Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Paradigmatic chameleons

I still remember, how could I forget, those new graduates who used to write to the companies exactly what the managers were expecting to read, with their perfect resumes, their career paths drawn with great attention to detail, based on forecasts of a future that has never come true. And their great deal of information on the job market, which they almost seem to be able to manipulate. They used to praise the coming of the new economy before large parts of its body became gangrenous and finally turned into premature fossils, to lecture us on safe and profitable investments before the hail of the stock market crises, to declare the dominance of finance over industry, work, service, innovative ideas before the tricks and the rottenness of that world emerged like excrements from the bottom of the sea.
And they used to climb - they probably still do it - organigramme walls, planting their feet on rungs of human ladders, insisting on calling them "resources" when "means" would have been more appropriate, swimming like sharks that devour smaller fish in the executive private aquariums of predators much bigger and ferocious than themselves.
Nowadays they often languish on careers that are static, stagnant, stale, sta-various-other-things, floundering in the corporate mire that little by little has swallowed their souls. They pretend they have never failed, avoiding any reference to the past and wrapping the present with an enthusiasm which by now is nothing more than a trash sack. Their empty words meant for effect can't amaze us any longer and they only end up proclaiming the calcification of their approach, while our smile - mute and deafening - simply declare our unwillingness to humiliate them, certainly not fear, reverence or lack of courage. 
Years back our letters have often been ignored, thrown away or shredded. We didn't even understand their false advices, confused by our innocence and dazzled by their technical nonsense. We fell back on jobs that we might not have liked, but one way or another one has to go on living. 
Our lack of preparation and planning has made us vulnerable to the calamities of precariousness, but little by little we have adapted to the new conditions, we've learned, gained experience, we've grown up. A new species was born out of this process. In a world that devours today what only yesterday looked like science fiction - swallowing, gushing out, ruminating, digesting and expelling new horizons at a dizzy pace - we have managed to make some room for ourselves: the paradigmatic chameleons. 
We could become extinct before we even find our space in the market biosphere. But that's not sure, not yet at least. Unlike them we still have some cards to play, and you can count on that: we will play them, some of us will do.

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