Welcome to my jaded world of work, office and the corporate world. Having spent the past 16 years working in manufacturing for a large company, I worked my way up through the ranks to the "semi-executive" plateau where the grass is not really greener (okay, the money is), but just has a whole bunch of weird shades. Everyone talks differently and eventually you get sucked into the world of Corporate-speak and think. Well, "Work Redefined" is my outlet.I find myself sitting on conference calls or in meetings and can't help but turn terms and phrases into something much more entertaining; entertaining for myself and hopefully for others who have the same reservations and/or disgust for what they hear on a daily basis. It kind of resembles thoughts from Dilbert and The Office, but my own personal twist.Yes, I'm part of the evil, but I keep pushing against it in an effort to not become fully absorbed in it all. I've put some of my thoughts on shirts, hats and things that you can see on Cafe Press under Work Redefined. I'll post some of the tantalizing tidbits on my blog for your pleasure, pain or entertainment.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Which Direction?

In keeping with my comic strip theme as of late, I'd now like to steal from Bizarro and apply this to the corporate world. I think that viewing the "99 cent burgers" choice as a current profit option (god bless the stockholders), you could then view truth, justice and wisdom as a long range future. Is there any? I'll get back to you later on that, right now I'm hungry and its a long line.
Wait, I just thought of an acronym for this type of decision process - Burgers Over Wisdom. So, big business, BOW to the almighty whatever . . .

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Exit Survey

If you have ever managed people or been managed in a corporate environment, you've likely run into the Exit Survey or Exit Interview. This is an interesting tradition, an effort to gather data about the company from (very often) disgruntled employees. If you really want the truth, make sure and ask someone who's pissed off, that ought to get you somewhere.

In the latest tradition on this blog, here's a comic strip copy, this time from Close to Home that I grabbed a number of months ago. Ah, yes the exit interview. I have certainly felt like this guy in my life and my answers to the questions on an exit survey were likely tainted just a tad. "Oh, fine, now you ask me about how I freakin' feel." And let the games begin.

Of course I would like to know how this information is used, but I'm guessing it isn't. Yet another check-the-box formality so that just in case anyone asks, we love our people and want to make them happy - just before they die. Just think about how you'd really like to answer the question. "What did you least like about your work experience?" Write it all down, then use what you want when or if the time comes. Of course, if you ever want to work for them again (because you're desperate beyond anything you ever imagined) you might have to bite your tongue, lip and/or pen.

I'm sure that this process is effective and well worth the time and effort spent. Responses are likely filed in the deep dark 18th file cabinet from the front of the human resources office. It's where all personnel files go to die. So, long live the exit interview, may we all reap the benefits and be better for it. Just remember, they're from corporate and they're here to help.

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Dawn of Committees

I was reading the funnies this morning (about the only thing I can stand in the paper any more) and read Non Sequitur. Made me wonder what it really must have been like when the first committees were formed in the corporate world.

Here's what I downloaded from a site that showed Non Sequitur among others.

I would imagine it went something like this: The King (CEO) thinks aloud, "We need a quick response to the potential impending doom that confronts us. Now, I don't want to take the fall if I decide poorly, yet certainly want to be able to tag on my good name if we do well. I know, let's get a group together; unsuspecting souls that could save us from ourselves unless we need them to die for the greater good. I'll choose from the brightest I have (good help is so hard to find) and tell them its all on their shoulders. Man, I am good. I am the King."

"I need some volunteers to go help us to emerge victorious! Its a safe assignment and can bring your name to the forefront. You'll live forever in Infamy." They could not see that he capitalized "Infamy" because he was talking, not writing. Little did they know that Infamy was the small village far, far away from the castle, that none could find, never, never, ever.

I'm sure the first order of business was to brainstorm and create an acronym (only done by those that could almost spell, read and write). No true committee could function without a name, so . . .

What is this committee really about? We need quick action, so "Speed" is an obvious choice. Our direction must be foremost also, so "Purpose" will be our second word of definition. A driving "Intention" will lead us forward and in case anyone stands in our way, "Trepidation" will round out our committee's axiom. Yes folks, we are now all powerful, brilliant and ready to take on the evils that surrounds us. We are S.P.I.T.

What is next? A slogan of course. This could be tougher for the committee so they embarked on the mission of finding a good marketing firm. Time passed until one day the King coughed up some of the royal jewelry and behold, the marketers appeared. A simple slogan was birthed, "We are SPIT, we are the shit." Poetic and on purpose.

Nearly a month had passed to get to this point, but by all that was holy, they were ready to begin their task, although by this time, none could remember what the original issue was. The evil that stood before them had become victorious, but the King had come out unscathed. Was the entire committee to live out their days in Infamy?

