There are millions and millions of workers that make our companies operate like lean mean machines. Most, if not all of these workers, are rarely highlighted or given recognition. They punch in their assistance cards day in and day out, do their work and leave. Nobody notices them, say Hello, congratulates them on their birthdays or tell them how valuable they are to the company. I would say that management think these workers are taken for granted.
These common workers are our janitors, garbage collectors, drivers, watchmen, general repairmen and so forth. In a sense, they are our modern day robots.
During my recent visit to the University of Panama, I took a picture of two of these common workers. One was a young woman sweeping the entrance of the School of Pharmacy, and other one was a gardener watering the plants. Let’s take a look at these valuable workers that we often take for granted. Here we go.
Photograph of Carlos, the gardener, watering the lawn and flowers early in the morning at the University of Panama. Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.
Photograph of Carmen, the cleaning lady, sweeping the leaves at the main entrance of the School of Pharmacy at the University of Panama. Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.
This post is to pay my respects to the millions of humble workers who are responsible of keeping our companies operating. I tip my hat to you workers of the world. Good Day.
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When I got my first job in 1972 at Refinería Panamá, S.A., a subsidiary of Texaco Inc., our office was organized in a large room with several desks neatly placed against each other to maximize space. Only the honchos had their own offices with one or two windows facing, either a street or the nearby ocean. The ocean window was the big job trophy.
The number of windows, palm trees, or pictures on the wall exposed how high you stood in the company’s hierarchy. I was down on the basement with the rest of my peers. My place was one of the many desks tightly packed in one big well illuminated room. In that sitting arrangement, everybody listened to your phone calls and saw what you were doing. There was no privacy whatsoever. It was the perfect labor organization dating back to the era of American engineer, Frederick Taylor, the father of Scientific Management at the turn of the century.
These large rooms with veritable fields of desks, slowly gave way to the cubicles, which introduced some privacy to the workplace. If you wanted to talk to your next door co-worker you had to peek over to his cubicle. It was a funny scene.
I remember working for a large call center in Panama called Sitel, which had hundreds of cubicles. When you entered the huge operating floor, you saw literally hundreds of cubicles organized in neat rows with one person inserted in his own cubicles like a bee or ant inside his or her cell.
Over at Wired they’ve put together a brief history of the modern workspace, complete with diagrams of how offices have been laid out over the last century. It’s not only a fascinating look at how our work spaces have been arranged, but fun way to see how your present workspace falls into the spectrum of office design.
Below is the evolution of office design in the United States:
- Taylorism (Circa 1904)
- Bürolandschaft (Circa 1960)
- Action Office (1968)
- Cube Farm (Circa 1980)
- Virtual Office (Circa 1994)
- Networking (Present)
Can you share with us, what is your seating arrangement at your present job? Good Day.
Source: Evolution of Office Spaces Reflects Changing Attitudes Toward Work – Wired Magazine
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