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Mutualist Blog: Free Market Anti-Capitalism

To dissolve, submerge, and cause to disappear the political or governmental system in the economic system by reducing, simplifying, decentralizing and suppressing, one after another, all the wheels of this great machine, which is called the Government or the State. --Proudhon, General Idea of the Revolution

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Location: Northwest Arkansas, United States

Monday, February 06, 2006

Cheer Up, Or Get Sent to the Cornfield

An anonymous commenter in the "Choose Your Attitude" thread linked to a story about a German company where whining is verboten. It's Fish! philosophy when the kid gloves come off:

It may sound absurd, but employees have a clause in their contracts which states: "moaning and whinging at Nutzwerk is forbidden... except when accompanied with a constructive suggestion as to how to improve the situation"....

Ramona Wonneberger, chief executive of Nutzwerk, came up with the idea.

She claims that "negative energy" puts a dampener not just on workers' moods, but also on productivity.

"If you want to have fun in your company, and you want to reach a big target you have no chance if your employees are always angry," she says, smiling broadly. "They waste time, and they waste the company's time."

One employee's behavior was positively frightening:

I'm so pleased that whingeing is not allowed....

I don't feel I'm being watched, or observed in the office. I am always like this, I laugh and I like laughing. It's good for your character, happiness is very important.

It's like something straight out of Jerome Bixby's "It's a Good Life": "It's good you made that horrible thing, Anthony. It's real good!"

The author, Tristana Moore, had a rather shell-shocked reaction:

I look outside. It is still snowing and the sun is obscured by a blanket of grey clouds. I don't dare grumble about the weather.

Instead, I smile and as I leave the building, I feel a sense of relief.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm reminded of the scene in 1984 where Winston was walking outside on the street, wearing his overcoat and freezing his ass off in the cold -- but he dared not appear as if he felt cold, lest it be interpreted as an implication that he believed the overcoat supplied by the state was inadequate.

I hear the chocolate ration is going up to 20 grams next week. Double-plus-fucking-good, eh?

February 06, 2006 3:23 PM  
Blogger Vache Folle said...

A parallel to this is the war on "negativity" in the West Indies. The social problems of the West Indians are blamed on negativity, complaining and taking note of the problems. If only everyone would be more "positive", society would be paradise.

One calypso artist turned this on its head with a song entitled "Are You Positive?" which dealt with HIV infection.

February 07, 2006 6:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm waiting for one of them to get turned into a Jack-in-the-Box by Billy Mumy.

Bob Wallace

February 07, 2006 5:20 PM  
Blogger alan said...

Absodamnlutely double-plus-plus-f*tchin'-good!

"Smiling faces...smiling faces, sometimes, they don't tell the truth...."

February 08, 2006 6:21 AM  
Blogger Ort said...

I'm reminded of the Simpsons Halloween episode where the Simpsons are transported to a parallel universe ruled by a totalitarian government led by Ned Flanders.

The family is sent to a "re-education" center, where those who don't smile hard enough are trained to smile better by having steel hooks inserted on each side of their lips, which are then retracted so as to stretch their mouths into a permanent grin.

As Bart says, "There must be a down side I can't see!"

February 08, 2006 7:08 AM  

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