Being the brilliant group that had been hand picked by the King, they came up with an alternative solution to their own demise and shame. They created the first sub-committee. And all lived happily ever after - save the lowly naves.

Oh, and the first Acronym-Graphic was born.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Portfolio Adjustment

Do you remember those wonderful days when companies would "close" part of their business or "fire" people they didn't want working for them? I've heard this term more than once now and I just couldn't believe my ears. By the way, the first time I heard it, it came out of the lips of a human resources person. Oh, my gawd! It was something along the lines of: "We are moving forward with a Portfolio Adjustment in the south." What this really meant was that they were permanently closing a manufacturing facility that would put nearly 300 people out of work.

It sure seems to me that the corporate world has gone to great lengths to dehumanize. We used to terminate, lay off or fire and now we're more likely to "reduced our productivity climate." This is much easier to live with. You'd hate to have people pulling down millions a year losing sleep over such trivial things as feeding one's family. Hey, if you don't say it, you don't feel it.

So, now defined for pleasuring your senses: Portfolio Adjustment: Reduction of a company’s greatest and “most valued” resource (people); a change which equally destroys everyone in the name of stockholder profits - stated in terms that create a blissful state of emotional detachment. Just warms that cackles of your heart, doesn't it? What a wonderful gift for the most recently displaced.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Statistics are our Friends

How are decisions made in a business? That certainly is determined by a number of things; size of the business being one - who does it answer to? A driving decision maker can be statistics and how they are compiled. This leads me blissfully into my next subject matter in redefining work. That would be statistical analysis. Now wait a minute, don't change the channel yet. I'm sure its much more fun than you think - okay, probably not. It can be a leading factor that paves the way for seagull management - so let's just make fun of it then.

With the right set of skills, we can take a set of statistics and make whatever point we want. Is it any surprise then that upper management is sometimes shocked when finding out what is really happening behind the scenes? No way, Jose. But, to believe the load of crap set before them, the leadership group must have spent most of their time multitasking or rearranging their offices with fine products from Work Redefined, because they certainly weren't paying close attention to the real world.

I've heard that one too many brainstorming sessions can take a permanent toll by extracting that one tiny portion of the human brain that is actually used for logical humanity.

To be totally fair (yeah, right), it is pretty difficult to put statistics into a form that can be understood without tainting them in any manner. Therefore I have decided that this is a real good rule of thumb. As it says on the shirt, "90% of analysis of statistics shows that 65% of all results are within a 75% range of accuracy at least 80% of the time." Now, if that doesn't clear it up, I just don't know what can. Buy me now on Cafe Press and save me from the corporate world.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Office Decor - Odds and Ends

Since I know that everyone on the planet really wants some of the Work Redefined products, I needed to get some lower priced items. These are basically items to hang or use in the office. Posters to tape to the wall, framed posters and tiles, clocks, coasters, mugs - stuff like that. I've tried to hit most of the basic food groups created so far on the site.

If you like to put some small posters on the wall, maybe these from multitasking or corporate crossword, but there are others to choose from. Or if you'd rather put a clock on the wall - how about the beloved seagull management clock. Oh, your corporate bosses will love what you really think of them. You can say that you really do always have time for them.

Now let's really get fancy with a framed print of the business pastime blamestorming. This will really set the stage and let everyone know what to expect from the next project. They'll be volunteering in droves.

A lot of people think you should be able to drink while you're at work (I think the US may be the only country that doesn't do that much any more). Well, fill your mug with whatever you can get away with and drink in Work Redefined style (a contradiction, I know) with one of these beauties while trying to figure out how to make a pivot table - which will take you hours and hours until you get it down, so that your boss can take 33 seconds to look at it, fly over and pull the seagull management attack on you. Oh, think deep before you decide what to fill your cup with. Note from the editor: By the way, don't worry about whether the cup is half empty or half full, just be happy if you can afford to put anything worth drinking into it.

One final attack on your seasoned senses - play some Buzzword Bingo while you mouse away the hours with this how-did-I-ever-live-without-it mouse pad.

Toys in the office. They're a must unless you've got prescriptions that can keep you afloat or adrift, whichever makes the most sense.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Seagull Management

This phrase certainly isn't mine, but a collection of corporate or business world phrases and terms isn't complete without a birds-eye view of seagull management. If you've heard this one, then it really isn't anything new, but the definition has my own twist to it.
If its not true, it sure feels that way. Someone takes one look at your office or operations from a mile away and they have it all figured out. Policies drop from the sky like rain, or more accurately, bird poop. Then away they fly and leave you to your mops and disinfectant to clean it all up. And, by the way, once its all better, it must have been their involvement that made it all good.
Don't worry, it will all be better tomorrow, unless you have the top down on the car. Oh, keep your mouth closed, for a variety of reasons. Cafe Press has items to wear and stick on people and things, all ready for your enjoyment.