That's Barge Haulers on the Volga by Ilya Repin. You really have to look at the zoomed view to understand just how awful work can be.
"You, young guy in the middle, you have too much energy. Lean into it or you're fired!!"
I'm a first-time manager working at a startup. I brought on the newest member of our team six months ago, and while I like him a lot personally, I'm starting to doubt my decision to hire him.
The last time I used the Repin (and intro) was for a September post, "I Do Not Want to Hear How Tough Your Job Is, Ever":Here's the situation: We're in a period of huge growth for the company. It's a massive opportunity, but it means that we're all hustling hard. I made the decision to work here knowing that startup life can be demanding because I want to be part of what our company is doing, and most of our team feels the same way.The problem is that my employee doesn't share that mentality. He's an in-at-9-out-at-5 kind of guy, and he leaves a lot of work on the table that I then have to pick up. When he packs up to go home at 4:59 and the rest of our small team is still hard at work, there's definitely some resentment in the air.
I've tried to get him excited about the opportunity we have. I've tried to give him tools to manage his time better so that he can get more done during normal working hours. I've tried to explain how detrimental it is to our team when we're all pitching in to hit aggressive goals and he gives the impression that it's not his problem.My boss has even stepped in to talk to him. Every time we have one of these conversations, he'll say all the right things, step it up for a week, and then go right back old habits.I don't know what to do to make him feel more invested in our team's success. I don't want to be the kind of boss who expects a 60-hour work week. I want him to feel good about his work-life balance....MORE
From Open Magazine:
Manual Scavenging: The Struggle to Stay out of Pits
THE MEN COME early in the morning at around seven. Some have had tea at home, some haven’t; but once they report for work, most will keep drinking country liquor from short plastic tumblers. It is the only way they can tolerate the feel of excreta in sewers and septic tanks against their bare bodies. Their eyes are floating globs of yellow, their cheeks as sunken as the city’s potholes. They sit on grimy mattresses in a bamboo shack at the end of a street, smoking beedis and passing bawdy remarks at the heroine of a film some of them have seen a few days earlier, as they wait for people to come and offer them work: opening up choked septic tanks, mostly, in this part of north-west Delhi....