Thursday, May 03, 2012

You Work in Corporate America If ...

From my friend Bob, who feeds me interesting and bloggable things when not roaring around the country on his motorcycle, comes this useful guide to recognizing that you work in modern-day corporate America. My comments are, of course, inserted where necessary.

You Work in Corporate America If ...

You sat at the same desk for 4 years and worked for three different companies. (It's true ... I have sat at the same desk in the same office for 16 years and have worked for five different companies)

Your company welcome sign is attached with Velcro, and the company logo on your badge is applied with stick-um. (Corollary: you get nervous because it's been more than three months since the last reorganization ... see the next item for corollary #2)

You order your business cards in "half orders" instead of whole boxes. (I was issued a box of new business cards when I was hired by my current employer five years ago ... now, the only two things on the remaining cards - which is most of them - that are still correct are my name and phone number)

Your resume is on a memory stick in your pocket. (But your company won't let you put the memory stick into your office computer because it was made in China and came fully-equipped with assorted malware)

You get really excited about a 2% pay raise. (Actually, you get really excited about any raise)

You learn about your layoff on CNN. (This one did happen to me when my first company was sold ... although we learned about it not on CNN, but in a fait-accompli e-mail from the company CEO)

Your biggest loss from a system crash is that you lose your best jokes. (Or the company IT department is on your case because your constant downloading of YouTube video clips is eating up bandwidth and straining the storage capacity of the company servers)

You sit in a cubicle smaller than your bedroom closet. (Or in a bullpen which combines a minimum of privacy with a maximum of distraction)

Salaries of the members of the corporate Executive Board are higher than the combined total of the annual budgets of any five Third World countries. (Any seven Third World countries, if you count bonuses and stock options)

You think lunch is just a meeting to which you drive. (Since I eat lunch at my desk almost every day while catching up on my backlogged reading, this one is not applicable)

It's dark when you drive to and from work. (And you are kept in the dark about major corporate machinations one you get there)

Fun is when issues are assigned to someone else. (Corollary: an action transferred is an action completed)

Communication is something your group is having problems with. (Corollary: you do everything by e-mail so that you'll have a record of it ... even if the person you're e-mailing is sitting at the next desk)

Free food left over from meetings is your main staple of your diet. (In our office, we hope each day that someone will forget the ID badge that allows them to swipe in through the locked door ... because the rule is that they have to buy donuts for everyone to compensate us for the hassle of getting up to let them in each time they buzz at the door)

Weekends are those days your significant other makes you stay home. (Nevertheless, you still spend at least a few hours with your laptop working on stuff you didn't get done at the office)

Art involves a white board. (And if you work for a really classy company, they have white walls instead of measly white boards)

You're already late on the assignment you just got. (This is part of what we call "combat staffing" - you may be obligated to get someone's coordination on your project, but if you give it to them at 5:30PM and require a fully-coordinated reply by 9:00 the next morning, they'll probably grumble and pencil-whip the response, allowing you to avoid having to deal with unwanted comments)

I hope this helps you recognize your situation. And try not to be too hard on your employer - after all, corporations are people, too ... just ask the Supreme Court.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.



Duckbutt said...

Some of those sound just like academe, except with the coaches getting the munificent salaries.

eViL pOp TaRt said...

It sounds dismal. Dante should have been told about it. But bullpens make it sooooo much harder to work.

Elvis Wearing a Bra on His Head said...

That's the way it is with engineering too. Things are a little slower in HSV now.

Mike said...

'you lose your best jokes'

I still can't find my joke file from work. And it's a paper file.