I work at a store in Victoria City, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada and on my days off I go to the local main university library. The store I work at has 32 departments and it effectively has three floors, though one bottom floor is only used the in the spring and summer time for customer sales. The store is about the same size as the university library and to me the construct, architecturally of the store and the university are the same. Both the store and the university are businesses and both are corporations. One sells tangible products whereas the other sells intangible products. Both of the architecture buildings are about the same size as each other; and they both have very similar architectural designs of big blocks of cement cut into 3 zones or levels. To me, what I find remarkable is the level of quality in each organization. The educational institution library seems to me to be run inadequately whereas the store seems to be run on a skeleton crew who cover only critical veins and hubs, as in a crisis military outreach style. The library seems to have an abundance of paid staff members far exceeding the amount of labour available for the employee to actually perform. Whereas, in the store the employee is always actively working in a physical way; the library clerk sits passively at a desk awaiting one or two clients in a matter of a few hours time. One environment, the store, has 6000 customers coming through their doors and in the library there are about 20 clients coming through the doors per day. The academic library gets excessive government funding and the store cuts corners in an unethical and corrupt – but not a criminal way in order to keep ahead of the other stores competition. The sales clerk in the store is constantly on the move in the surveillance culture corporation and the library clerk in the university sits there day-dreaming about the open space and beautiful landscapes which surround the open windowed glass environment. The quality of life scales of the library clerk can clearly exceed the quality of life of the sales clerk in the store; whereas it is the sales clerk in the store that is operating more efficiently; is the fastest and the most competitive of all humans in design and has the quick on the fly answers to the human condition that go way beyond the call of duty of any communication skills acquired elsewhere in the human sector. Yet there is a stigma attached to the sales clerk and not the library clerk. This makes our society unfair; and the hardest worker, the sales clerk, not only has the hardest job out of the two jobs – but also encounters societal prejudice based on an assumption that the sales clerk is stupid and slow which is clear a false assumption; as it is the library clerk who is clearly stupid and slow.
Photograph of a Bosch machine.