Ok, Wall- Mart won. The Supreme Court of the Land did not support the claim of women that there is wages and other types of discrimination on the basis of gender. Wall-mart won. But what is winning or losing here?
I am not a regular in the Wall-Mart but we go there from time to time. It I is always a rather interesting event. This seems o to be a place which is on the brink; always right there between the Family Dollar and Nordstrom. It is dirty but not THAT dirty. It is disorderly but there is a lot of everything. It has food which I won't recommend to buy, but what the heck- there is a plenty of old chocolate boxes in Macy's too. Or in Sears. Here is an interesting question- why aren't those big companies sued by women- employees? Any significant difference in management style?
Come to think of it, I found out that I on my own never went to Wall-Mart. I only went there with a a woman -- companion- my wife or my mother. So usually they collect a lot of clothes items and go to the fitting room while I stay outside with the carriage. There, whenever I watch the employees I imagine myself in their shoes. And if I was one of them I would not survive even an hour.
I guess the proper word of describing the everyday Wall-Mart activity is the perpetual boredom. A person has to spend the day in constant motion but essentially doing nothing. It is like in old times they had people who just watched the machines. That person was not supposed to do anything but to look out that nothing went wrong. Day after day, year after year. Of course, sometimes that person could be James Watt and he invented a Watt's regulator to avoid boredom but otherwise (and that I guarantee from my own experience) boredom makes you only tired and dumb. Move the box here, hang the clothes there, answer the phone, show the directions, open the door, close it, have lunch, move the box here, call the supervisor, fill the shelves. This is Purgatory if you ever know one. Or maybe it is Mars? Who can guarantee that you do not have mutants running around? If those people in Wall- Mart uniforms were in fact Martians nothing would have changed. They are in fact invisible.
Many years ago in one of the stories by Anthon Chekhov a former Navy officer disguised himself as a manservant to a person of interest. He found out that to serve as a lackey was one of the toughest jobs possible, Never was he more tired and angry, never more bored also. He would prefer a perfect storm at sea to that perpetual sequence of small tortures and total possession. That was the fact- he was a possession of that master of his even though he was a free man and could leave anytime. But in case of Wall- Mart people in many cases have nowhere else to go. No wonder there is discrimination.
It is a tool of running the show. If there are men and women in Purgatory you better make sure they do not resolve to desperation. To avoid that the practically only way is to divide and conquer. Men would feel better if they are risen up a little bit . It is an illusion- no one is rise up in reality. But a dollar more can make a lot of difference like an extra banana for a monkey. Human nature still applies although on the lower side of the spectrum..
All of this is not to denigrate the employees of Wall-Mart or people who earn low wages or women or minorities, whoever. I saw the same in many places and in many countries before. No exceptions. And I think that is why other big retail companies have all those glitzy parlors and shiny uniforms and clean floors and sort of special auras. Whenever you enter Macy's you sort of drown in the atmosphere of fragrances and nice sounds which makes you feel comfortable and cozy. Ladies are chic, men- salesmen are elegant and all of us- buyers and sellers feel good about ourselves. In Wall --Mart we all feel desperate. I think that reflects the attitude of the Wall-Mart management which somehow inadvertently considers that the buyers in that shop are its potential employees as well as vice- versa. So whenever we enter that place we should be prepared; it had been waiting for us all along. Don't know about you, folks but I prefer Sears.
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