Sunday, July 5, 2015

Queens County Revisited: The 1970's (27)

On the days when I was caught up with my shipping out of the required replacement parts to jewelers and jewelry stores  in the downstairs Bulova building basement and remained at my desk in the upstairs office, catching up on my paperwork, I was sometimes able--when the assistant supervisor who guarded us office workers was either out to lunch or at a meeting on a different floor--to break down the robot-like workplace discipline of the other white office workers. I would walk from my desk to the other side of the office floor, where their desks were located and start conversing with them about their lives and about how much of a drag 9-to-5 work and wage-slavery was. Office workers in this Bulova office--like in many other office workplaces in the 1970's--were not yet all separated from each other by cubicles/boxes as they all would later generally be by the middle of the 1980's

The 1970's were still close enough to the affluent 1950's and 1960's post-war "golden age" of U.S. capitalism and U.S. imperialism, during which many U.S. white working-class people felt they had escaped forever from the possibility that their newly-gained post-war relative economic affluence would ever be endangered again by future capitalist recessions and depressions. So the white Bulova office workers had still mostly not yet developed the post-1980's "economic depression mentality," which caused most white U.S. workers to become more fearful about losing their paychecks under capitalism than they were now about losing their leisure and free time to 9-to-5 wage slavery (as their parents had).

Thus, my fellow white office workers responded to my "rap" somewhat positively, and also began to stop working like robots and started to talk to each other, whenever the assistant supervisor who guarded them was out to lunch or away from her desk in order to attend a meeting on a different floor.

Another reason I probably found it easier to break down the robot-like office work discipline somewhat at Bulova when I worked there was because the 1970's were still close enough to my days as a 1960's New Left activist/hippie freak organizer. So the long-term psychological impact on my personality of having to be a 9-to-5 wage slave for decades in order to obtain my apartment rent money each year had not yet become evident.

And thus, I probably still possessed more residual 1960's charm, friendliness, spontaneity and encounter group-type emotional openness (and less caution about exposing my inner feelings and dissident philosophical/political views to other employees) in the way I approached other white workers in the 1970's than I possessed during the last two decades of the 20th-century and in the 21st-century, as I aged as a U.S.white wage-slave.