Fired for Smiling?
Here’s how everything went down for John Gallo.
The man began the day with a job, laughed a little too much, and went home with a pink slip.
In way of explanation, the company held John the Miscreant had been “caught in the act of smiling on the line.” He had the gall to do so even after being spotted “laughing with the fellows” only a few hours earlier.
As it turns out, Henry Ford probably wasn’t the most fun to work for.
That was an isolated incident, though, right? An extreme example of behavior from the Steve Jobs of the early 1900s?
The firing apparently “reflected Ford’s philosophy,” which essentially stated even if you have fun at home, you must be cold and efficient in the workplace.
Ford created a famous car. You probably know that.
What you may not know is his real renown — the impact which carries past the pavement — is the assembly line. This idea carried long past one business and became a rolling cash machine for businessmen throughout the mid-20th century. The Line could make a car in 10 hours less than the current pace.
It was “innovation” to line men up and have them repeat the same action for hours at a time.
It was “innovation” to strip people of their humanity for the sake of Capital “H” Humanity.
It was “innovation” to not worry about paying competitive wages because, well, everyone was replaceable.
As is always the case in business…
Innovation turned to best practices. Best practices became common. That which is common must accepted.
Before we knew what was happening, The Free Man — who had until that point forged his way forward with a artisan craft and managed his own household transformed into The Industry Man — who became our first form of robots.
Am I romanticizing the past? Probably. Am I demonizing a man without whom without we may still be riding horses? Undoubtedly. Have I rejected a car in protest? Not a chance. Could John Gallo have been some twit who got what he deserved? Maybe. We don’t know.
Here’s what we do know: Ford’s assembly line became the root of industry.
Almost 100 years, we still haven’t managed to shake off its effects.
And now, we must shift the conversation from “them” to you.
YOU must expect more.
YOU can no longer afford to live a life in chains.
YOU do what is necessary to become creative in a world which is now constructed almost entirely of mankind’s imagination.
YOU are the fearless leader of YOU Inc., a company with talents unknown, potential untapped, and possibilities unfathomable.
Remove yourself from the tyranny of industry.
— Todd B
Note: After 3 years of writing weekly on the Internet, I’ve found I become less and less tolerant to people who spit out what we must assume to be facts with no actual foundation.
The worst offenders of this are typically people like me — Motivators who are too busy “hustling” to dig deeply. In an attempt to offer further education or invite critique if I am misled in my thinking, here are the works which influenced this piece:
How to Start Breaking Free
No matter your industry, position, or prospects, the way up is almost always an idea.
That’s why I’m offering a free book — The Ultimate Guide to Infinite Ideas — for the price of an email address.