Thursday, October 16th, 2008 :: 9:46 AM

"It's ok, I can get another job…"
"What?"
"I can have another one tomorrow. It's just a job…"
"Stop saying that! There's no such thing as, 'just a job.' Anything that takes up your time takes up your life. What if you never do anything that you think is important?" (>>)

Monday, October 29th, 2007 :: 9:52 AM

First hint that the woman in charge of the property management firm at your building might be a passive-aggressive misandrist: You can't tell if the new wallpaper in the men's bathroom is tan or pink.

Tuesday, August 21st, 2007 :: 9:38 AM

"The primary benefits of a position in Senior Management are increased status and increased salary. The disadvantages are decreased free time and increased stress. So, logically, the sort of people who end up working in Senior Management are those who are most motivated by money and status, and care least about missing time with friends and family." (>>)

Thursday, June 21st, 2007 :: 12:19 PM

"living in a small college town can really mess with your priorities. everyone and their brother has a graduate degree, and if you don't have one, then you're constantly being asked if you've thought about getting yours? yeah i think about it every freaking time someone ASKS me and that's about it. i don't want one, i don't really care… work is not life, life is people…. who did i have lunch with today? who calls me and reads to me from funny books to cheer me up? who can i call or chat with for advice or encouragement? these are the important things. these are the things that keep me alive. these are the things that change the world… this is how i want to be successful." (>>)

Friday, December 8th, 2006 :: 10:05 AM
Holiday Cheer

Dear Property Management Firm,

A suggestion: Instead of spending $6.99 on that tacky, holiday-neutral faux-plant you left in my office in a cynically pretentious, uninvited and insincere attempt to make me think well of you, perhaps you could instead direct those funds towards turning the heat up past the constant 65 degrees that you no doubt believe constitutes 'properly sufficient and legal working conditions.' As the self-congratulatory pre-printed sticker you left on the notecard attached to the plant in place of a hand-written message states, you have 45 years of making 'great places,' so I am confident that by now you have acquired the necessary skills to perform such a task.

Sincerely,
the grumpy old man in #1425

Monday, April 17th, 2006 :: 6:39 PM

" 'Hey, Jones,' Holly says. 'This thing about what the company does, don't let it get to you. I was the same when I first started working here. But you get used to it. The thing is, there's plenty about Zephyr that makes no sense. Sydney got promoted to manager. One of the best parking spaces is always empty, I mean always, but we're not allowed to use it. Last month we had to sit through a presentation on eliminating redundancy, and it was a bunch of PowerPoint slides, plus a guy reading out what was on the slides, and then he gave us all hard copies. I don't understand these things. I don't really understand anything about this company. It's just how things are. Like the story, you know, with the monkeys?'

" 'Chimps,' Freedy says.

"Holly folds her hands on her desk. 'These chimps, they're in a cage, and the scientists poke in a banana on a stick. The chimps try and grab it, but as soon as they do, the scientists electrify the floor, so all the chimps get a shock. This goes on until the chimps learn that touching a banana equals electric shock. Right? Then the scientists take one chimp out and put in a new one. This chimp, when he goes to grab the banana, he gets beaten up by all the others, because they don't want to get shocked. You see?'

" 'That's a terrible story,' Jones says.

" 'The scientists keep switching out chimps, one at a time, until none of the originals are left. Then they add one more. The new chimp, he goes for the banana and the others jump him, same as before. But, see, none of them was ever shocked. They don't know why they're doing it. They just know that's the way they do things.

" 'So I'm the new chimp.'

" 'You're the new chimp. Don't try to understand the company. Just go with it.' " (>>)

Tuesday, January 17th, 2006 :: 3:59 PM

" 'They see neighbors and friends being fired for no reason by profitable companies, executives making off like bandits while thousands of their own workers are being laid off… They see health insurance drying up, employer pensions shrinking. Promises to retirees of health benefits are simply thrown overboard. The whole system has aspects that seem grossly immoral to average working people.' "

" 'You know, I am not by nature a political person. I have gotten a lot of grief from some people, business owners, who say, 'Father, why don't you stick to religion?' Well, pardon me – this is religion. The scripture is full of matters of justice. How can you worship a God that you do not see and then oppress the workers that you do see?' "

" '…what kind of world do you want to live in?' " (>>)

Wednesday, May 18th, 2005 :: 7:43 PM

"He felt sweat on his forehead. Brokers burned out sometimes; everyone knew somebody who had derailed. It was a terrifying idea, that you could lose the motivation to keep going. That everything that used to define and sustain you could collapse into meaninglessness." (>>)

Thursday, September 18th, 2003 :: 5:37 PM

"There is somewhere in almost every company a spreadsheet showing a cost-benefit analysis for every worker. It all comes down to a single lifetime number that is the difference between the expected earnings to the corporation that are made possible by the direct labor of that employee, and the total cost of that employee to the company in current wages and future benefits. Nobody admits the existence of this spreadsheet, which is probably illegal, but it is there. And at some point, it indicates in many cases that a worker has reached a condition where they are likely to cost the company more in future benefits than they will earn the company through future labor. At that moment, that employee becomes expendable. Forget that the business situation could change, altering the numbers. Forget that the employee, if he knew his job was in peril, might take action to improve his productivity. Forget that the negative number could easily be the result of a management error or misstep, and have nothing to do with the employee's effort. Forget that the calculation could be just plain wrong. No matter what happened to get the company and the worker to that place, it is in the interest of the company to get rid of the employee as soon as possible." (>>)

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