The Lunacy of Corporate America

The Lunacy of Corporate America is independent of product, outcome, financial success, or individuals in Management.  I believe it is a universal lunacy, and I wish to vent and expose a little of the type I experience at work. The CEO of our segment and his boss are visiting today and people are out of their minds.  No cell phones even in the halls.  SO many e-mails have gone out that I have stopped reading them.  I just saw the admin for the Evil Vice President, a normally bubbly and shockingly sweet person (considering her boss), walk up to someone, lean over, and with a wide mouth say in a voice reminiscent of an abusive special ed teacher, “Tooooodaaaaaay?  No ceeeeeeell phones in the haaaaaaaaalls.”  I fled into the bathroom before I could witness the rest of the meltdown or cackle in their faces.

Normally she is amazing and funny and sweet.  But that scene I just witnessed?  I was scuuurred.

(a few days later)

On another note, we are approaching our busiest time of the year and this is the time where the madness increases—supervisors and managers running around with their hair on fire, ready to go down to the local Home Depot to gather the men standing outside for additional work force.  Neither merit nor theoretical company policy will stand in the way of Management’s drive to the frosty plains of Lunacy.

Speaking of Lunacy, there are always going to be those who are promoted regardless of merit, time with the company, or the rules that are set down for the peons.  However, in all my time in this segment of Corporate America (and there have been too many years at this particular company to really count), I have never seen anything like what is happening right now.

There is a guy, tall, white, young, straight (and yes, cynical though it may be, I believe these have everything to do with why he is on the upward climb)…we will call him Iolanthe (because she was a fairy queen in Gilbert and Sullivan’s operetta and it amuses me to dub him thusly).

Iolanthe has been with the Company a year.  One year.  Company rules state that you must be here a year in one position before being promoted.  He came in as a grunt, but apparently his deep voice and 6’4”, football player frame said, “I’m destined for HANDOUTS!”  He did the grunt work for about three months.  Then the giving campaign started.

Let me digress here.  Iolanthe is not as attractive as his stats may have suggested (because after reading that, I thought, “Dayum!  Corn-fed beast!  Gimme!”).  He is shaped like a chunky rectangle with too much wet mulch in the top half.  That is, until you get to his head, which is too small for his gargantuan body.  His buzzed head only adds to this illusion of a TV box on end with a cantaloupe perched on top.  His shoulders and upper arms do not move when he walks, giving him an oddly economical movement that is all elbows and hunched back.  His skin is not the best, but neither is it reptilian.  He is not bad looking, but there’s something ungainly and sorta unattractive about him.  All this is not to be cruel, but rather to point out that he did not get his positions by being an overwhelmingly hot tramp whose favors are for trade.  (And if they are, you may never look at mashed potatoes the same again).

So, as I said, after three months of employment, the handouts began.  I have no doubt that he is very intelligent, and that’s great.  It will help him.  He also has ambition and organizational skills.  Within three months they decided he was too good for grunt work and took him off it, infuriating the whole building.  He was dubbed an expert in a particular system based on his three months of using it.  This is not a system involving the stacking of plates in descending order.  This is a complex, infinitely flawed new computer system, and they are trying to tell us that within a bare amount of time he has become an expert in not only the business, but the system it uses.

So, a position was made for him.  Created with him in mind.  Iolanthe was officially promoted in about 5 months.  They had him doing a whole lot of work that wasn’t his job and I think they needed to reward him for it.  Now, about four months later, he has been given yet another promotion.  He is now a supervisor.

I don’t care that much about Iolanthe, and I honestly don’t attribute one iota of blame to him.  What the heck is he supposed to do?  Say, “Oh, no.  I shouldn’t be promoted!  Look at all these people who deserve it more than me.  Give it to them!” *Jesus light shining from his nether region*  If he did, it would make him a noble fool.  It’s not his fault—it is the fault of upper management who refuse to abide by their own rules.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m where I wanna be, I’m getting paid a fair amount, overall this is a very good company to work for, and I had no desire to be a supervisor when it was offered to me (after many years, I might add.  Why my manager thought I would be interested after expressly telling him of my lack of interest for years, I have no idea).  So, please do not think that I am jealous.  Others are, and openly so.  And I think they have a reason to be.

One of our leads, a long term employee, a woman of supreme knowledge and capability, has been passed up for a supervisor position more times than should be legal.  I think she is too strong and outspoken for Management here, personally.  I think they don’t like that all that much.  But how must she feel?  Knowing she is capable, but that she has been passed up yet again so this mulchy box can be promoted ahead of her—in complete contrast with Company rules and regulations.  Knowing, in fact, that she has tried repeatedly to get ahead, yet this guy has been given—handed without interview or knowledge and therefore without merit—what she deserves.  And she is not the only one in this position.

I’m here to say, ladies and gentlemen, I would be on the phone with HR so fast…

This is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg here.  I must say that over my time here I have witnessed much, suffered more, met one of my dearest friends here, and sometimes had more fun and good times than I ever thought possible at work.  And I owe most of it to the Lunacy of Corporate America and the unfortunate denizens who suffer through it with me.  So, for now, I’ll keep it.

But that doesn’t mean I can’t complain just a wee bit.  *cackle, running off into the sunset*