Wimps and Crooks, Inc.

They’re a team of criminals and nerds: the perfect pair concluded one day that protecting their ruthless pursuit of money by separating their private assets from their business, was the best model to screw people over. I’m, of course, talking about becoming incorporated. The only reason the devil’s plan could have ever been solidified in the natural affairs of day-to-day business was from an employer who wanted to break the law.

There’s no other explanation for it that makes sense; what have they got to lose? Hide behind a name to protect their private assets. The idea was simple, and elegantly executed by lawyers across the board; in congress, in each State, down to the city council. All of them in on the wonderful idea that a person who profited from a business no longer had to put their money where their mouth is.

This pisses me off about corporate investors and share holders: they have no fucking balls. They gave themselves the excuse to not make moral decisions. Forget that these fat fucks have modest employees that rely on a meager salary to feed their children and barely pay a mortgage, or rent. All they care about is being large and in charge; the big man on campus; the winner of the bread, drinker of of the wine, the life of the party; to control it all and not have to be responsible for their crimes.

Of course, these crimes aren’t really crimes; there’s nothing illegal about laying people off on a massive scale to shed a few dollars from the budget if it serves the interest of the investors. You’ll never see a law written to protect workers from the fat cat fifty floors up who has never even been to the office. Too many congressmen benefit from the growth in the stock market, and as long as they do, it’s business as usual, where there are more victims and less winners each year.

These owners hide behind a fake name, present themselves with a shiny title and act as if they really give a shit about their employees. Don’t mind the fact that, if the business goes under due to their negligence, that their private lives will be just fucking fine. Their six houses will be protected, the yacht will remain afloat, and they’ll continue their membership at the country club.

Meanwhile, their employees who worked for ten or twenty years are shit out of luck; they have to sell the house, the car, can’t send their kids to college, and so on and so forth. Divorce rate goes up, along with drug and alcohol use, resulting in the stock of the microbrewery their former boss just purchased also rising.

You see, it doesn’t matter what befalls a business owner when they’re incorporated. And, hey, they’ll incorporate everything, including their side business. Oh yeah, you didn’t know this? Most business owners have side businesses that are equally as protected to give them even more income, assets, and authority over others, in an effort to feed their wallets, egos, and sick fantasy of getting away with being a crook.

I say crook, because they have to to be crooked to not stand up for their work. They hide behind a faceless brand; a logo that screams inhuman; a slogan that jiggles with a tune, but falls flat when consumers realize how shitty the products really are. Children say, “I swear on my mother’s grave,” when they mean to stand up for something they really believe in. You won’t find any of these incorporated business owners standing up like that; they sold their mothers a long time ago.

And I sense that, maybe, just maybe, some of you are business owners, and think, “Well, gee, you’ve never owned a business, so you wouldn’t know.” True, true, I’ve never owned a business — but! I am a man of integrity. I’ve always put myself on the line for what I believed, and knew, was the best course of action. When you have a corporation, you don’t have to worry about the best course of action; your private life won’t be affected. These corporate owners are disconnected from the failure of their business, giving new meaning to the phrase, “Nothing to lose.” Nothing, as in the livelihood they’ve stripped away from their employees when the company goes belly up, and all the assets are sold off to pay the investors, and they take a trip to the Caribbean. They get a cruise ship, their former employees get a canoe.

And then these owners have the audacity to think this disconnection from the stake in the outcome of the business, affords them to same rights and privileges of a normal human being. I still think this is the most heinous and wretched decision the United States Supreme Court could have ever made; worse than appointing Bush. Imagine that: nine old fucks, isolated from the rest of society, who we felt would make just decisions, can’t see the writing on the wall that a corporation is something made up. It’s all make-believe; like Sesame Street, or the Reading Rainbow.

Fine, if a corporation can be made from nothing, then we should be able to do it with anything. Like… Sasquatch! There’s about as much evidence that he exists as how much these corporate owners care about their workers. And while we’re on the subject of big sweaty dumb men, why don’t we invite the Abominable Snowman for dinner so he can go over the finer points of being cold-hearted? I think a fine lesson on surviving by making smart decisions should come from the monster that patrols the tallest mountain in the world.

Oh, I would love to see things change. I dream, just a little, to watch this fantasy come to an end, and people who wish to turn their small business into a big multinational corporation, finally grow a pair, instead of hiding them in the sand.

Why Teamwork Doesn’t Work – And Math to Prove It

You’ve seen it recently on help wanted ads:

  • Be a team player.
  • Able to work well in a team environment as well as alone.
  • Work in an exciting, vibrant, dynamic team environment.

