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‘Just doing my job’ is not enough!
A Visionary Society Community Validated Challenge
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‘Just doing my job’ is not enough!
 

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Challenge
‘Just doing my job’ is not enough!

We are responsible for what we do in our job, regardless of what we are told to do and regardless of our personal needs and interests. We should also try to understand the effects of what we do, and begin to make improvements, even if that means risking our personal success or security. Never enforce a policy without thinking about its implications.

Visionary Society Principle
 
Take the human element and inner life into account in what you do. (Humanity)
 
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As job holders we are required to follow instructions and enforce rules. But the effect on the human being, rather than enforcing rules, should always take priority. Take the particular situation and context into account. Be willing to recognize differences and make exceptions. Do not lie, mislead, or manipulate.
Pay attention to the desires and will of others. Protect the ability to recognize others, especially what is inner and higher in them. This is more important than function and productivity.
Exceptions for the personal, human, and for common sense, should be allowed. Every situation should be addressed on its own terms.
Even when it is necessary to do something uncomfortable there is always a place for being caring, thoughtful, and honest. This requires dialogue with, and accountability to, the individuals, communities and ecosystems with which you interact.
Always take the human element into account, including unquantifiable, intangible qualities such as beauty, love, goodness.

Add your place of work to Visionary Society, and begin exploring and improving it, taking into account the follow qualities:
– The value of the product or service.
– The way it is produced, including the impact on workers and nature.
– The way the business or organization operates, including its use of money and its human relationships.
Performing a duty isn't enough. Do not leave your personal values at the door!
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Every bureaucrat says the same thing, "I'm just doing my job"
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Resource in "‘Just doing my job’ is not enough!"
 
Every bureaucrat says the same thing, "I'm just doing my job"

“When someone gets arrested for violating one of the thousands of preferential laws that put nonviolent people behind bars, they are handled by people who accept no responsibility whatsoever for results of their actions. Every step of the way from the arresting mercenary to the final executioner, every bureaucrat says the same thing, “I’m just doing my job.” They are not allowed to have an opinion about the moral values of the laws that they are enforcing and they are not trained to use their…” Blog comment, 2012

 
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"Bureaucrats base their decisions on fixed rules arrived at from statistical data, rather than on response to the living beings who stand before them… Bureaucrats fear personal responsibility and seek refuge behind their rules."
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Resource in "‘Just doing my job’ is not enough!"
 
"Bureaucrats base their decisions on fixed rules arrived at from statistical data, rather than on response to the living beings who stand before them… Bureaucrats fear personal responsibility and seek refuge behind their rules."

"The bureaucratic method is controlled by statistical data: the bureaucrats base their decisions on fixed rules arrived at from statistical data, rather than on response to the living beings who stand before them."
The bureaucratic method can be defined as one that (a) administers human beings as if they were things and (b) administers things in quantitative rather than qualitative terms, in order to make quantification and control easier and cheaper. The bureaucratic method is controlled by statistical data: the bureaucrats base their decisions on fixed rules arrived at from statistical data, rather than on response to the living beings who stand before them; they decide issues according to what is statistically most likely to be the case, at the risk of hurting the 5 or 10 percent of those who do not fit into that pattern. Bureaucrats fear personal responsibility and seek refuge behind their rules; their security and pride lie in their loyalty to rules, not in their loyalty to the laws of the human heart.
Once the living human being is reduced to a number, the true bureaucrats can commit acts of utter cruelty, not because they are driven by cruelty of a magnitude commensurate to their deeds, but because they feel no human bond to their subjects. While less vile than pure sadists, the bureaucrats are more dangerous, because in them there is not even a conflict between conscience and duty; their conscience is doing their duty; human beings as objects of empathy and compassion do not exist for them.
Erich Fromm, The Sane Society

 
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“To follow the program, to obey instructions, to ‘pass the buck,’ to be uninvolved as a person in the needs of other persons, to limit responses to what lies immediately...
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Resource in "‘Just doing my job’ is not enough!"
 
“To follow the program, to obey instructions, to ‘pass the buck,’ to be uninvolved as a person in the needs of other persons, to limit responses to what lies immediately...

so to say, on the desk, to heed no relevant human considerations, however vital: never to question the origin of an order or inquire as to its ultimate destination: to follow through every command, however irrational, to make no judgments of value or relevance about the work in hand, finally to eliminate feelings or emotions or rational moral misgivings that might interfere with the immediate dispatch of work – these are the standard duties of the bureaucrat: and these are the conditions under with Organization Man flourishes, a virtual automaton within a collective system of automation. The model for Organization Man is the machine itself. And as the mechanism grows more perfect, the residue of life needed to carry on the process becomes more minute and meaningless.”
Lewis Mumford, The Myth of the Machine, page 278

 
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"Eichmann's answer is probably given five thousand times a day in America alone: I have no responsibility for the human consequences of my decisions. I am only responsible for the efficiency of my part of the bureaucracy."
Neil Postman, Technopoly, 87 Edit
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“The Mechanical Man is the symbol of our times. He may be reluctant and cynical toward his own docility, but he is always docile enough. The loudest propaganda always wins his allegiance because he expects to be led by those who make the most noise...
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Resource in "‘Just doing my job’ is not enough!"
 
“The Mechanical Man is the symbol of our times. He may be reluctant and cynical toward his own docility, but he is always docile enough. The loudest propaganda always wins his allegiance because he expects to be led by those who make the most noise...

He is the reason for the success of most of modern advertising, which operates on the principle of "conditioning" the public with phrases and catch-words until people move in a dazed condition to purchase without any clear desire for what they buy.” Manas, Feb 25, 1948

 
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