Monday, March 19, 2012

Shit My Job Says, Part 4: This Really Happened

As you may know, I work for a company that manufactures a "green" product.

No, not literally green. Nice try.
(This, by the way, is called a "fiberglass muncher."
Greatest product name - and possibly band name - EVER.)

We're trying to get people all over America to adopt our green technology. On the one hand, we're aided in this effort by a government grant, which subsidizes some of our costs. On the other, we're aided by a business model that falls somewhere between "holy shit" and "WTF?" on the efficacy scale.

Not literally aided.
I've written in this space before - here, here and also here - about how my company does things, in the witty and satirical guise of offering advice on running a successful business.

And anonymous. Did I mention anonymous?
Today I'm going to shake up my format a bit. Instead of continuing my beloved and award-winning list (note to self: check to see whether list has won any awards or if anyone loves it), I'm going to relay an anecdote as part of a new series, "Tales of Morale."

Not literally tails. Sorry, I'll stop now.
Last week, on a company-wide conference call...


Thank you, Bill Plympton.
...anyway, last week on a company-wide conference call, our Chief Financial Officer announced the formation of an exciting, mutually beneficial partnership with another company that manufactures a product similar to ours. The agreement we signed will greatly expand the scope of our market. It will expose our name and our technology to more customers in more places than ever before. It also brings with it a large infusion of cash from our new partner to ensure our financial stability and ability to grow. This is an exciting development for our company, and it's due to the hard work of our employees and the sterling reputation of our brand.

Then the CFO introduced our Chief Executive Officer and asked him to say a few words.

I don't remember his exact words. But the gist of his brief speech was, "Our product doesn't work and our customers hate us and the Internet says we suck and I had to bullshit this other company so they'd give us money and if you mofos don't get your asses in gear and turn shit around we're going to burn through all that cash and then we're all going to be out of a job. Have a nice day."

I don't currently manage anybody in my job. But if I ever have a staff working for me again, I'm totally going to use that speech to inspire and motivate them. You could have heard a pin drop on the phone when the CEO had finished speaking. Of course, I couldn't see anybody else, but I'm sure their silence represented rapt stares of admiration and respect for his vision.

Also, it's hard to talk in this position.
That's exactly the kind of reaction I want to get from people. Not just silence - I get that all the time, people - but stunned silence. The kind of silence that inevitably leads to true unity of purpose.

And esprit de corps. Don't forget that.

This has been...Tales of Morale. Join us next time.

Yeah, I'm pretty sure there will be a next time.

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