Monday, January 23, 2006

And the Oscar goes to....

We are here to present the Award for Outstanding Achievement in Workplace Theatrics. Day in and day out these incredible performers pretend to be productive members of the American workforce when in actuality they really don't do shit. Amazingly enough they manage to convince everyone around them that work is actually being done. A delicate balance is needed in all areas of make believe, from pretending to like coworkers to faking an active interest in moving up the corporate ladder. Different from the acting that occurs on the silver screen, acting in the workplace requires a particularly special blend of three critical elements to really bring the performance home.

1) Pretending to care
It's one thing feign interest in Excel spreadsheets, Power Point presentations, and the newest company strategy to boost revenue for eight hours a day. However, it takes every ounce of bullshit a person can muster to sustain that act over the course of a 4 day working weekend. Sitting through hours of development sessions on how to effectively market "The Brand Called You", fueled only by vats of coffee and the very real fear of being caught snoring by the Sales VP is hard work. The truly brilliant performer even participates in the question and answer session, thereby fooling all coworkers into thinking they actually give a shit.

2) Faking it
Now this skill right here is truly incredible. Faking orgasms is easier than showing genuine enthusiasm for a job that sucks big hairy moose nuts. However, it must be done around the people who have the potential to fire you. Credit must be given to those directors and VPs who take the time to ask lowly underlings about their day to day work activities knowing damn well they couldn't give two shits. But the real magic is created by that underling who blathers endlessly about how much they are learning from photocopying, emailing, filing, and advanced paper pushing. Spin doctors indeed!

3) Unabashed ass kissing
While it's easy to ignore the existence of senior management on a day to day basis, since they spend most of their time ignoring employees anyway, it's quite difficult to do when forced together for a weekend of "networking." Listening intently while an old white guy with a bad comb over and worse breath talks and talks and talks and talks and then talks some more about supply chain logistics, Earnings Per Share Before Taxes, and other useless shit that matters to no one is a difficult feat. Doing it with a smile is the work of a genius. Extra kudos to those who ask to hear more.

Our winner tonight embodied all three of these key elements with gusto during an astounding performance over four nights of dinners, galas, and training sessions. She asked intelligent questions, engaged in meaningless small talk, and even convinced the VP of Sales that she does work on a daily basis. And the Academy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Workplace Theatrics goes to.....ME!!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is outstanding. You ARE a winner! Congratulations and thanks for all the useful pointers and tips on how I, too, can be lazy but appear truly enthused about my work. Some of these I already employ. I must've been runner-up, but you definitely took the cake for keeping up appearances for such an extended period of time. Mama's so proud!