This morning I was reminded of an experience I had years ago when I was fresh out of school and starting out as a designer. I was doing a freelance job for a fairly large company in the city and had to deal with a bitter art director. In one of our meetings he said something like, "Why would Mr. Bigshot, head of this company waste any time with you in a meeting? Do you know how much he's worth per hour?"
It never occured to me to measure myself against someone else based on that kind of logic. But it certainly did make me feel like shit at the time. Even though I knew bitter art director was... well... a miserable bastard.
I thought about that exchange today because I realized that I'm probably about the age that bitter art director guy was then. It's interesting and enlightening as I age finding myself at the age certain people from my past were back then. And I just can't believe that people subscribe to that hierarchical bullshit. Or that they actually value their worth on hourly pay. Those systems only exist because people actually subscribe to them and perpetuate them. If we refused to measure our worth that way, they would simply disappear. Maybe bitter art director guy thought he could feel some sense of value because he wasn't me, but he was still trapped on a lower rung on the ladder because he wasn't Mr. Bigshot.
The bitter art director guys and Mr. Bigshots of the world are so busy vying for a position on the ladder they don't get that they don't even have to get on that fucker in the first place.