At work, do you know everyone?
Crikey no, there are far too many people to know them all. I hardly know everyone in my department.
What’s a department?
It’s a collection of people all looking after the same part of the work. My collection look after all of the money. We are called “Finance”.
So if you don’t know everyone, how does anything happen?
Well, we deal with people we don’t know because we know what they do, and sometimes the way we do things means we all work on the same things without knowing each other but we all do a little bit of it.
Ah. I think I get it. But it doesn’t sound easy to do anything.
It’s not, but because it’s so big, we do try and make it as easy as we can. It doesn’t always work out that way.
Was it always that big?
No, it was tiny once.
And was every other work tiny too?
Well son, once most works were big. They got so big that people thought there must be a better way. Then along came the internet and people started to realise they could do things with much smaller groups, and sometimes even on their own. They realised that if they knew people well, good things would happen.
Wow that sounds better.
It was better. Much. We stopped working in huge tower blocks and started working in cafés.
That sounds funny.
Yes it was funny at first, and noisy too, and you couldn’t go for a wee without taking all your stuff with you. So we started to work in places that looked like a cross between the towers and our lounge. They were smaller and nicer.
Did you know people there?
Yes I knew most people. We called co-working centres, because it was good to have company. All of us people starting a works on our own could meet and talk to people. And we could go for a wee without taking our stuff with us.
But you don’t do that now?
Well, we all started having great ideas that needed other people to help. So we made groups and gave them a name. Just for fun. And because our ideas were occasionally worth a lot of money to pay for nice houses and cars, we had to make some rules for the groups.
That sounds like fun, thinking of a name. Like Peter, or Samantha?
Not really, we called them brands. Like Buzzwiffle and Guze and Stunkgarter.
WOW! They’re amazing names. I’d like to do that.
Yes, it was very funny. People loved them all. We drew little cartoon pictures of animals for them, too. Over time some of the groups joined together, and some of the groups bought other groups so that the people who started them could start other groups that then joined together with other groups. It was all a bit crazy.
So everything got bigger?
Yes. And over a few years we had all gone back to being in big groups again. The small groups didn’t survive. Like the little fish in the sea getting eaten by the sharks.
So where did you work then?
The small spaces for the small groups were too small for the big groups. We all moved back to the towers. We just used the cafés for coffee, if our bosses let us.
Wasn’t that a bit sad?
It was a bit sad, yes. And we paid lots more too, and so some of the groups disappeared because they didn’t have enough money.
So – after a little bit of fun, some cool names and being in small groups and knowing some people, it’s all ended up like it started?
Yes, that’s right.
And you used to know people, and now you don’t know anyone anymore again?
So you cocked it up then, Dad?