Alternate title: Nutshell: Why I Need to Get Out of This Industry.
We had a company-wide conference call this afternoon; you know, one of those, "rah-rah," sessions where high level executives lavish praise on groups of people you've never met or heard of, and confusing acronyms zoom around like BBs. At the end they always open up the call to questions from the captive, "audience," and, I shit you not, one woman had the nerve to say something like this:
"Hi, Dr. [Executive,] this is Kelly Ann Employee in East Officetown, Pennsylvania. I - and several of my coworkers - have had a lifelong desire for us to be listed among Fortune 500 companies. There's an office down the street that made number 78 last year. What are we doing to compete with this company and what are the chances we'll be recognized in the future?"
Um....what? I don't even know where to begin with this question. First of all, if you truly have had a lifelong desire to work for a Fortune 500 company, there is something desperately, irreparably wrong with your concept of self-worth. Sorry. It's true. Second, 'There's an office down the street....?' I'm sure that company's employees are staring at you when you drive by, shaking their heads and wordlessly shaming you and your non-Fortune 500 status. They roll their eyes and say, "That company doesn't even deserve to be on the same street as us." Third, and most important, please do not bring your unwitting coworkers into this folly. The truth is they all think you're crazier than a cat lady in a scratch-post forest, and I don't believe for one second that you all gab at break time about your aspirations to be in a business journal.
The worst part of all of this was that, after poor Kelly Ann asked her question, instead of laughing at her (what I would have done,) the answering executive launched into a 10-minute speech on what, exactly, we are doing as a company to knock those bastards down the street from 78 to 79 on the list. You better watch out, Integrated Medical Synergies of East Officetown. We are coming for you.
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
This morning while stopped at a red light, I glanced out the bus window into the cab of a pick-up truck idling next to us. Dangling from the rear-view mirror was an assortment of chains and shoelaces, each attached to an item the driver obviously felt he needed to reach at a moment's notice. He had a pen, a roll of duct tape, a compass, a calculator, an EZ Pass, and a duck call (no joke.) I nodded approvingly and thought, 'That's my kind of organizational system.' Growing up I always felt more comfortable if everything I could possibly need was visible to me at all times. This is a a very poor justification for being messy, but I am, and always have been. I know just where that sweater/belt/scarf is, because it's right here on the floor in front of me, balled up in a space-saving fashion, ready to be shaken out and worn.