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Employees Play Games

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Employees face many challenges in their line of duty. They have been forced over time to identify ways of doing their duties smoothly while satisfying their supervisors. This has resulted in different games that help them go through their days at work. This paper explores the different games in which employees might be engaged in and how it helps to make their work better.


Manufacturing and service work games are very different as described by Burawoy and Sherman in their books. According to Burawoy, employees play games to help them to navigate through the daily chores and meet the target excepted of them by their superiors. By playing games, they have a chance to make more money by either failing to punch in as they shifted from one job to the other or making more pieces to use in another shift. This is different from the service work games where employees have to play games to make their day tolerable as they deal with customers from a different class. Games played in service work entails pretense and assumption that reduce the social class difference and help employees deal with sticks up customers who think they deserve all the luxurious treatment offered by the hotel employees. In manufacturing games, employees seek to increase their income while maintaining a good relationship with their supervisors. This is different from service works as employees seek to reduce the class difference and make the customers satisfied. By so doing, the employees have a smooth day at work, and in some cases, some receive a tip for playing their games well.

Games give employees a basis to enjoy their time and make their time at work tolerable. By playing games, employees get the chance to make up for the lost time. In the games of making out by Burawoy, he claims that employees were able to make up for the time lost and compensate for the pieces not made out during a shift. They would save some pieces to use during a time when the pieces made did not register the required 125%. Games played by employees serve as an ideology through which employees enjoy the freedom. Employees use games to help make life easy for them. In the case of Sherman, she states that people who go to luxury hotels expect or believe that they deserve all the luxury provided by the hotel staff. One should not forget that there is a class difference to be considered here. If the employees fail to play games, then they will have a rough time dealing with the demands of the job and the customers who have high expectations from them.

The players in the Game of Making Out include operators who are the ones dealing with the production process. They are the main players in the game as they try to maintain a consistent number of pieces produced daily. They also chisel out time between different operations to earn them more cash. The need to play these games is brought out clearly due the demands of the job and the need to produce the pieces required at the end of the day. Ones ability to maneuver through the difficult time in the workplace and maintain a consistent number of pieces is what will keep them working. The other players in the game include inspectors who would, once in a while, convince supervisors to approve of pieces that did not meet the required standards. The supervisors also participated in the game of making out as they accepted to overlook some minor mistake in the production of the pieces (Burawoy 56).

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The game of making out helps both the workers and managers. The managers expect the workers to remain consistent throughout the week and months in their production abilities. This is independent on the kind of day the worker has or the problems encountered. The employees, on the other hand, have to make sure they produce over 100% pieces in order to get a bonus. By taking part in the games, employees are able to produce the expected number of pieces throughout the week as they reserve some pieces when they make more during a certain day and use them when they produce less than expected. The managers also benefit from these games as they record a consistent production throughout; hence they avoid problems with their superiors.

By playing these games, people are consenting to the different social categories where superiors are worshipped, and those in the lower level should do anything in their power to make sure that they remain loyal. Technology changes and the changes brought about pushes other players out of the game and ushers those who conform to the rules of the game. This is the same case with capitalists who try as much as they can to push small businesses out of the market in order to gain control over businesses. By doing this, people are conforming to the idea of capitalism that only seeks to do what benefits them.

All these games seek to provide a sense of normalcy in places of work. Sherman in her book incorporates normalization as an important reason for employees engaging in these games. She sites that employees have to try to make each day at work normal and this can only be achieved if one tries as much as possible to make the work environment suitable for their needs. With this situation resolved and a balance between work demands and personal issues having been struck then daily activities can be ran smoothly with no disturbances and all parties being satisfied. The situation at work forces employees to conform to certain work practices that suit their environment. These habits are developed in order to help employees fit in with the demands of their jobs and the harsh working conditions facing them. By doing this, they are able to maintain their jobs and at the same time satisfy their superior.

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