Monday, March 2, 2015

Free Labor is Expensive but Vital

Progress continues.

I was interrupted by something of an emergency report prompting a necessarily hasty exit from Guild Wars 2. Not as hasty as I should have made it, but nonetheless.

Now, before you pessimists think it, there were no explosions and absolutely no one was in any danger.The Labs, themselves, perhaps were, but even that was just a remote possibility.

To begin explaining :

As all of my henchpeople know, Arketer Labs is run effectively as a benevolent autocracy. I am, yes, the final authority in most cases. I have however taken every effort to ensure that the 'benevolent' part of that isn't just a cynical joke.

We have this arrangement because :

1: I DID create Arketer Labs and DO believe myself the most capable of directing it ethically.

2: We make progress here, which is best achieved through an absolute minimum of bureaucracy.
As a wise man once said, the surest way to ensure nothing gets done is to put a committee in charge of it.

But I do understand this degree of power can be corruptive, there are safeguards in place against it. I would go into greater detail but #0 is quite livid with me putting this out there as it is.

In any case, a trust between Henchpeople and Arketer Labs- myself- must be close to absolute. This is why the comfort of our facilities is almost as vital as our security and there are precious few regulations that do not directly relate to security and safety.

I know despite our efforts there are employees who are discontent. I have had to personally deny requests for things that were unreasonable for reasons of expenditure or safety to some of our most intellectually gifted employees- in other areas. If you do hear people complain about how I, we, have failed them- I encourage you to listen to them. Find out precisely, please, what they were demanding.

Then decide if you concur with the rationality of their requests.

Now, I understand mentioning the budget concerns in such a public forum especially was perhaps a mistake. I had hoped to make it clear that everything was perfectly under control. Some clearly did not believe this to be the case as I understand a small group began agitating for the formation of a defensive union under the assumption I was going to use these budget concerns as an excuse to slash wages and reduce everyone to slave labor.

I cannot stress how much the accusation disgusted me.

That said, I understand it isn't a personal attack. It is a theory based on the horrible abuses some corporations such as American Airlines once used financial crisis to justify. That, and the vastly worse crimes of older companies- mining companies in particular- who used such things as 'company stores' to reduce their employees to slave labor.

Those are all, indeed, just the sort of things that not only justify but make a union a vital concept worthy of existence.

They are, as in all things however, context sensitive. A union can be hijacked to the personal profit of it's own directors and become a very parasitic entity indeed.

This is not a certainty, there are plenty of very ethical unions. That said, the risk is too great to endorse such a concept for Arketer Labs.

If the employees of Arketer Labs should ever find it necessary to form a union, I believe it would indicate such a failure of trust and morale that it would be a less painful death for Arketer Labs to simply shut down outright. Arketer Labs should BE the union for it's employees.

If there are complaints with the way I am running Arketer Labs, please continue to send them in. I will in turn continue to review them.

Additionally if you ever become so discontent with the way the Labs are run that you cannot abide it- please remember that you can resign and your safe conduct back to society, along with all wages earned thus far, is assured.

Most Sincerely,

Director Arcturus Z. Arketer.

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