Friday, June 02, 2006

Ahhhh, the Corporate Life

I work in a cube. Ok, technically it's not a plastic cube from which there is little air and no escape. Well, if I really give some thought to that, perhaps it is! No, corporate life is just that. Go watch the movie Office Space. It pretty much sums it up for anyone that works in that kind of environment. If you cannot see the humor in that, I'm afraid that you are simply too far gone into the matrix to ever be unplugged. I remember reading how Jennifer Aniston couldn't understand why Office Space was such a cult film now. Wake up Jen! Try sitting in a cube for a couple of weeks going to endless meetings and filling out endless status reports and see if you don't form another opinion.

Yes, life is bittersweet and until you've tasted the bitter, you can't apprecitate the sweet (ok, I stole that from a movie line too...if you know what movie, you too need to get a life). So the bitter is the cubicle life. It is the management that got promoted because they were either:
1. Good at their jobs so they promoted them into management so that now they don't do any of that actual work they were good at and instead have to manage people and their careers and you know they probably suck at that because, well, they never either had the time to develop those skills or simply don't have those skills because they were too busy doing what they enjoyed and were good at! It's that Seinfeld episode where the guy gets promoted out of the mailroom and halfway up the management of the company just to get him out of your department.
2. They are a suck up. They only talk to those that are above them or can do something for them. When it comes to those underneath them. Could be they use them like sheep for the slaughter, they don't even know who's under them, they play the "used car salesman" routine and tell you what you want to hear but in reality, you just ain't getting that great deal you thought you'd walked away with. Chances are; they are probably all of the above!

The bitter is the meetings. Endless meetings without point! I actually think that if I got paid by the meeting, I'd probably be quite wealthy right about now. You know, bonuses for getting all attendees to participate. Double pay for a successful mix of people in other countries on the phone for your meeting and they are actually participating, not clacking away at their email. Incentive bonuses if less than five percent of your attendees have drool on the conference table by the time the meeting is over because they dozed off about 8 minutes into your spiffy powerpoint.

Some things are double-edged swords. My 6 weeks of vacation and 12 holiday days. Sweet. My doubled-up projects and lack of the ability to take my vacations. Bitter. My 5 week sabattical every 5 years. Sweet. My 5000 emails and 27 password resets after I get back. Bitter.

Where I work we average something between 100 and 1000 emails a day. If you want somebody to actually read your email, you'd better say what you want them to read in the first 3-5 lines because that is about all that anyone EVER reads there. But you can be creative. I put some of my emails in a FAQ format. "Will this email get me fired if I don't take action?" "Maybe, and please fill out that TPR report by Wednesday". See, this way I have peaked their interest, made them read my point, and not committed to anything. The key in corporate life; don't commit to anything! Management at it's finest! Oh, and how does one get through that many emails a day? Filters! Lot's and lots of filters. Yeah, I only read the first few lines too. Now that I can hire somebody to change my oil, press my shirts (ok, I don't have any shirts that actually require pressing but it sounds impressive), landscape my yard, come in and clean my home why can't I simply hire somebody to read all my emails too? You know, save off the juicy fun ones and the ones that I really will need to respond to with more than the standard reply. That way I could spend even more time writing my useless blog and other ADD activities that keep me from being productive


Anonymous said...

Corporate Life seems Ahhh.

Crazy ice cream story about the never melting block of vanilla!

I'm glad you thought the post was funny.

House of Suz said...

I live there, only in the "trailer park" cube division.