Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Burocratas e a Invenção do Sistema de Promoção Profissional
This idea - stolen from the military - was sheer genius when applied to office work. Promotion made the workers happier, giving them status - of the sort that pathetic Pooter craved - and some sort of emotional boost. More important still, the ladder was a crafty way of exerting control. If you are hoping for promotion, you behave. Which means your managers don't have to keep such a close eye on you. In the Lloyds Bank archive, far underground, is a big ledger of names of clerks who worked there in the 19th Century. There are also the workers' reports, which certainly didn't pull any punches. "There were scathing judgments about individuals," says Alan McKinlay from Newcastle University. "Didn't grow into manhood. Too small a juvenile appearance, hunched shoulders. Voice a little peculiar. Also somebody who was too short sighted. Redhead or jug ear." The practice seems to have been particularly cruel in Scotland. There were no euphemisms about opportunities for improvement, no 360-degree appraisals. If they were marked down for having red hair, well that was just tough. Conformity was rewarded, then as now. Modern corporations still prefer people who toe the corporate line, even if they pretend to value those who think outside the box. In the 19th Century, there was no such nonsense. The Bank of Scotland was specific about wanting courtesy, patience and self-effacement and workers were warned that "cranks - artistic, scientific, religious or political - never succeed".