Thursday, January 16, 2014

Shit My Job Says: Keep the Lights On

I haven't written a Shit My Job Says post since September 2012, when the shit-saying job I held at the time went away.

That was a great job. For two years I got paid a healthy salary to do virtually nothing except write my blog and light data entry. Goddamn, that was a good job.

But the job I've had for the last 14 months has been even better. As in, actually better. Good salary, interesting work, great co-workers, an amazing boss. Even on bad days, I love my job. And it hasn't really talked any shit up to now.

Up. To. Now.

I won't bore you with the backstory, because let's face it, everything about business is boring as shit. But there have been some big changes recently at the company I work for. It's not that they're bad changes. Unless you believe that change itself is a bad, scary thing.

Which of course it is.
I don't like being stressed out at work. I resent even having to hold down a day job, so having to work in an environment that is anything less than kick-ass is just vexing to me.

To me, a kick-ass work environment means this:

  • I know what the fuck I'm doing, and I'm good at it.
  • My boss knows that I know my shit and lets me do it.
  • I'm rarely bored because there's always plenty of cool stuff to do.
  • My co-workers and I form a machine in which everyone knows what's expected and everyone trusts one another to roll that bitch into Friday each week.
When a machine is running well, it needs very little to keep it going. What it mostly needs is to be left the hell alone. What it doesn't need is some asshole who fancies himself a master mechanic saying, "Everyone gather around, because I have all kinds of exciting things to tell you."

Shit's about to get awesomer.
And it goes something like this:

"Hey, we're all one big happy corporate family, even those of you who have never laid eyes on me before today and have no reason to believe a word I say. But you must believe! You must! Because great things are happening! I know, because I just said so, and I believe it myself! You are not going to believe how brilliant and bright and exciting all of our futures are. But you must believe it! Because I'm here to make you believe. Believe me!

"Soon we will be the third-biggest company ever in the history of the world. A full 80% of the people who work here will be millionaires by August, and the rest will be shamed into resigning because of not believing. Which will be their tough luck, because the rest of us will be billionaires by June. Ha! Haha! Ha!

We will enjoy the fruits of our labor. Get it? Fruit?
Ha! Haha! Ha!
"Now, I know things. Exciting things! Things that I know because it's my job to know them, and to tell you so that you know them, too. These things I know are things you may not believe. But you must! You must believe! I have been sent here to make it rain belief in this great, wonderful office here in...this place where we are today! You're some of our best people, you people here. Everybody says so! People who have never met you and have no idea what you do here are believing in you right now! I'm going to draw a graph!

Look! A shark!
"And do you know what you have to do to make this amazingness happen? To make us all wealthy robber barons within three weeks and cause the Board of Directors to poop rainbows of pure stock options?

"Nothing! Nothing at all! You are all so gosh-darn fabulous that each and every one of you could power this entire building for a week by just plugging it into the twinkle in your eyes. Do you believe me?

"And yet...let me take it down to the ground for just one minute and get real with each of you perfect people...and yet...

"Even though you don't have to do one "single solitary thing except show up every day and spread your sunshine on this company like butter on a young girl's ass-crack...

"...we think you're going to want to. Because you are you, and you are us, and we are the company, and the company is your family, your lover, your hometown football team that matters more than sunlight because of the great and profound joy it brings to all our lives!

God, I love you so much.
"We think - and this comes straight from the top, which I know because I'm near enough to hear what they say up there, yet my heart is here with you wonderful people who I totally don't feel as if I just met for the first time five minutes ago, even the ones I really have met before but just don't remember - we think you're going to want to give the extra effort to make this company extra-happy-spicy-tiptop. We believe that! We really do! And we want you to believe we believe what you believe.

"We think that each and every of you truly wants to make our family rich and happy and rich. And to do that, we know you'll work and work and work and work and work and work. That's what I do, because I believe. My kids don't even know who I am, and my wife has taken comfort in the arms of the pool boy because I'm never home. But the joke is on them! Because the company is my home! I eat, sleep, shit, breathe, and take multiple prescription medications on a daily basis. Where else do you do that but at home?

"All of us here are family - family members who are paid to spend time together and threatened with termination if we don't do everything right! And if that's not family, I don't know what is. I used to, but I haven't seen my parents in four years. Ha! Haha! Ha!

"So here's what we just know you want to do. You want to keep the lights on.

Keep the fire burning.

"Sure, you could go home at five o'clock. Or you could keep the lights on, and keep working until seven. Or ten. Or just stay at the office all night and then swipe your crotch with a wet paper towel in the morning and get back to work. Dare to dream big. Because that little bit of extra effort will make us all kajillionaires. Or definitely some of us.

"Also, stop wasting office supplies. Every time you throw out a highlighter, the company's value plummets by three cents. Don't think we're not watching that shit.

"But mostly...believe! Believe in how fantastically superlative this company is! If you forget, don't worry, I'll come back next quarter and tell you again! I'll have a more expensive car by then! Will you? Maybe! If you don't, you probably didn't believe enough.

"Thanks for your time, I know you're probably sick of hearing me talk about how wonderful and swell we all are. Ha! Haha! Ha! Just kidding - we're all one big happy family, and we all think exactly alike, or will once the disbelievers are culled.

"Remember...keep the lights on! That's how we can see what you're doing!"

You know what? It may be time to...keep a bottle of vodka in my desk. I believe.


  1. I believe. I believe totally that I'm glad I never ever had to work in a corporate environment. I believe also that in 2016, when I'm going to be looking for a job, I will not be taking one in a corporate office. Oh, that I can believe.

    So, 80% of you will be a billionaire come August? Which 20% will miss out - your feet?

  2. Oooh - once they start rationing office supplies, that's how you know shit just got real. Note that vodka has astringent properties which can be used to freshen up in the ladies room after you work all night.

  3. I would start throwing highlighters away. I'm passive-aggressive like that.


You're thinking it, you may as well type it. The only comments you'll regret are the ones you don't leave. Also, replies to threads make puppies grow big and strong.