Monday, March 16, 2009

Life at Trampley Nixon: Work SCUCKS and Then You Die

Here at Trampley Nixon we’ve been watching the decline and fall of market capitalism with what we euphemistically call “total fucking glee,” because we’re making so much money that we don’t have to lay off anybody. We don’t even call them lay-offs here; we use the word SCUCK, as in Start Collecting Unemployment Compensation, Kid. Nobody ever gets SCUCKed at Trampley Nixon. Or at least that’s what we said up until the end of February, when people actually started disappearing from the Corporate Directory in droves, after which the CEO sent us all an e-mailed letter explaining that, since everyone else in Corporate America was suffering, “we need to be seen to be suffering as well, so we don’t look like the heartless greedheads we all know we are.”

Well, if it’s anything we heartless greedheads know how to do, it’s pretend to be repentant when we get our hands caught in the cookie jar. (And I mean really - our hands spend so much time in that jar that it might as well be called the Cookie Glove.) So I got my sackcloth and ashes from HR, I practiced my mournful worried frown in the little hand mirror I carry around to cut coke lines on, I bought $100 bottles of wine for lunch instead of the usual $500 ones, --

And then they SCUCKed me.

That was two weeks ago. Since then, I have gone through the denial, the anger, the bargaining, the binge drinking, the spam e-mailing, the breaking and entering, the trashing of window offices, and the suspended sentencing. I am now at the final stage of Job Loss, the sarcastic blog posting. In the past two weeks, I’ve learned a lot about myself, and even more about my former job. Seven things, in fact – and I am happy to share them with you in total violation of my non-compete agreement.

Seven Things To Remember
About Working in Corporate America.

1. It’s not that they fucked up, it’s that you’re not stepping up. No matter how vital the information which is lost when an employee is SCUCKed, it’s never your manager’s fault for getting rid of it, it’s always your fault for not knowing it. Sample dialogue:

THEM: You’re supposed to be translating this into Spanish every morning.
YOU: The guy who knew Spanish got fired on Friday.
THEM: So why aren’t you doing it?
YOU: Because I don’t know Spanish.
THEM: Then you’re not stepping up.

2. You are just a number on a balance sheet. It’s not about how well you do your job, it’s not about how badly you keep fucking up, it’s about whether that annual salary number you’re paid is either noticed or not noticed. If it’s not noticed, you can harass interns, surf the net all day, and append the words “Please advise” to the end of every e-mail like the asshole you are, and you will always get a corporate paycheck. But if that number becomes noticeable? You better take your pint of whiskey home from that bottom left drawer, because your corporate days are numbered.

3. When they say “family,” you’re the in-law. In family terms, getting SCUCKed is like getting divorced. They love you as long as you’re happily married to one of their children, but the second you’re kicked out of the house, their cellphones go unanswered, their Facebook pages are all blocked, and your your heaping plate of family Thanksgiving turkey is now a pile of food stamps. And everyone in your so-called family becomes like that elevator operator in Night At The Opera, the one who smiles at Groucho when he has a job and then kicks him downstairs when he doesn’t.

4. You are working in Stalinist Russia. Ours is the best company ever, with the best leaders and the best employees who haven’t been purged yet. (Repeat as necessary, during town hall meetings, earnings announcements, and self-aggrandizing appearances on FOX Closing Bell.) And when any of our best leaders and employees do get purged, they disappear down the memory hole just like members of the Politburo vanish from photos of prior May Day parades. Because things are not only getting better in the future, they’re getting better in the past. (When you realize how hooked these people are on creative accounting, it’s no wonder they’re addicted to creative history as well.) Only the pure survive a purge; only the flawed are hit by one, and once they’re gone, they’re gone retroactively, like they never got hired in the first place. And you will go the same way, unless you praise Stalin and try to forget that one wrong move will land you in a gulag. Be happy you’re on a bread line. Seriously. Be visibly happy. Or else.

5. Your smarts must never make them look stupid. In Corporate America, information is a battleground. When your managers start addressing a massive system clusterfuck challenge, they are not actually trying to solve it, they are claiming turf over it, and any competing information is treated like an invading army. This means that (a) every answer they come up with is like a declaration of war; (b) the problem issue is not about coming up with a solution, it’s about owning the last solution standing; and (c) if you actually know the correct solution, you can never say it out loud, because if you do then suddenly everyone else will sign a temporary treaty and wipe you off the face of the corporate earth for challenging their authority. Remember –- their authority is not based on knowledge, it’s based on lung power and repetition. Against those two weapons, hard knowledge of the truth is defenseless, so all you can safely do is retreat behind the front line until the battle’s over and then agree with whoever’s left standing. And Jesus, whatever you do, don’t even think of pointing out the obvious to any of them, because that means they’re not only dumb, they’re blind.

6. The problem is your reaction to the problem. It’s never what was done to you; it’s your reaction to what was done to you that matters –- like when somebody shoots you, and you have them arrested? It’s your fault for calling the cops. Sample dialogue:

THEM: What are the cops doing here?
YOU: You shot me!
THEM: That’s no reason for you to call the police.
YOU: What am I supposed to do then?
THEM: Just deal with it and move on.
YOU: But I’m bleeding.
THEM: Then put a band-aid on it, and move on.
YOU: But you fucking shot me!
THEM: And this wouldn’t be an issue if you didn’t keep bringing it up.
YOU: Can I at least call a doctor?
THEM: Sorry, you don’t get healthcare.

7. You are sleeping with crack whores. You cannot trust the people you work for. You cannot reason with them. You cannot save them. They are only friendly because friendly makes you lower your guard. They are not your friends. They are crack whores. If they need the money, they will roll you. If they like your stuff, they will steal it and sell it. If they envy your talent, they will drag your name in the mud. They will suck your dick till you think you're the God Of Love and they will forget you the moment you leave the room. And the longer you sleep with them, the quicker you get their diseases.

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