Being a team player seems nice: You work with others with a similar interest, and the team effort should get more done, collectively.

The truth is less gets done with more people working toward the same goal. I’m not talking about major government projects. I’m mean small tasks. For example, let’s look at a team of 10 salesmen.

Danger #1: A team member’s productivity is measured by dividing 1 by the number of team members.

Team members are supposed to do their part: a little of this, a little of that, and with everyone contributing, the work will get done. But, this is where the problem arises.

When each team member thinks the others will pick up the slack, they will give less than 100% effort to complete the task.

The first equation:

1 / X = Productivity

… where X is the number of team members. In our case, we have 10, so:

1 / 10 = 0.1, or 10%

If each employee did give 100%, that would be great, and would be equal to 100 team members. Except, it breaks the point of a team: to work together and rely and support one another.

If the remaining 9 team members are contributing 10%, you’re paying them 100% of their wages for 10% of the work. Makes you wonder why you pay these people in the first place.

Danger #2: Motivation is crippled because no matter the effort, everyone gets an equal share of the prize.

In a competitive scenario, there would be no teams; each for their own. In the Olympics there are more events with individuals than teams. When an individual has to do the task themselves, they are far more motivated because they will get more of the reward.

When the athlete goes for the gold, and achieves it, they get the medal. When a team goes for the gold, in the Olympics, they each get a gold medal. Except, this is work. In work, a team member won’t be motivated to do their best because they aren’t going to get the greater amount of the reward. So, they only give as little effort as necessary, or 10%.

Consider the following equation with a one-million dollar contract:

$1,000,000 / 10 = $100,000 X 0.1 = $10,000

The team member who scored the contract is told that out of $1,000,000, his effort is valued at $10,000.00, not including expenses and wages deducted.

This is terrible motivation, but it gets worse. When you calculate expenses, the weeks and months spent talking, dining, wining, and schmoozing, we bring up, to say, $5,000 in expenses (including wages).

$10,000 – $5,000 = $5,000

The team member did the work himself. But, because he was a team member, he can’t claim all that reward. It’s wiped away – whoosh! – gone into the void. But, things change when the employee isn’t part of a team:

$1,000,000 X (1 employee x 100% effort) = $1,000,000

If your employee’s efforts are worth $1,000,000, then they should be given an equal amount. When the employee is a team member, their value is brought down to 0.05%, or $5,000. However, take them out of the team, and their value goes to $50,000!

However, because they are a team member, their work is valued at $5,000 / $1,00,000. Go figure why team members are unmotivated to perform their best.

Danger #3: When mistakes happen, you’re no longer a team member.

This one is a curveball that employers like a lot: When a cog in the wheel is loose, it needs to be fixed. The team member is pulled aside and, for a moment, becomes an individual. Employers do this because they know, as a team, you have strength and support; as an individual, you have fear and weakness. So, they punish you as an individual.

But wait, aren’t you supposed to be part of a team? Yes, you are, but not when you screw up. When you screw up, you’re an individual!

This is an insane way of treating employees, and again, one asks how team members are supposed to be motivated to do their best. They’re confused on who is responsible: when everyone achieves, it’s a team effort, but when someone goes wrong, it’s no longer a team effort? Somehow, this doesn’t make sense.

The equation is like this to the boss:

100% responsibility = 10% of the team members (or 1 team member).

Except, if this were a true team environment, it would be like this:

100% responsibility / 10 = 10% for each team member

But bosses don’t see it that way. They want to support the feel-good giddy idea of a team environment. However, when something goes wrong, they’re more than willing to thrust down the hammer on an individual.

All the responsibility falls on one employee, and it’s not the team leader, or the boss: it’s the individual who, suddenly, when they need the help the most, is torn from the pack and beaten to fall in line. I remember a country that did this back in the 1930s, except, I couldn’t understand them because I don’t speak German.

Danger #4: The boss’s share prevents team members from giving 100%.

When a team member decides to give 100% effort, they should be rewarded with 100% of the commission that would normally be shared amongst the team.

But, that’s not the way it goes. In a team environment, no matter how much work a team member gives, each member receives and equal share. But, that’s not the way it works. If you’re a team member, no matter how much effort you put forth, you’ll never get more than a so-called fair share.

The rules don’t apply to a boss; only the employee. The boss, on the other hand, will capitalize on the value brought in. Because the value of each team member equates to 0.05, or 5% total, the other 95% has to go somewhere.

