Evolutionary Thinking and Human Capital

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

This is going to be one of my more unusual articles. My personal social media policy is stricter than my employer's policy: nobody needs to know where I work. I'm referring to them as The Company. However, there are several things that may change this. Eventually, I may reveal the name of The Company. However, many aspects of this article are apposite for many in the business world, so I am using my own experiences as illustrations.

Evolutionary thinking in the business world but people are created in God's image.
Inset photo credit: Pixabay / StockSnap

My Life On a Spreadsheet

The Company contracts with other corporations to perform various duties. Our location, along with several others, is what I call a data entry mill. Over the years, over a hundred of us were hired to do a job and be paid by the hour. We were informed that we are now going to be paid "piecework", which is based on the number of fields that we enter. (Not what we signed on for, but that's a privilege of laissez-faire capitalism. Different projects are paid at different rates, and I believe all of them are paid at a fraction of a cent per field. When the system is slow, we make less money. If there is no work, someone is out sick or on vacation, meetings, other "down time" factors, all default to each employee's established hourly rate, which is slightly above the state's minimum wage law. If someone's productivity is low, he or she is paid minimum wage.

Like the others, I was called into the ramrod's office to have a discussion on how the pay scale works. To borrow from Robert Palmer's song "Simply Irresistible", employees found that the system is simply incomprehensible it is fundamentally flawed. The ramrod showed me the spreadsheet on his screen, showing how much I earned, how much I can possibly expect to be paid, and my alleged earning potential.

There's our value to The Company: numbers. Remember how companies had a personnel department? That became human resources (a term that is still used in some places). Now it's human capital. Both resources and capital are things you use and then replace that have lost their value to you. The piecework is not welcome by most employees, and The Company keeps changing the rules or just making them up as they get the urge. They've also lied to us about the system, and in other ways. Although The Company is based overseas in a pseudo-socialist country, they still have to obey laws in the United States when they have operations here.

Laissez-faire Capitalism

There is nothing wrong with making money or having wealth! Further, I am a capitalist and believe that it works when done properly. Someone asked an insightful question, "Have you ever obtained a job from a poor person?" Me, neither. The problems occur when avaricious people get the bit in their teeth and ride at full gallop in pursuit of great wealth at all costs. The Company controls people through fear, intimidation, manipulation, law-breaking, deceit, and more. Requirements for the pay scale were increased just before it was implemented, and then secretly increased afterward. More work for less pay. I thought of Mark 8:36-37 and how executives in The Company foolishly sold their souls for money, and are willing to discard people in order to attain their goals. They are also willing to violate federal and state laws to cheat employees out of their overtime pay. After all, it's survival of the fittest, right?

Materialistic companies like this do not really want people, they want automatons. Robots are supposedly predictable, untiring, immune to eye strain, resist fatigue, have few physical defects, accept changes in the pay scale, need no medical treatments, have no family needs, no psychological ailments, few other factors which interfere with steady productivity.

People are not baunistic. Mechanical beings would also be willing to work overtime when the need arises, and will not require payment when there is no work available. The Company has fired people for not meeting their oft-increased requirements, many of whom had been loyal employees for years. (The Company is losing money. Cheating the ones you depend on who actually do the work is not the way to stop financial difficulties, you savvy?) Other employees saddled up and rode off when they saw that this is not a good place to work, finding better employment elsewhere. Robots don't do that.

Unfortunately for The Company, they would not succeed by having automated personnel. One reason is that it is using ineffective, outdated software. Also, the computers that employees are currently using (or if you want to picture it, a roomful of androids that The Company seems to desire) are Windows XP tricked out to work on a Windows 7 kludge

The way I cognate on it, the first source of greed was when Satan wanted to be like God (Isaiah 14:12-14). Then he got the first humans into the act (Gen. 3:4-7), and it's been around ever since. Darwinism was expanded into social applications to justify things like "scientific" racism, eugenics, abortion, and many other evils, Ironically, Karl Marx was influenced by the Bearded Buddha when he was assembling his communism thing, and evolutionary thinking influenced the greed-motivated lassez-faire capitalism. Both are evil, and have a common root. See how that works? For more about this extreme capitalism, see "Darwinism and Laissez-faire Capitalism". I could go on about how The Company is unwilling to listen to the people who actually do the work and are quick to blame us for their myopic directives, as well as getting on the prod when we disagree with their "wisdom", but this article is getting long enough. I smuggled in brief points there, you notice.

Oh, one more. When we were told that we would be paid minimum wage at least, well, that turned out to be a lie. The Company was forced by the New York Department of Labor to give us back wages plus a penalty.

Created in God's Image

Here's where I keep this article in the unusual category. Something I considered the best part of the movie National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation is when Clark's boss was kidnapped and brought to the Griswold home. He saw how the removal of Christmas bonuses — which people depend on as a part of their salaries — affected the people. Mr. Shirley saw people's faces. He said,
Sometimes things look good on paper, but lose their luster when you see how it affects real folks. I guess a healthy bottom line doesn't mean much if to get it, you have to hurt the ones you depend on. It's people that make the difference. Little people like you.
What greedy tinhorns around the world are unwilling to realize is the individual has value and dignity. Someone might say, "That's the way of the world today, old son, it won't change". Doesn't make it right, and I don't have to like it.

Also some of us believe in doing what's right and living by biblical principles. There's a line in "Jesus Freak" by DC Talk that resonates with me: "The high and lofty, they see me as weak 'cause I won't live and die for the power they seek!" View me as a weak, idealistic Jesus freak, that's fine. Can I change evil forms of capitalism (or Darwinism)? That'll be the day! But I can point out injustices, and hope that some people will wake up and start realizing that we have value. Sure would be nice if the heads of international corporations, as well as smaller businesses, realize that they cannot expect the success they desire if they hurt the ones they depend on!

Am I a sterling example of Christianity in action at the workplace? No. I make mistakes, display my emotions, have outbursts, and resent assumptions about my own motivations as well as those of my co-workers. But I still try to do what's right, though I have my failings. I have lots of prayerful confessions and seeking after God's wisdom happen after work, you betcha.

We are not the products of time, chance, and random processes, but are created in God's image. That gives us value. As for the corporate bean counters and clock Nazis, they will have to give an account for their pleonexia in the final Judgement. Those who sought unrighteous money over all else and spurned Jesus (as well as all others who rejected salvation) have a terrible eternity waiting for them.