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That Guy’s Tips for Corporate Success, #16 March 26, 2009

Posted by That Guy in A Very Corporate Something, Tips for Corporate Success.
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No one watches company rah-rah videos on the intranet no matter how much you want them to. Not even when they offer a prize.

Your company just laid off 10 percent of its workforce. You got a memo saying you’ll have to take a furlough. You’re being asked to take on more work. No one else in the office believes accountability is important in any way. All of these things happen over the course of two days — following what I’m tentatively calling the General Theory of Shit Happening*. And just when you think the deluge is over, you get this:

Dear Colleagues,

The CorporateSpeak Nationwide Employee Awards Ceremony is scheduled for April 1**. You can view it by logging onto our intranet site, http://corporatespeak.intranet. It begins at about 4:00 Eastern. Here are the nominees***:

Outstanding Innovation In The Face Of Increased Workload With No Additional Help: Chuck Bartowski, Burbank; John Casey, Sacramento; Sarah Walker, Portland; Bryce Larkin, Spokane-Coeur d’Alene.

Best Manager: Aaron Hotchner, Denver; David Rossi, Austin; Emily Prentiss, Albuquerque; Penelope Garcia, Computer Services, West Division.

Diversity Award: Neela Rasghotra, Chicago; Greg Pratt, Detroit; Catherine Banfield, Indianapolis; Archie Morris, Minneapolis/St. Paul.

Unsung Hero: Colby Granger, Birmingham; David Sinclair, Tupelo; Amita Ramanujan, Slidell; Larry Fleinhardt, Greensboro.

Corporate Employee of the Year: Simon Cowell, Human Resources; Paula Abdul, Public Relations; Randy Jackson, Legal; Ryan Seacrest, Marketing.

We look forward to seeing you online!

No one from my division of CorporateSpeak is on that list. Why should I bother showing up? Why should I care, when my co-workers are being fired and my department is being halved in staff but quadrupled in work? Why should anyone?

With the sheer amount of work people have to do these days, the odds of anyone just “showing up” to an online meeting — audiocast, videocast, or interactive session — without being ordered to do so or without having a vested interest… let’s just say they approach infinity-to-one. Hell, at CorporateSpeak, we have weekly online meetings about a piece of software I use every day and I’ve not attended a single one. I have too much other work to do.

If I don’t have the time to show up for something that might actually benefit me, I won’t even entertain the idea of going to a corporate rah-rah webinar. Who in their right mind would?

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* I suppose the Specific Theory would be when the shit only happens to you.

** Where I really work, they were smart enough not to pull that one.

*** Even my creativity runs out on occasion. Hence the use of characters from popular TV shows.

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