Last night, the fox came back. I’m getting over the flu, and the night was restless; every time sleep seemed to draw me in, a nasty cough chased it away, a condition that continues remorselessly as I type this next part of his recitation, not having slept for at least ten hours.
Then there was the fox, sitting on a rock, talking as though he’d never left.
Listen, you know how every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings, or some such silliness? Well here’s another one for you: every time a human in a suit says the word ‘Efficiency,’ another human loses her livelihood. If they say they want you to be more efficient, what they mean is, they can’t afford to pay somebody else. Evil, I tell you– and the worst of all the critters are the ones riding on the shoulders of the ‘consultants.’ If you see a ‘consultant’ coming, the hair on the back of your neck’d better be standing at attention.
You think efficiency is good, and it is when you’re talking about fuel, or soup, but not when you’re talking about humans. When you’re a human trying to live a life, it’s best to do as little work as you need to do, so you have some extra time to do things like play with your kids or draw or go for a walk. If you don’t have a little extra time, you go crazy. But, when you’re in a situation where some cold-blooded critter-ridden consultant is telling you you need to do more, and faster, not only are you losing time, you’re also taking away somebody else’s.
Let me tell you a story about this chicken I once knew. She was out in the farmyard, scritching around, and she finds this sack of wheat, see? (She didn’t have no gluten allergies.) So she starts thinking about how nice it would be to have some bread, but how it’s kind of a pain to make bread when you’re a chicken, so maybe she could find some help. She decided to ask her friend the dog. “Hey dog, you want to make some bread? It’ll be less work for us if we both chip in, then we can share it.”
“Sure,” said the dog. “You grind the wheat, and I’ll mix it into dough.”
So the chicken ground up the wheat and took off to do something fun while the dog mixed it into dough. Although they’d both done less work than they’d have done if they’d tried to do it on their own, they were pretty tired, so they decided to see if the cat wanted in, too. “Hey, cat,” said the chicken, “we’ve done some of the work, here, but now we need somebody to knead the dough. Any interest?”
The cat was used to kneading, of course, what with its claws, so it agreed, and kneaded away while the dog and the chicken took a nice nap. Finally, they let the dough rise, and the loaf was ready to bake. “This is gonna be great,” said the chicken, “but I’d sure like to keep napping. Maybe the duck can bake the bread for us.“
The duck was more than happy to bake the bread, so it put the bread in the oven and kept an eye on it, glad it didn’t have to go through the entire bread-making process.
Finally, the delicious bread was finished. The duck took it out of the oven, and they sat at the table in the farmyard. They even shared some with the pig, because why not? It smelled so good, the farmer came out of the farmhouse and stood scratching his head.
“You animals know how to bake bread?” he asked.
“The proof is in the pudding,” said the chicken. “I ground the wheat, the dog mixed the dough, the cat kneaded the dough and the duck baked the loaf.”
“It was all the chicken’s idea,” said the other animals, praising their friend for her initiative.
“Well shit,” thought the farmer. “A chicken who knows how to bake bread. Hell if I need to keep feeding the rest of these animals.” So he shot the dog, drowned the cat, cooked the duck (and the pig) and made the chicken bake four loaves each day, because that was way more efficient, see?
For the sake of a functioning family, everybody needs a little something to do, a little role to play. Maybe it’s not anything more than how a little kid can ‘help’ dad take in the washing. Maybe it’s that one person chops the beans and the other person boils the water. Maybe it’s you clean your room and I clean mine. But, it’s the sane way to do things.
Seriously, end Efficiency now, or ya’ll are gonna have some serious issues down the road a piece. You can sing this: “Give everybody, a little something to do, and that means less work for the rest of you. Make one person do all of the work, and you may be faster and richer but you’re kind of a jerk.”