June 24th, 2010



Inspired by swashbuckler332*

Corporate America's fascination with near-meaningless buzzwords until they become deprecated would be downright hysterical if they didn't take themselves so seriously - and Corporate America always takes itself too seriously.

What do I like about salesmen? Their charisma and their energy. Dislikes? In a word, their insincerity. Motivating your worker-bees is less about the occasional pat on the back (though in this economy, with the hours we're putting in, it would be nice every so often) and more about tangible feedback. Telling us we're fantastic while simultaneously denying us training, bonuses & annual raises means almost nothing.

"The Great I.T. Crash of 2000" is over. Sadly, it ended as a global recession began. Ah, but in its heyday...

I left the USAF at the onset of the DotCom Boom and skyrocketed into the field. Of these, Sprint Paranet was at the `bleeding edge` of growth and perks, as well as (what I consider pioneers) of work/life balance. Boom meant lush weekly parties, even lusher monthly parties, and outrageous quarterly parties. And not just employees - family too.

One of these "training" events was a week-long corporate retreat at the Houston-area Chain-O-Lakes Resort where we were given cabins as our lodging, organic, locally grown gourmet meals and 8-hour classes on things such as Briggs Meyer, Customer Relations, Growing the Business, Limiting Scope, and Repeatable Processes. Of course most of us were hungover because each evening we were given all the beer and wine we could drink.

When we weren't in the classroom, we were doing team-building activities. You know the ones where you pass the tiny guy through the webbed netting, lean on each other when crossing the 'commitment bridge', and my personal corporate favorite, Jumping for the Brass Ring.

We stood atop a sixty-foot telephone poll on a tiny platform, and they used d-rings and pulley's to raise a brass-colored ring, and just like the carousel game of old, I snatched the brass ring. By jumping out with a belay 60-feet above ground level.

Aparently literally jumping was supposed to translate into success in the workplace.

As Mr. Sloan always says, there is no "I" in team, but there is an "I" in pie. And there's an "I" in meat pie. Anagram of meat is team...I don't know what he's talking about.

* http://swashbuckler332.livejournal.com/710624.html