Warning: this post contains more questions than answers.
Employees are now being called human resources.
We used to be called personnel.
What does being a resource mean?
That we’re no better than a, say, pencil? We’re like an app that can be downloaded and uninstalled when no longer needed? Does it make it easier for an organisation to consider us non-human, therefore to quantify us, to ignore our uniqueness and our humanity, pile us up in storage areas like stationery [read: cubicles]?
Does being called a resource put you in a category similar to a computer, a pen or office furniture?
Can you manage resources?
Can you manage people?
How do you manage a resource that can think and might not agree with what you ask of it or might not want to work the way you want expect it to? (Have I just described a computer?)
What does work mean to us (as humans)?
From Enlightenment to Revolution, Michael Roth, Wesleyan University. This is part 3/5, which covers estrangement and alienation from our work, based on Marx’s ‘Estranged Labour, economic and philosophical manuscripts’. Written 1844, unpublished. Turned up again in 1927.
Brief overview: Industrialisation has torn us away from ourselves. We feel free when we don’t work. We should see ourselves in our labour. But we are increasingly alienated as we work more and more.
Or are we past this?
This was set in the Industrial age. We’re now in an Information age (are we?). Does work today make us free (please don’t read this in German)?
As I’m writing this, I can hear a workmate tapping her knowledge, information, communications, intuitions, etc. into the computer. Which is the resource?
Are you at work in the information age? What’s your experience?
Nearly forgot The Recipe
Indian Pumpkin Soup
80 g butter or ghee. I use olive oil, enough to cover the bottom of the pan
450 g pumpkin, squash or marrow
4 small onions
1 t tumeric
1/2 t cumin
1/2 t chilli powder or 2 green chillies
1.2 litres vegetable stock
6 whole cloves
4 cloves garlic
1 T worchestershire sauce or 1 T vinegar
Skin the pumpkin and remove the seeds. Slice or cut it into cubes. Wash and drain.
Heat butter in deep saucepan (wok) and fry the vegetables briskly for 5 minutes.
Add onions, tumeric, cumin and chilli – fry again for 5 minutes.
Pour the veg stock over, add cloves, garlic and peppercorns. Bring to boil and then simmer till the pumpkin is soft and pulpy (about 40 minutes). Strain into a large basin and add worchestershire.
Mince the hard boiled yolk and slice the whites into strips. Add eggs to soup and garnish with parsley.
I make this often and don’t always have it with egg, it’s a fibrous soup, very tasty and filling. Perfect for these cold nights.