T Nation

The Corporate World


#1

I just got back from year-end meetings at my corporate headquarters, which I've noticed has gradually become more "Office Spacey" than the office in "Office Space". I'm starting to lose my shit here, and am looking for people in similar situations to commiserate with.

Please let me know if any or all of the following apply to your workplace...

-The adoption of no fewer than 5 additional acronyms per quarter, all of which are meaningless corporo-babble. Our most recent additions are ETT$ (Energy, Talent, Time, Money), EEE (Engage, Enchant, Enthrall), and IMI (Impulse Meeting Intervention). None of this shit means anything. It really doesn't.

-At least 3+ employees who apply the term "touch base" to every single action they undertake at work. Example: "Hey Pimpbot5000, great to see you back at HQ! I just wanted to touch base with you on the adoption of the EEE acronym, after which I'd like to have an IMI with you and the CFO to touch base on our ETT$ optimization, immediately following which I'm going to touch base with a large subway sandwich during lunch break". Fuck!

-Friday IS "Hawaiian Shirt Day"

-A corporate firewall which bans virtually any google search that doesn't have to do with PDF files, synergy, or optimizing shit. "Accuweather.com" is banned.

-BANNERS! I hadn't been at HQ for 2 months, and as I walk in the door I notice the addition of a giant, 40-foot banner looming over the cubicles of the inside sales staff which reads "Executing Excellence......from A-Z!". This.....literally means nothing. It does not coincide with our corporate ethos in any way, and management made absolutely no reference to it...they just hung it up, hoping it would motivate people somehow. I asked our head inside sales guy, who has been with us for 25 years, if he had the foggiest notion of what it might mean. He didn't. Nobody did.

I know the economy is bad and I'm lucky to have a well-paying career etc etc, but fuck! To any of you corporate guys...does it get any better, or should I quit and embark on the lower-paying but infinitely more fulfilling career path of shoveling horse shit into boxcars? Thanks.


#2

I'm so happy that I've gotten to my age without knowing what a TPS report is and that I don't get any Dilbert jokes.


#3

I've always had a sick fascination with those types of environments.

I'm a lab geek by trade and education, so that world is pretty alien and mysterious to me.

But it seems like it would be good for some lulz if you have the proper prescription medications.


#4

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#5

I remember that I suggested to an university department a new acronym, PPP.

It would have been platitudes per page and the point was to maximize their success in what they were obviously trying to achieve.

For some unfathomable reason this idea was not an immediate smashing success.


#6

No, you should start your own business and hire everyone that you can get that is as fed up with this BS as you are.


#7

ISS.

You mean to say.


#8

I pretty much have the same thing where I work.

The acronym thing drives me nuts. I'll receive an email with a few and it won't say wtf they mean, nor do any of my co-workers. Sometimes, they're at the beginning of the email; but, more often than not, nothing is explained.

We recently had a ton of banners go up around our building (walls, breakroom, cubes) and everybody was asking what the hell they meant. They were just random pictures with a few words that didn't really give any real clues to what they meant.

Finally, an email went out, because of all the queries surrounding the banners, explaining that it was the new IP address system that was being implemented in the first quarter.

Apparently, it's MAJOR NEWS and we all should be VERY EXCITED about it.

Personally, the signs that are put up in the break room and bathrooms, like "CLEAN UP AFTER YOURSELVES" "DO NOT THROW PAPER TOWELS IN THE TOILET" etc. crack me up. As if it makes a difference.....


#9

We have enough acronyms where I work that it should be recognized as a separate language. I see all the posters, acronymns and 'you can do it' motivational shit as people in administrative roles desperately trying to cling to relevance and job security. My rage guy moment happened when our rotund safety manager attempted to correct my lifting technique, whilst carrying a 10 pound computer monitor on my shoulder. Not very ergo-minded of me apparently. Above the urinals is a diversity poster. Something about all different color crayons having to learn to live in the same box together. Pathetic, and I work in a rigid PC environment to the point I literally avoid women. Not worth my passing smile in the hall, which perpetually angry women could easily take as rape zone material.


#10

Pimpbot, I've been a resident of this world for 11 years now. Like you, the career is good, the money's good, etc.

At my previous job, I really felt overwhelmed by the callous insincerity of the corporate world. Honestly, it's like Hollywood, but for business-minded people. Furthermore, my inner poet cringes at some of the ways the Corporate World uses the English language. It's 10x worse in consulting.

