more icing on the proverbial corporate cake.

In today’s job market it is more about hiring someone who’s a good culture fit. What this means varies across organizations and industries, but it suggests that no matter how rock-solid your resume, how airtight your interview answers, if you aren’t deemed the “right fit,” you may not get an offer. However, if you do get the job, you can always rely on the self-serving “mentors” of your organization, whom offer up nothing but topics of contrived “togetherness and motivational quotes.”

A cacophony of inane and silly advice. This is Corporate World.

(Excuse another Corporate idiom) – But “at the end of the day,” you can drag yourself to events that are way outside your scope of interest just to try to forge a bond with your co-workers. You can engage in conversations on topics that mean nothing to you, think NPC dialogue. You can be your bubbliest self in the face of all those extroverts when really, deep down, you’re as introverted as they come when you are around these types of people.

Ultimately, you will be exhausted. Instead, ask yourself: Are your ideas heard? Do you feel respected? Do you believe your colleagues are open to including you in things even though you’re not interested?

My experience working in a major Southern city is these offices tend to be full of fake Southern hospitality or fake pleasantries with a huge variety of small talk, all of which I am unable to adapt to. It’s unauthentic. I do not believe that this was always the case, I believe it was slowly cultivated by the progressive influence of snobbery; selling a false idea of being able to gain momentum within the company and job security.

I was sucked in by the plastic prestige of it all and the idea of earning a sizable income. I remember my initial interview and being proud that I got the call and an offer letter within 30 minutes of my interview. During my first year with the company, I loved it. I was out in the field and on the jobsite (which is where I started 10 years ago) working side by side as a support liaison between the owner and the superintendents. Happy and thriving with those who I understood, their humor, the lives they lived and their families. My first evaluation was marked outstanding across the board.

Soon after moving into the main office, my spark started to dwindle. The second-year being in the corporate office seemed beneficial, with small exceptions due to my female counterpart, who always seemed to look at me with disdain. If you’re unfamiliar with Queen Bee Syndrome, I recommend you look it up if you’re in the white-collar world. She would go through my projects on our server to find things she felt I did wrong, things as trivial as how I named files to the way I formatted dates. Those idiosyncrasies of hers never bothered me, nor did they cause me to complain or want to pull my hair out. No, I remained silent daily without it interrupting my forward movement.

What was truly disturbing was the company’s “open door policy” – saying they would love and accept all ideas and encourage new insight. There were a few times that I offered feedback to be more efficient, but I was always shot down, mostly because my counterpart would tell everyone it was a bad idea and that there was a reason that we did things her way. So, after numerous attempts of offering innovated and more streamlined options to increase efficiency, I stopped.

By no means would I ever say or think that I’m “better” than someone, but I will say I am “smarter though.” What I am saying is that I cannot recall working for an employer where my credentials were constantly questioned. Pulling yourself up the corporate ladder without a college degree was verboten in practice. For example, a typical question would be, “Where did you go to school and what was your degree?” When I would answer, “I did not go to college, I have a high school education,” inevitably the next question would be, “Well, how are you qualified for this job?”

My reply was always the same, “I truly do not believe that is any of your concern.”

I have never been the peppy cheerleader, the center of attention, the office know-it-all or the social butterfly. My nature is one where I cannot partake in idle conversation or discuss fake pleasantries with those who I find have nominal substance.

I am just someone who has worked my way up a ladder to a place that I do not belong. It’s hard to breathe at the top when you’re suffocating from the pretentious and vacuous “professional” class.

– Eva Solaris

One comment

  1. Very descriptive of the Cubical Industrial Complex. Those of us that are extroverts tend to blend in, but it does help when you can focus on one person. Find one person willing to give an ear and slowly administer red pills via- News articles, web sites like ID, etc.
    When there is at least one other person in on “the joke” it makes the corporate pressure much more bearable.