Letters, we get letters here at NN.C:
I thought I would share a tale of corporate horror with you. On Saturday, I hosted an open house to attract pipe-fitters to this factory. I had a quota of 25 hires in one day. Steep, but I thought I could do it. A lot of planning and very very long hours went into this event. Our Chief Pipe-Fitting Officer asked if he could say a few words, and silly me, thinking it would be a little welcoming/come work here/we love you speech gave the OK. As if I had any choice.
Ten a.m., the doors open, pipe-fitters come in, have brunch, get schmoozed, get steered to the correct managers to interview, get toured around the pretty parts of the factory, it’s all great. Noon, the CP-FO starts his speech. It’s a f*cking PowerPoint presentation with lots of statistics. It goes on for 40 minutes in monotone. Then he introduces a Six Sigma black belt who works with the pipe-fitting department. He goes on for an hour explaining what Six Sigma black belts do for you, me and the world, as well as the history of Six Sigma black beltedness.
Pipe-fitters are leaving through side doors… Pipe-fitters are asking me if they have to stay…..people are walking out of interviews…..
I’m judged by how successful the open house was in attracting pipe-fitters. I’ve been rendered powerless by two curses of our decade: the Six Sigma black belt and PowerPoint presentation.
Some details have been changed; the experience remains nearly universal. Six Sigma — it’s like Scientology for business people. No one can fully explain it, but it involves thetans and e-meters and being the best black belt you can be and maybe some burnt offerings to an effigy of Jack Welch, at the end of which you are capable of 40-minute PowerPoint presentations and all the rest of it. Being a conscientious objector to corporate America these days, I am largely spared this torture. I guess what’s why you guys get health insurance, though.
The combined sleep deprivations of the week tend to catch up with me by Friday, and I’m dead on my feet. I’m exercising the perogative of every lazy bum and going back to bed for another 90 minutes. By the way, the weather yesterday was every bit as awful as the radar image promised, although we were spared tornados. I had to be down at Wayne State in early evening, and traveled there and back in torrential rains. The freeway was flooded and treacherous, which had the usual Detroit effect, in that it slowed traffic not a whit. At one point I was passed — and this while clipping along at 65 — by a bus. On the way home I hit some debris scattered across the eastbound lanes, something that appeared to be a dozen or so sodden telephone books. Just another day in heaven.
In the meantime, enjoy some bloggage:
Jon Carroll is his old witty self on the problems of being dead when you’re not, identity theft from beyond the grave and, of course, bureaucracy:
A while ago I wrote a column about a man trying to convince the Department of Motor Vehicles that he was not deceased. He stood before the clerk with two pieces of ID and said, in essence, “Behold, for I am a man born of woman, and I live.” He had his daughter with him, and she also had two pieces of ID. (Apparently the daughter was important because she was officially alive and was therefore a qualified witness.)
And the clerk said, again in essence, “That is all very well and good, sir, but our records indicate that you are deceased.” The clerk thought the line on her computer screen should be given equal weight with the solid, well-identified human in front of her.
Finally she said: “This is the kind of thing they handle in Sacramento.” That’s among the 50 worst sentences you can hear, right behind “I’m afraid the tests are inconclusive.”
Once upon a time you stood atop a building while prowling searchlights tried to find you, and you shouted, “Come and get me, copper!” Nowadays you go to your MySpace page and post a semiliterate taunt: “2 fast for the feds to cocky for the cops!” Bonus amusement factor: the cops, being perhaps somewhat less cocky, caught the dumbass within 24 hours.
Back later, perhaps. Please, don’t call me.