Boss’s Share = $1,000,000 – (0.5 x 10 x $5,000) = $975,000

The problem here is the boss didn’t do the work! But, hey, getting $975,000 certainly teaches the boss not to give any effort. No wonder employees aren’t motivated to do better. The boss is busy stuffing her face with cocaine-laced Benjamins.

Solution?

The solution, a foolish boss would assume, is to motivate employees to give more. However, effort fits nowhere into the equation, because of danger number two.

So, then, how do team members get a bigger piece of the pie than the boss, even for the team as a whole?

Sorry, doesn’t happen. The math works against it. Even if each employee gave 100%, the efforts would still equate like so:

Boss’s Share = $1,000,000 – (10 X 10 X $5,000) = $500,000.

Now, the boss’s contribution was nothing and they still got the lion’s share. Each team member has to split $500,000 amongst themselves, for $50,000 each. That equates to 5% each, or 50% total. And yet, the boss still did nothing! They did nothing, and get 50%!

Have fun being a team member!

Modern Day Employees

I don’t like shopping. Not because of the people, but because I have to spend my money on things I don’t really need. Like toothpaste; can’t we all have false teeth and stop paying the dentist who rips us off for our vanity?

Shopping allows me to understand one thing: modern day employees. I’m not talking about employees with high tech gadgets that try to sell me shit. I’m talking about ignorant, lazy, can’t make a decision employees. You know who I’m talking about. The kind of employee that acts like they can’t help you.

I’ve come to learn, though, it’s not their fault. These employees are capable of making a decision. Why they haven’t decided to quit their job and get a better one, I don’t know. The real problem here is the delusional self-consciousness of their boss who won’t allow them to make decisions. And it should come as no surprise, because, in this wonderful public education system, all the decisions are made for us, as we’re told to shut up and listen.

Modern Day EmployeesModern day employees choose to not make decisions because that is how they were trained. And you know what? Good! Let them! It’s not like they’re paid enough to do it themselves!

I congratulate these modern day workers for realizing they don’t get paid enough to make smart decisions. Instead, they’ve found the best set of phrases to skirt off customer complaints, and dump the work on their boss, who sits in the back room, watching customers on the security cameras, jerking off.

If you call customer service about a defective product, and the employee doesn’t know how to answer your question, or isn’t allowed to, they can say, “Let me transfer you to my manager.” No argument there, huh? Works every time. Gets the customer off the employee’s ass. And if the manager doesn’t pick up, it looks bad on them, not the employee. Ha-ho! Who’s not getting paid now?

When a customer has a question the employee doesn’t want to answer, he can say, “Let me ask my manager.” Perfect. The employee opens the boss’s door, the boss shoves his dick back in his pants, the employee acts like he didn’t see anything. The employee tells the customer whatever bullshit answer the boss gives him. Now it’s on him! Ha!

And! If the customer doesn’t like the answer, the employee can say, “Let me get the manager.” Ah-ha! Not only is the customer growing impatient, and this underpaid employee is irritated too, but now that irritation will be transferred to the boss. From this point on, it’s off the employee’s shoulders, and the boss has to deal with the complaint. How do you like that!?

So, you see, there are ways to be a modern day employee and still enjoy your job. And though we may think they’re some of the dumbest motherfuckers in the world, at least there’s one thing they know how to do well: create more work for the boss, who isn’t doing shit in the first place.

Giving 110 Percent at Work

Giving 110% in the WorkplaceYour boss’s brilliance with numbers will shine when they ask you to give 110 percent. Most people don’t give 110% at work. It’s roughly between 35 and 50 percent.

But, for argument’s sake, let’s say everyone at work gave 110%. If I gave 110%, and you gave 110%, doesn’t that mean the boss is getting an extra 20%? And if ten workers give 110%, then the boss is getting a free worker. Can you say labor law infraction?

Suppose only you give 110%, but earn the same as everyone else who gives 50%. Isn’t it unfair that you provide more than twice as much effort and get less in return? With this equation, the boss isn’t getting just 10% more, he’s getting 60% more! What a bargain.

Let’s get away from the hypothetical and look at this scientifically. We know 110% isn’t possible, because 10% more would mean you took part of a whole. If that’s true, then what happened to the remaining 90%? Is it just sitting around, doing nothing, like your boss? Probably.

