Nowhere near Vulcan
The usual reaction of a negative person, in a discussion about negativity, is “huh, you would say that” – but I think this BBC article on France Telecom & Suicides counts as a bit of a wake-up call. I can’t say that I strictly approve of the practice of going to your appraisal armed with a large knife – but it certainly illustrates a tendency I’ve seen before. Lots of techies are quite sure that they are unemotional – walking computers, puzzled by the unrestrained expression of those around them. Mr Spock is their role model; everything’s under control, no need to get emotional.
Clearly this isn’t quite going well inside France Telecom, and there’s obvious echoes (though not quite so extreme) inside our own giant quasi-monopoly technology companies; I don’t think I know a single person who doesn’t have a “bolshy engineer” story – though all of those stop a bit short of seppuku when the cable comes out too short or there’s rat-shit in the junction-box.
So what’s the outcome of this sunday morning muse? It’s hard to stay away from platitudes when talking about this topic, and “when was the last time you hugged Busby” isn’t a T-shirt I’d willingly wear: but I think it’s just plain good manners to think about ways to stay way from the kind of grand corporate morose glum-fest that seems to have infected our neighbours over the channel.