AVO Chintzees

Job Rants Thread – 8/27/2020 – Working From Home XXIII: The Productivity Paradox II: Work Harder/Hardly Workin’

Hey, all; Healthy Friday –

It might be hard to believe, but, there was a world that existed prior to this pandemic. I know! I couldn’t believe it, either; but, apparently, it existed. And to further blow your minds, it had a version of the Job Rants Thread that wasn’t constantly forced to talk about employment, and employment-related issues through the lens of a seemingly never-ending time of Plague.

I bring this up because last year, I, or at least a version of me, made a post about the idea of a “Productivity Paradox.” Basically, the idea of wanting to succeed and be the best at one’s position, despite completely hating every soul-rending aspect of it. Well, it sort of goes without saying that the surge I had mentioned in the post inevitably waned, as these things tend to do, and then returned awhile later before vanishing again, as these things also tend to do. It’s a phenomenon I discovered that, at least with my job, ends up creating a lot of peaks and valleys. Now, circling back around to my earlier statement about viewing most current events through the lens of the pandemic, I was rather surprised to discover that I’ve discovered a new facet to the Paradox: “Wanting to succeed and be the best at one’s position despite seemingly literally having no way to do so. ”

I can’t speak for you, my fellow wage-babies; but ever since this lovely little societal upheaval, one of the most noticeable changes for me personally, has been a near-complete lack of urgency in my work. Prior to all of this, we operated on a very strict timetable of meeting with clients, getting the necessary information, and processing it so that they would know if they did or did not qualify for our service in a timely manner. Indeed, in the near decade since we’ve started, it has been a point of professional pride among all of us that no file has ever ended up “Incomplete;” everything has ended up yay, or nay, and the one hard and fast rule we had was “do your due diligence, and it’ll be fine.”

In the past three months, I have had to process four “Incompletes,” with more likely on the horizon. Several of my clients’ files have been open for months, when we used to try to close them within 30 days, at most. In the old days, I, as a supervisor, would have been required to have a talk with me, had things been like they are now. But, that’s how it is. Thankfully, both the client-base, and those above us seem to get it; they’re experiencing the slow-down in their lives just as much as we are, after all. It also doesn’t hurt that we’re the only game in town when it comes to what we offer.

But again, that just means that we’re now expected to do more, and complete less. Hence, my rethinking of the Paradox: Can one be considered “productive” if, at the end of any given day, they haven’t actually completed any work? I don’t know, but, until I do, I guess I have no choice but to keep on keeping on; and I hope you all will, as well.


As ever, have a safe and productive rest of the day, safe trip home, if out, and great weekend. Next week’s topic: Figuring out the Shirt-Changing Equation: How many people have seen you in it v. the number of days you’ve worn it.