Relieved of his workload, Bob would spend his entire office day on the internet, flicking from eBay to Facebook to cat videos, before writing a progress-report email for his bosses and knocking off at 5pm. But Bob's story shows that the line for an employee is drawn precisely where you begin exploiting the company rather than the company exploiting you. Described as a "family man" and "quiet and inoffensive", Bob is a tech-wizard Bartleby for an age of "flexible" labour markets. The fact that Bob was sacked just shows that, in reality, the political rhetoric is not meant to be taken seriously, but is a euphemistic sticking plaster for the rapacity of corporate attitudes to "human resources". Indeed Bob is clearly a kind of antic satirical genius, employing the ideas of what companies euphemise as "rationalisation" to his own benefit. Full disclosure: I outsourced the writing of this column to a trilingual Beijing University student, spent the whole time that she was composing it messing around on Twitter, and plan to spend the majority of my princely fee on vintage Veuve Clicquot and lobster. Sadly, upon finding out how resourcefully Bob had managed his own productivity, the firm sacked him rather than marvelling at his initiative and promoting him to senior management. Loading comments… Trouble loading? Cross it, and the boot will come down very quickly.
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