As I was laying on the chiropractor table, about to be manipulated into some form of a pretzel that I was unfamiliar with; the following birthday card greeting that I recently received popped into my head:
“Happy Birthday. I’ve discovered the fountain of youth…turns out it tastes a lot like vodka!”
Indeed! What a pleasant thought to trip through one’s mind at 9:00 am on the pretzel table. I looked around – there wasn’t a mini-bar in sight. What a drag! Made me long for the cocktail hour.
“I’ve seen the future at this corporate rathole…it’s a bag of shit and it stinketh mightily”.
That was another little quip that my mind summoned from a long time ago.
Where, prey tell, could that have come from? It didn’t originate with me, though I’m quite jealous that I hadn’t thought of that particular gem. Believe it not… it was from the “office flyer” that was typed out, copied and then distributed to unsuspecting office workers in the corporate hive some 40 years ago. Such things were “allowed” back then. Mercy…the horror!
Present day – finding humor in anything not sanitized through the corporate love machine that allows executives to make obscene amounts of cash, along with their “golden parachutes”, while workers are paid a pittance, will get you fired or possibly sentenced to a six month stint of watching nothing but idiot savants like Jimmy Kimmel or Stephen Colbert in order to get your mind back in line with the current groove.
The flyers distributed back then were not just for the “regular” workers – they were distributed by office pranksters to every single person working in the corporate nightmare back in the late 70’s and early 80’s. Everyone from mailroom personnel to VP’s and above – they all received the flyers and get this…they laughed at them.
Everyone throughout the office actually looked forward to the mail drops done twice each day. If there was a white sheet of paper that appeared to have a crazy font, most times accompanied by drawings…you knew you were in for some laughs.
Now, you can’t laugh, smile, giggle, moan, raise an eyebrow, or voice any type of common sense idea lest you be ridiculed, lambasted, put upon, laughed at, called insensitive – with your butt thrown into the bowels of the Human Resource department where, if lucky, you’ll be fired, if not so lucky, you’ll be attending one sensitivity/diversity/re-education training after another until you are sufficiently re-programmed.
At one corporation I worked at, they extended their version of nirvana outside the confines of the inner cubicle prison and had it set up where smokers could only puff away in an area in the back parking lot, with actual red paint on the concrete to designate the 20′ x 20′ smoking area. Forget that everyone is breathing in fumes from cars, trucks, blowhard company executives and god knows what else – damn you if you light up that cigarette outside the red lines.
It was also quite acceptable to come to work dressed as a clown, or a patient at the sleep depravation clinic, or someone who just doesn’t give a shyte anymore and thought it reasonable to come to work dressed in a frayed and stinky sweatshirt hoodie, pajama bottoms and 5 year old flip flops. About anything goes in the corporate nightmare today, except real business, common sense, managerial expertise – it’s the person above you trying to get the position of the person above them and on and on – and the only requirement for advancement is that you haven’t a heart, soul or mind. It’s working out quite well for the soulless.
In the beginning was the Plan.
And then came the Assumptions.
And the Assumptions were without form.
And darkness was upon the face of the Workers.
And they spoke among themselves, saying, “It is a crock of shit, and it stinketh.”
And the workers went unto their Supervisors and said, “It is a pail of dung, and none may abide the odour thereof.”
And the Supervisors went unto their Managers, saying, “It is a container of excrement, and it is very strong, such that none may abide by it.”
And the Managers went unto their Directors, saying, “It is a vessel of fertiliser, and none may abide its strength.”
And the Directors spoke amongst themselves, saying one to another, “It contains that which aids plant growth, and it is very strong.”
And the Directors then went onto the Vice Presidents, saying unto them, “It promotes growth and is very powerful.”
And the Vice Presidents went unto the President, saying unto him, “This new plan will actively promote the growth and vigor of the company; with powerful effects.”
And the President looked upon the Plan, and saw that it was good.
And the Plan became Policy.
I first came across “The Plan” back in the 70’s. Who knows where it originated from or when. We rather believe it’s origins to be from a couple hundred of years ago when corporations first started to seed their insanity, with the above rendition of it being the “PG” version. But at least in the 1970’s, you could joke and laugh about it. Now, there is no room for laughing at ourselves, at each other, at the current culture, and most especially at life within the corporate prison.
Our suggestion, for the 2 cents it’s worth, on your next job interview that isn’t going so well, present “the Plan” to the nutjob who is pretending to be the all-wise, all-knowing corporate warden who thinks he/she has your future in their hands.
Then go home, make yourself a cocktail, a’ la, Steve McQueen from the original Thomas Crown Affair, and salute yourself for a job well done.
“It is hard for the ape to believe he descended from man.” ~ H. L. Mencken
The Thomas Crown Affair (1968) – Thomas Crown Has a Laugh
Photo credit (front page): http://www.unsplash.com/@mikofilm