Wanted: Lost Prevention Detective

You gotta love job titles Americans conjure up. Like Loss Prevention Detective. What exactly is a Loss Prevention Detective? Well, through deductive reasoning, examining at the evidence and investigating the scene, I discovered it used to be called a Mall Cop.

An ad for a Loss Prevention Detective at a high-class store had a dress code of a black suit and tie, white shirt, sharp, well-dressed, with rubber-soled shoes. Are times so tough the mob needs side jobs? I guess there’s less demand in whacking. I don’t find men in suits intimidating, unless there’s three of them, each are Italian, and they have baseball bats.

Duties Include:

  • Stand in place for long periods of time watching customers walk in/out of store.
  • Walk around spying on customers, especially in the clothing section, making them feel awkward.
  • Kick out kids with pants sagging down to their knees.
  • Hold shoplifters in a closed-off space that looks like an interrogation room.
  • Look like a cop (but you won’t get a gun).

Requirements:

  • Available nights, weekends, weekdays, holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, first days, closed days, open days, in a daze, through a maze, in different ways, last days, middle days, half days, full days, and eat bags of greasy Lays.
  • Must have life insurance, self-assurance, give reassurance.
  • Common sense, work when tense, skilled in self-defense.
  • Can handle a crowd, mob, riot, fighting brothers, angry mothers, hordes of crazy others.

Education and Experience:

  • High-school diploma or G.E.D.
  • 5-years riot control (our sales get a little out of hand).
  • Must pass a psychological evaluation, drug test, self-defense test, and live demonstration with psychotic customer.

The Workforce is strong with this one.

When did workers get grouped into something pulled from Star Wars? I suppose that adds a level of importance to their mundane jobs.

When you graduate from school, you are now part of the workforce. It’s an attempt to make it sound like you’re stronger, bigger, better, than you were the last eighteen years.

In Star Wars, there’s a Dark Side of the force with all the power. Can you guess who’s on that side? Here’s a hint: it’s not you.

Adding the word force to the end of work allows all of us making-less-than-enough-to-get-by to feel somewhat more important. Force, as you know, implies some level of power. Being part of the workforce gives you none.

Stormtroopers, a term used in the military and in Star Wars, wear awesome uniforms. Meanwhile, young people who enter the workforce wear uniforms with a gold M on it. As your rank advances, you accessorize the uniform with ties, take the nametag off the shirt and place it on your desk. If you’re lucky, you get to place your nametag on a door. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Keeping with the Imperial theme here, we move along to artillery: In Star Wars, stormtroopers get blasters. In the workforce, you get a stapler.

In Star Wars, you get to travel at light speed. In the workforce, you get to travel in a carpool.

In Star Wars, the Empire takes over entire galaxies. In the workforce, mergers and acquisitions take over the company and then your job.

In Star Wars, you learn the ways of the Force. In the workforce, you learn the ways of your boss.

The Zombie Apocalypse

Corporate ZombieThe Zombie Invasion has already come, and it is, for the foreseeable future, not going away. Allow me to present the evidence

Step 1: Containment

The first step in ensuring we could control zombies, long before they came to be, was containment. Obviously, we had to construct something so subtle, so soft, that few would object to it. Keep it neutral, so as not to offend others, and present it in a way that benefits the soon-to-be-zombified.

Exhibit A: the cubicle.

Step 2: Become Lifeless

To truly make the masses mindless drones (zombies) hell-bent on getting whatever little fix they can (money), we stuck them in front of devices to which require their full, undivided attention. That undivided attention could only be achieved through the use of the cubicle. And, so, once the distractions were mostly eliminated, we had to give them something to focus on.

Exhibit B: the computer screen.

Step 3: Fear

Now that the masses are mindless, lost in a fabric maze, it’s time to help them; they can’t make up their own minds. The best tool to others to listen is through fear. Introduce uncertain economics: Rising and falling stock exchange, mergers, acquisitions, layoffs, bankruptcies, booms, and stimulus. Never again give the masses a sense of stability: instill in them the fear a zombie would have that, if they don’t get their fix of flesh, they’ll truly become dead.

Exhibit C: The World Wide Web version 2.0.

Step 4: Conflict

In the words of The Joker, Introduce a little anarchy. Create a perception of destruction and impending doom. This will get the masses to panic and protect a mindless, contained life they fear they’ll lose. That comfortable life, where they’ll get just enough of their fix, but not enough to be safe and secure. Give it to them in a way they can control, so its hands off from those in power, and they only have themselves to blame; depression, guilt, and all that shit. But, they’re mindless, and they’ll wrongly fight the status-quo.

