Ode to a Tyrant: Superfluum Opus

Woe to thee who has cast thy lot with this tyrant.  The breaker of workweeks and crusher of work/life balance, this tyrant stands lofty upon the prow. Superfluum Opus helms every project as though it were a galley, and the oars should never be silent.

Superfluum Opus will often look good when the job is done.  This tyrant has a very long shelf life and often has upwards career trajectory.  How is this the case?  The tyrant’s problem is not that they cannot assign meaningful work, it is that they cannot distinguish meaningful from meaningless work.  They will simultaneously assign someone to think about the core of their project and also adjust a single slide in a presentation that will never see the light of day.  They will command research into things that are non-sequitur to the scope of their work and they will ask everyone to duplicate tasks.

Task duplication is the key stratagem of Superfluum Opus, as it can quickly hide this meaningless duplication of labor under the thin veil of “collaboration.”  Those who may complain about repeat work will simply not be team players because they do not wish to collaborate on a project with their coworkers.  This is the end of Superfluum Opus, where labor masquerades as progress.

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