Monday, August 08, 2005

A Description of Customer Service Jobs

"The idea occurred to me once that if it were desired to crush and destroy a man completely and punish him with the most frightful possible penalty, which would make even the most terrible criminal quail and fill him with dread, it would suffice to give the penal work the most completely and utterly useless and nonsensical character. Even though work is now dull and uninteresting for the convict, it is itself, as work, reasonable enough[…] But if he were compelled, for example, to pour water from one bucket into another and back into the first again, grind sand, or laboriously transfer a heap of soil from one place to another and back again, the prisoner, I think, would hang himself after a few days, or commit a thousand new crimes[…]part of that torture, senselessness, degradation, and shame is inevitably present in every kind of compulsory work."

Dostoevsky “House of the Dead” p24

...hence my decision to go to law school. Every job I have ever had has felt as senseless and degrading as pouring one bucket of water into another, except in my case I had to smile at the same time.

House of the Dead is turning out to be one of my favorite Dostoevsky books so far. Its another example of how very little has actually changed other than the way things look. If Dostoevsky was alive now though he would use his time in prison to get "street cred" in order to become an immensely popular rapper.

Does St. Michael rap about casting satan into hell, and mention his scars frequently in his rhymes?

Every tough guy and girl in history up until now missed the oppurtunity to be able to rap about every facet of their toughness and life history.

Update: A few days after writing this I found this relevant link on instapundit.


Andrew Gabriel Rose said...

"Its another example of how very little has actually changed other than the way things look."

You'd think people would take advantage of that fact. It's another piece of ignored wisdom, I guess. Information that could be immensely useful, if only it was called to mind more often by more of the population.

B. Kriplur said...

The prosecutor’s speech in Brothers Karamazov is a great example of it too. The guy talks about the moral decay of Russia in a way that, if certain words were changed, could easily pass for a typical speech of Rick Santorum, and it was written about 140 years ago. I am willing to bet that there has not been one year in the history of Western Civilization where there was not someone claiming moral decay. If all of these people were right, we would be still living the harsh life of the Middle Ages.