Showing posts from June, 2016

The Corporatorium: Ghost, Meet Devil (Episode 5)

Friday. "Let me start by thanking everyone for taking time out from client work to join this web cast," Capital B began.  "I know there's lots of fear and anxiety out there and everyone wants to know what 'our numbers' are but I want to dispense with our usual agenda and PowerPoint presentation because I have some good news to share.  As you know, we've been through a difficult year, requiring us all to work harder and make some difficult decisions.  We feel things are beginning to turn around and I have some news that I'm very excited to share and which I'm sure you'll be very excited about as well. "I'd like to introduce Brett Butler—our newest strategic hire and a hire I am personally very excited about.  Brett has joined our practice as Vice President, Key Creative Strategist and Chief Innovation Officer.  Brett comes to us from—" And here she named a Wall Street firm so big, its recent collapse had crippled

The Corporatorium: The Workplace of the Future (Episode 4)

Thursday It was late in the day when it happened.  The blood-red industrial carpeting absorbed what feeble light was emitted from the overhead fluorescents; the ventilation system grudgingly released only enough oxygen to keep us conscious. The absence of light and air combined to lull everyone into a post-lunch stupor.  And then it happened.  A loud "Ping!" announced the arrival of a Memorandum of Opportunity in everyone's Inbox. M E M O R A N D U M  O F  O P P O R T U N I T Y From: National Practice Director To: All Practice Employees A Practice-wide web cast has been scheduled for this Friday at 12 noon EST.  You are all encouraged to attend.  A Lotus Notes Calendar invitation with login/dial-in information will be disseminated shortly. Our National Practice director was an abrupt woman referred to simply as "Capital B" or more familiarly as "B." At this point in time no one could remember, or agree on, what her actual name

The Corporatorium: Gay Day in Hell

Episode 3 I leapt for the elevator, too exhausted from the trek across the parking lot to attempt the stairs.  A young woman held the door for me without moving her face from the gossip magazine she was earnestly reading.  As I slumped against the hairy cowhide wall and croaked, "Four, please," she looked at me.  Popping her gum she asked, "Is George Clooney gay?" "I'm sorry, what?" "Is George Clooney gay ?" she repeated slowly as if I were an idiot or a foreigner. "I don't know." I spoke back just as slowly because clearly she was an idiot. When the elevator door opened I sprang out, not even caring if it was my floor. Down the hall in the gloom, Barbara the Second was talking to our creative director, Diana King. Big-boned and sensible, Diana was absolutely unflappable. Hey," I said by way of greeting, "Some woman on the elevator asked me if George Clooney was gay?” "What?" Bar

The Corporatorium--Episode Two

Welcome to the Inferno Monday. Stepping out of my car, feeling like a prisoner returning to incarceration after a weekend pass, I stared at the squat red-brick and brownstone monolith waiting to swallow me. Drawing a deep breath, I started to drag myself across the parking lot—a vast wasteland of BMWs, which were apparently the new Chevy (did they really hand them out to every 22-year-old college graduate along with a diploma?)  Half way across the hectare of asphalt I realized I should have eaten breakfast or at least packed a lunch because my energy was fading fast and the building was still so far away. I stopped and leaned against a car that was parked between two BMWs. Shiny and black, it sported a vinyl “Landau” roof with what appeared to be a monogrammed “G” on the side. Realizing it was a hearse, I shuddered and hurried on. Reaching the building’s entrance at last, sweaty, and exhausted, I struggled, as I did every day, to pull open one of the pair of massive

The Corporatorium: I Am Prometheus (Episode One)

I am Prometheus . Prometheus. Say it slowly, roll the letters around in your mouth. Prometheus . It is not my real name but it is name most fitting for me. Prometheus, the creator of mankind and its greatest benefactor, chained to a rock, his liver eaten daily by an eagle, in eternal damnation for stealing fire and gifting it to mankind. Yes, there are definite similarities between us. I am Prometheus, and this is my story. Except it’s not my story. I wish it was, but I am not unique or special. This is the story of untold millions of hapless chaps and chicklets caught up in the grinding gears of the corporate machine. This is a faux memoir told episodically. You will be inclined, at times, to laugh at us, and cry for us. Do not hold back either impulse. That is the point of sharing this story—to remind us that life is nothing but a series of small comedies and tragedies. What is important is what we take away from each occurrence, what we learn from each calamity and jo