Imagine hearing these words every day:
- Tone at the top (I prefer: "the example set by leadership.")
- Low-hanging fruit (I prefer: "the obvious problems that can be fixed quickly and easily.")
- At the end of the day (I prefer: "In conclusion")
- It is what it is (Just a redundant statement)
- Managing expectations ("We are not going to deliver on time.")
- Resource utilization ("How busy our employees are.")

I could go on and on.

I found a good group right now that's very low on the corporate babble, despite being within a large company. I actually feel quite lucky. If you plan to stick around for any length of time, try to look for the same - a group whose leader can throw all that crap out and kick you the real deal.


#11

Anyone remember Robin Williams monologue in "Good Morning Vietnam" about the VIP arriving PDQ et al....
thank lucifer I dont work in an office. Difference between a cubicle and a jail cell: NO MUCH !


#12

What annoys me are the corporate sheep that follow the popular business book du jour like its a religion. Now is the Dysfunction of a Team. Everyone got a copy on their office chair for the holidays.


#13

^^ I see lots of books like that and shake my head.

There must be about 5 or 6 books about Google and this book is supposed to help you make your company become like Google.


#14

Oh man, don't even get me started on this! Our newest one is the "Harvey MacKay MBA of Sales", and it's literally one of the biggest pieces of crap ever committed to paper. It reads like a video game manual for a kid with severe ADHD...100+ "chapters" with absolutely zero tangible content. But, the boss likes it....so we must like it too.

I was thinking though...with my in-depth knowledge of the mechanics of corporate bullshit, combined with my limited writing skills, I should be able to publish my own wildly-successful business book. Here...I'm going to pull a title and a few chapter headings directly from the depths of my rectum, but would appreciate any other contributions or additional insight....

Title: "Yearning to Strive" by PimpBot5000

Chapter Headers:

1.) Redefining the "excellence-based" workplace of 2012...
2.) You MUST Yearn, for you MUST Strive!...
3.) Don't just optimize or synergize...OPTI-GIZE!...
4.) Keep your calm, keep your focus - standing on the shoulders of clear-headed giants (special commentary by Ron Hextall, former goalie for the Philadelphia Flyers)...
5.) Adversity is a blizzard ("adverso-blizzard"), 3 steps to knitting a toasty-warm parka...
6.) Redefining the redefinition of "excellence-based" workplace of 2012 of Chapter 1 (Change is Constant, definitions are fluid!)
7.) DRIVE!!
8.) Chart your opti-gization, navigate the waters of mediocrity and stagnation to find the golden land of success-atude! (inspirational quotes from Balboa, Columbus, Cortes, and Drake)
9.) DRIVE!! (Chapter repeated for emphasis)
10.) "Passion + Talent / SQR (Hubris) = Results!" and other assorted business equations...
11.) Sharpen the Saw, Polish the Apple, and set the Turkey into the Alleyway (epilogue)


#15

Well, the people you are quoting are off.

Not enough sports and all male.

In order to appeal to your target crown there should be at least a token woman in there, preferably of a racial minority, handicapped and overcoming some sort of overwhelming odds.

You can mix it up or combine it, like Helen Keller and Rosa Parks or some such, but you should cover your bases.

The more obvious the dick stroking is, the more important it is to avoid charges of being a phallocentric patriach.


#16

I only worked in a corporate environment for about a year while in art school. I was a mailroom clerk at a prominent insurance company. The suits would occasionally use the mailroom as a refuge away from the stiff environment, and they'd hang out beside the copier and talk with me and my coworker about "normal" things outside of work. Over time it was fun to pick up on the underlying social dynamic of the place... like which executive was having an affair with a particular secretary or underwriter. One of the managers was an old, jaded woman who gave me an my coworker some advice before the company Christmas party. "Don't dip your pen in company ink". Apparently she had no idea how much dipping and spilling of ink went on in that place behind the scenes.

Aside from that entertainment, I found the cubicle/office environment to be depressing and soulless place.


#17

Eat Nutrigrain bars brah


#18

haha I fucking love that commercial =D

I work in such a corporate place but somehow my dept is an exception to all that crap. We have adopted many dept practices to counter the nonsense such as sarcastic applause, mock recognition and we put bets on the counts of usage of ridiculous terms, ie 'low hanging fruit' that we choose before speeches and make guesses.

It's nice and comfortable in our group but when we get forced to go to large corporate events where we have to interact with the others we have to have a meeting to remind each other to fit in and not get the boss in trouble. It's really weird when I go to one of these events and make a joke and sit there awkwardly as no one laughs at my obvious lack of company spirit and have to start texting my guys to get through the day.


#19

Huh, guess standing by myself on an assembly line isn't so bad after all.


#20

The rampancy of office sex is fucking amazing. It blows college parties out of the water, just not as blatant.