Sunday, August 1, 2010

Forced Positive Reinforcement

This is probably the most Frakked up thing I've ever been asked to do for work. Last Friday, on my day off, a memo and email was sent round our department asking (TELLING) us all to write a handwritten note to the Leader Guy of our company. It went something like this [Paraphrasing to Protect The Innocent]:

From: Boss Lady
To: All Managers etc...
RE: A Massive, Overwhelming Amount of Optimistic, Supportive Affirmation
Over the next few days have your staff members write (handwritten) a short note to [Corporate Leader Dude].
This note will thank him for all the great things he has done for the company since [Hostile, but-in-a-good-way, Take Over of Our Company] and then why they like their jobs what their job has done for them personally and professionally.
I don't want them asking for anything just a note of gratitude and an short expression of [Lame Corporate Philosophical BS]!
If they want to compliment you, an admin person, each other, or [Whichever Money-Making Department Who's A$$ We're Kissing This Week], that's good too.
If they have any notes from Clients thanking them for a great job pls include those as well.
Pls have these done by Wednesday and [yadda yadda yadda]
I can only think of 2 reasons why our Boss Lady would demand something so demeaning. 1) The Leader Dude of our company is so insecure and heartrendingly childish that he needs constant reassurance that he is a good person. Or 2) My Boss Lady is seriously trying to kiss ass for some reason.
Either way... UGH. It still makes me feel dirty just thinking abut it. To basically be ordered to write something like this. So, I threw the idea around my head, and decided that I wanted NO part of this. At all. a couple days go by and we get the THIS from my supervisor:
[Boss Lady] told me yesterday that no one is following the guidelines below for their letters.

Please try to do your best and at least show her that Marketing can do what she asks.

And the "Guide Lines," which are basically a bullet list of points we're supposed to make on this 'assignment.'
  • Thanking [Ultra-Supreme-Company-Leader Dude] for being Super Leader Dude.
  • For providing you all with jobs
  • Why YOU like Your job
  • What Your job has done for You
  • Compliment a person in another dept.
  • Attach one note of thanks from a client.
Seriously. So, my own direct supervisor kept after me to do this, and I talked with some other folks who actually did it. Some people went WAY overboard and some people disregarded the guidelines altogether and asked for all kinds of shit. It came down to the deadline (Past it actually) when I decided to go ahead and write something at least. What I came up with was as horrific as it was funny and intelligent (at least I think so, as does my wife). All I needed was a starting place, which I couldn't find until supervisor lady just said: introduce yourself. So, here it is in it's entirety. the Yellow highlighted parts are what ended up in the final draft, handwritten on 2 sheets of copy paper. The gray parts are all the other junk I jotted down, which was then distilled for its essence and spit out as the yellow stuff. the cross-outs are parts that shouldn't have even been written, or just errors in both accuracy and judgment.

So here it is, the worst sellout in my life so far:
Dear Mr. [Name of CEO Type Dude],
My name is [Name of Depraved Employee] and I am the [Extraordinarily long job title] at the [less than vague location]. I’ve held this position for the last [Relatively Long Time]. Prior to this I was the [Previous Position(s) held] for the [Location] Region. I’ve been with the company for a total of [Excessively LONG period of Time].
We are all doing fine, except for the scurvy. Who, as you know is quite the Rapacious Villain!! Lol, not unlike the vehemently acquisitive and avaricious company we all work for, right? Am I right? Yeah, you know it… Much like the Mandelorian Armor of Boba (and his ‘father’ Jango) Fett, you cradle and protect each one of us, and fend off invaders with your flame thrower….
First, I’d like to personally thank you for the stirring and inspirational leadership that has come to us these last few years. I’ve seen this company go through many changes over the years, and can honestly say that the last few years have definitely been the best. It is truly great to see executives that care about not only the Owners and Guests, but the employees as well. In particular the Employee Recognition Program looks nice, and I can’t wait to see some of the collateral and use it in our office.
I’ve seen this company go through many changes, and can honestly say that the last few years have definitely been the best. Both As an employee and a fan of TIMESHARE (sic) I mean, Vacation Ownership and a human being,  of this company, I have a job that …
Something. Fraking formatting screw up threw me off. Goddamnit.
It’s been requested of me to divulge the following: Your awesome leadership through these dark and mortally terrifying times has been quite tenacious! You have pulled us through the black depths of the ‘recession’ to a bright gleaming future. A future lighted with rainbows and unicorns.
 I also wanted to mention that I think it was great the way the company handled the recession which started 2 years ago. Of course, I was not worried about our company. From the first signs of looming depression I had no doubt that we would pull through it together. And here we are, still going strong! Thank you for that, sir.
I’ve also been ordered to tell you how insanely grateful I am that you are the Leader of this Great Company, and that it, in fact, exists at all. Because, obviously, I would not be able to feed my family if it wasn’t for you. Yes, without first a) the concept of timeshare [sic] I mean Vacation OwnershipJ, and then b) you, my Lord and Master. No matter that Fear no longer guides me, and I’m sure that if this company did not exist I would not have a problem with selling my everlasting soul (what’s left of it after the gang rape of timeshare) to another systematic plague ridden ass factory.
            The best thing about a job like this, in a place like this, in this industry, is the people I get to work with. Always professional, competent and just plain good people. Obviously, working with [Name Of My PHB] is a pleasure and a blessing. She is more like a mentor to me than a boss. But others in our organization, out side the specific scope of Marketing have been influential and helpful. Such as [Misc Emploee #1] in accounting, and [Misc. Employee #2] at Corporate Payroll. These are folks who will do their best day in and day out and help out a fellow co-worker in any way they can.
Frankly, if it weren’t for  in spite of the people I work with, I would have gone crazy a long [Fraking] time ago!
The best thing I like about my job is going home to my family each night; knowing that I have left behind me a job well done; and cannibalizing my own clockwork orange. Or at the very least another dead tree.  It also amuses me the way that Corporate Announcements FAIL SUCCEED on every level. What is the [Lame Corporate Philosophical BS]? I have no idea. It seems like a redundant and Machiavellian treatise on the Art of War. What I like best, I suppose, is the incredible opportunity to offer the tenants of [Different Lame Corporate Motto] (©®™ǽ₤№ª¤) to an amazing number of people, whom I will never see.
Again, I cannot be more explicit with why I love my job. This position has treated me very well. Without this job, I would be lost. Both morally and financially. This job has changed me on so many levels; it’s difficult to know where to start. Suffice to say that I would not be in this position if it weren’t in fact, FOR this position!! Lol
In closing, I just want to reiterate that without this job, the position I am in within this company, I would not be the person I am today. Thank you, thank you very much.

God, I need a shower after just reading it...
A myth is a religion in which no one any longer believes.
  - James Feibleman

1 comment:

  1. Pseudo-Gabe. I shake my head in vehement shame. Somehow I am reminded of Bob and Bob asking each employee how much they love their job. This is corporate bullshit at its finest. pity.