I think I’ve mentioned wage-slavery before. Perhaps. Of course I’ve been aware for a good number of years, practically since I started working, that we still live in such a system, however it suddenly became a lot more overt for me, triggering my own reactance and leading to some interesting observations.
My new position carries with it a lot of restrictions, from not being able to smoke on campus to not being able to bid on eBay. But the two restrictions that caused me the most angst were the lack of ability to use email or IM from work. Given that I will probably end up working 8-10 hours a day with a 4 hour combined commute it adds up to a lot of time spent incommunicado, at least as far as computer initiated contact goes. I’ve known for years that rights are societally granted, that there is no such thing as a bare unsocialized human being that could own “ human” rights, but to be in a situation, within a supposedly “free” society, where I cannot exercise things I have taken for granted for a long time puts me in a very similar position to mitda and emmie, when they run up against restrictions I put on them.
My first reactions, predictably, are to restore my freedoms, either by quitting the job, smoking by leaving the campus during the day or using my skill as a developer to access my own email system from work. Some of these I can do, some not. Other responsibilities weigh in, just as they do for my girls. Next comes the phase of analysis of the situation, and finally self analysis to see the reasons and results of my reactance.
It has been quite an eye opener, not that I thought life was all easy going and roses for the girls, but to experience it firsthand as a dominant personality was certainly disconcerting. Things at work will get better, as I work around one or two issues, and accept the others more easily by being distracted with the work at hand and not bored into focusing on the restrictions due to lack of work (it often takes companies a few days to get systems in place for a new developer and this is no exception).