Friday, November 16, 2007

I'm sorry, I've just never been that kind of person...

I think the very last part of that cheer is appropriate, and that would be "BAH". In today's modern workplace, I understand a lot of stores, though, not only want you to work for them, but management does its best to turn employees into "rah-rah-ziss-boom-bah" types who become androids, in the sense that they have turned their entire thinking process around, to the place where they've blindly adopted the "corporate philosophy", and even though big-box stores won't admit that they brainwash their employees, that's just about exactly what they try to do. Okay, I know that's harsh, and maybe that's not entirely true. But whenever I've had to participate in staff meetings, early-morning session-meetings, etc., I've always felt that the powers that be were trying to manipulate me. Add to that the fact that I am TOTALLY USELESS before NOON. In short, if it's before noon, just let me sit down, try to work and DON'T ANYONE SPEAK to me. Mornings have always been devastating for me. I just feel ILL until about 1 or 2 in the afternoon; I have never handled mornings well. And I've tried.

But back to this corporate-mentality thing. I was watching a PBS show on "Wal-Mart", where the cameras were present at one of Wal-Mart's "rah-rah-ziss-boom-bah" early meetings where the employees and managers pledge allegiance to Wal-Mart, and then each of the department managers gets to exhort how well their department is doing: "The Zircon-encrusted-TWEEZER department's sales have shot up 15% since this time last week!!!" And the rest of the employees whoop, holler and turn cartwheels at that GREAT news. Then the manager of another department speaks up and says, "our HOME ELECTRONICS DEPARTMENT has increased sales by 35% over this time last year, due to the fact that we buy stuff that's OUTSOURCED and we can SELL IT CHEAPLY, putting our competitors out of business at the same time!!!" Goodness sakes, ol' Sam Walton hisself must be smilin' down from Heaven. Or Purgatory...

I imagine Wal-Mart ain't the only monolithic mindless moneygrubbing outfit that does this, either. And, I want to know, when did employees become "TEAM MEMBERS"? That implies that, not only do you have to stand on your feet, on a hard-tile floor with CEMENT under that tile, killing yourself to make the least-possible-wage that the company can pay you, but, being a "team" member, you're expected to THINK like the bosses do, and BELIEVE in what the company's board of directors believes in, and, well, before ya know it, yer BRAINWASHED. I've spent years of my life, working in big impersonal factory-type situations, and it's MINDLESS. You're tired when you get there in the morning, and tired when you leave at night. Maybe there's a fine line between being brainwashed and being exhausted. In short, you're too tired to think for yourself anymore.

I used to have to sit through department meetings, employee meetings, staff meetings, meeting-meetings and so on and so forth, and basically I just kept quiet. I figured the less I said, the sooner the meeting would be over and I could get out of there. I am not a "rah-rah-ziss-boom-bah" kind of person and never have been. Give me a job to do, and I'll do it best as I can, but don't expect me to believe in what you believe in, and if you're my boss, don't expect me to actually like you or feel comfortable around you. I was a conscientious employee who basically hated myself for being conscientious because I couldn't stand doing what I was doing. Those I worked with took a job situation I liked, and changed it so much or were so rude to me that I hated the workplace environment, and I hated THEM. I imagine a lot of the workforce today feels the same way.

This is why you're asked all kinds of manipulative, "psychiatriac" type questions at job interviews, like, "if you knew someone who worked here, that had an uncle in another state, who's brother in yet another state took DRUGS, would you tell management about it?" Okay, let's say you answer "yes". Management will perhaps think you're a nit-picking tattletale who'll waste valuable time running back and forth to the boss with minor gripes. Let's say you answer "No" might then think that you endorse drug-taking, and that before you come to work each day, you take half a bottle of valium, just so you can make it thru the staff meetings. In short, I've long held the belief that, since, during an interview, an employer can't rip off the top of your head to find out how your brain works, so they do the next-best thing; they psychoanalyze you.

And why do they call 'em "Job Fairs"? They're not "fair"! A Job Fair is an occasion where a few high and mighty employers can all get together, and herd in the zillions of job applicants like so much cattle, talking to perhaps 2,000 people in order to fill the 50 available positions, which means, in any given instance, that 99.5% of people who go to Job Fairs are Totally Wasting Their Time. First you fill out the "psychoanalysis" questionaire and then you talk to some anonymous gel-headed geek, employed by the company to find someone who will subordinate their beliefs, character and individuality all in the name of scoring some kind of job, ANY job. And they then dismiss you with a smile and you never hear from them again. And if you DO score a job, you'll be given an employee handbook, which basically lists All The Different Transgressions You Can Commit Which Will Result In Termination Of Your Employee Agreement. I'll just skip past all the "rah-rah-ziss-boom" and go straight to BAH.

Recently, where I used to live, a Cabela's sporting-goods outfit opened a huge monolithic store, complete with fake wildlife, a fake natural-woods setting, a fake fish pond and acres upon acres upon mindless acres of stuff that you could easily buy cheaper somewhere else, but you won't because after all, you waited all night to get into Cabela's Big Grand Opening Huge Big Sales Event! I think I can hear the cries of "Bah" off in the distance. And, Cabela's does that whole rah-rah employee motivational thing, in the mornings, before opening the store to the hordes of unspecting shoppers who actually think they are saving money by shopping there. I have proof...this is a picture of such an event; a Cabela's official "rah-rah-ziss-boom-bah" (mostly "bah") Early Morning Motivational Meeting:

...and as far as I'm concerned, the photo of the above event, is not altogether dissimilar from the BIG EVENT pictured BELOW:

Both pictures mercilessly swiped from So sue me.

Okaaay, that's it...I'm done squawkin' now...


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