Monday, November 13, 2006

A little structure in a mad world

In an effort to cope with work frustrations, I have been reading some essays from James V. Schall's Idylls and Rambles and listening to Bach's B Minor Mass. I turn to Bach's music in the hope that his unwavering musical compass will serve as a moral one for me. Its precise, mathematical beauty untangles a mind snarled in its own anger.

Here's a question for the ages: if there's something you're supposed to do for your job that's not bad, but that makes you uncomfortable and may cause unpleasant repercussions, do you do it? Do you "take action against a sea of troubles" by telling your supervisor you think it's inappropriate? What if you already have a history as a "troublemaker"--in a Socratic gadfly kind of way?

There's something that I am required to do as part of my job. I don't think it should be done--at least not the way it is currently structured--and I don't think it's right to demand that someone in my position do it. I could tell my boss. He might react one of several ways: (1) by empathizing with my point of view; (2) by telling me to shut up and cooperate quietly for once; or (3) by changing the requirement and then passive-aggressively blaming me for rocking the boat and making life even more difficult for him.

Hence the Bach.

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