Thursday, October 16, 2008

Today's Outrage

A friend of mine works in a large office and gets to see first hand the hypocrisy sometimes associated with large companies. Take for example the story he related to me today:

Over the past 2 years the constant theme of his company has been saving money. In town halls he is encouraged to come up with ideas to 'save money'. The thermostat in the building was increased to 80 degrees this summer to save money. No more free coffee is provided and the water cooler was taken away. All the lights go off at 6:00pm. Emails from leadership continually talk about cost cutting measures and reduced budgets. He gets notifications that bonus' will probably be lower this year due to the economy. Over the past 2 years he's watched wave after wave of layoffs.

BUT, today there was a gift on his desk. Yes, a gift from the powers that be. What pray tell could it be? A new communications tool to improve efficiency? A new mouse to replace the 1999 model he's currently using? A flash drive so he can share files with coworkers without clogging up email? Oh my goodness, what could it have been?!?

It was a glass trophy celebrating a new company initiative.

What?!? A glass trophy? Celebrating an 'initiative'?

Friend: "I thought we were going broke. I thought we didn't have any money. Turn up the temp, turn off the lights, layoff the workers, take away the coffee, yada yada yada. AND SOME MENTAL GIANT IN LEADERSHIP AUTHORIZED WASTING THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS ON THIS GARBAGE!!!! THAT MONEY COULD BE IN MY BONUS CHECK!!!!!"

I try to comfort my friend. I tell him we must assume someone making a LOT more money than him and probably with a much higher IQ and better education thought this was a good idea.

So I try to come up with a good reason for this to have been done, to help my friend feel better.

Perhaps it was done to improve morale? Based on my friends reaction, I don't think it's doing that. Scratch that idea.

I know, it was done to build team spirit and camaraderie. On second thought, I don't think it's helping with that either. All his comrades are in bad moods now and this thing is the perfect size for throwing. Not a good combination.

Oh I know, money was wasted on this glass paper weight and future landfill material to build company loyalty. Nah, it's not doing that either.

I can't provide my friend any comfort and no plausible reason his company would do something so blatantly stupid.

So now my friend is just depressed!!!

And how is your day going?

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