Exhibit D: Social-Media Networking.

Step 5: Gathering for a Mass FeastShotgun Approach

Not much needs to be said here. After the masses have been contained, had the life sucked out of them, live in fear and conflict, they’ll “take to the streets” in droves. Disgusting, vile, and dirty, their mindless and misguided acts will stink of confusion and loss, blaming their masters, those who aren’t mindless, lifeless, or contained.

Exhibit E: Occupy Wall Street.

Ladies and gentlemen, the zombies aren’t flesh-eating monsters. No, they’re your standard white-collar worker. And, as all zombie films will let you know, the blue-collar redneck with the shotguns, will prevail. Good luck!

Here, let me measure that for you.

People are stupid with food, eating themselves out of health, and blame the place that cooks their sixth meal of the day. Oh, I’m sorry, you like eating a full steak every Friday, a 2lb fat burger every Thursday, and whatever else you can get with grease? Well, here, let the government help you.

Let’s require the calories, the fat, the sodium, and everything else about all the foods we eat everywhere, to be written next to it. Let’s forget all about listening to our own bodies and knowing when to stop eating, when something was gross to eat, and how it affects us. Never mind the majority of the population can’t read past a fifth grade level.

Uncle Sam will take care of it all, he’ll make sure every restaurant, fast food or cuisine, provides the calories, fat, sodium, lack of vitamins, minerals, and everything else about the food. Forget about letting you decide what you want to eat and give in to the numbers. You do remember numbers, don’t you? From math class, in that public school that taught you to write them down, without learning how to apply them? Oh, you don’t? Well, one plus one equals your loss!

Here’s how you decide what to eat: do you like the taste of it? Is it good for you? Do you feel good after eating it, today, and tomorrow; are you tired after eating it? If you’re tired after eating something, you’ve eaten too much, or something that wasn’t good for you.

Food is supposed to give us energy. If you’re sitting around after eating a triple mega super deluxe ultra fat patty, and don’t want to get up, perhaps you should have eaten that salad, and drank water, or milk, instead of the soda.

But what good is it for me to tell you this. Chances are you’re like the 40% obese population in this country. If you can’t listen to yourself, you won’t listen to me. And I don’t think those calorie numbers do anything anyway. In fact, I think they’re a deterrent to business. Putting those numbers in front of people tells them to be afraid, be very afraid, of how much you’re taking in.

I think, instead of numbers, they should have you stand on a scale that points the three different levels of eating: You’re hungry, you’re full, and get the fuck out.

Language of Work

Update, October 23rd, 2012: The following definitions were taken from my humorous dictionary about the words we use in the workplace.

Apply Yourself
(ah-ply yore-self)
1 : Do your job.
2 : Putting more effort into a job than you’ll be paid.

Ballbark
(ball-park)
1 : A dollar amount of where your salary might go, but usually results in the lowest possible number.
2 : That place you’d rather be at than work.

Batting Average
(bat-ting av-er-edge)
1 : The ratio of hits to at-bats for Major League Baseball players.
2 : The ratio of successfully completed work to mistakes on your job.
example: If your batting average is 0.100, or 10%, it’s the chance you’ll get a raise.

Career
(ca-rear)
1 : That thing people think is going somewhere.
2 : The rear of a car.
example: If your career has you working 9-to-5 for shit pay, it’s time to careen it off a ledge.

Chime In
(chyme in)
1 : The act of adding one’s opinion where it doesn’t belong.
2 : Interruptions.
3 : The sound you hear when entering a liquor store.

Dedication
(dead-eh-kay-shun)
1 : What happens when you get sick on your vacation.

Excellent written and verbal communication skills
(14 syllables)
1 : Knowing how to speak and write in a coherent manner.
2 : If found on a help wanted ad, it means you boss does not possess these.

Hardball
(hard-ball)
1 : Where both negotiating parties will never reach an agreement.
2 : How a dodgeball feels when it hits your face.
3 : Billiards.

Policy
(pol-eh-see)
1 : A document detailing the rules of the workplace.
2 : A document nobody reads.

Quarter
(qwar-ter)
1 : Three months of the fiscal year.
2 : The amount of your next raise.

Yeti
(yet-tee)
1 : How you look after working in a cubicle all your life.

Yuan
(ywon)
1 : China’s main currency.
2 : Will soon replace your savings.

Zero
(zear-row)
1 : The amount of money you have left over after paying bills.
2 : A person who works in a cubicle.

What do you think?