As an increasingly social individual, with FRIENDS if you can believe it, I’ve been discussing my assorted corporate trials and tribulations on a more frequent basis. Amongst my technical peers I work for the largest overall organization and of course I see a very different blend of corporate culture than they do. My stories have become quite amusing.
They are universally of the opinion that my job is part of some grand psychological experiment. I’m starting to think they’re right.
For instance, the other day my boss suggested that we start listing on our status reports the time we spend meeting with our peers and building relationships. They wanted who we chatted with and when, though they didn’t care about what. Going to lunch, stopping by their office (something they can’t reciprocate seeing as how we are, literally, locked into the basement), meeting outside of work, whatever. This was, ostensibly, so that management could show off how hard we’re working to maintain those relationships. It was also suggested that we may be required to schedule such things.
Once I’d overcome my offense at the suggestion, the response I heard from my internet-peers was that it sounded very kindergardenish, and they wondered when my next playdate would be scheduled.
The psychological ramifications of the Beige Labyrinth of Despair has also been discussed at length.
But while sorting through a list of such oddities, strangenesses, inexplicables, and corporate-culture mindjobs, something occurred to me.
I’m Number 6. I’m living in the Prisoner’s Village.
All the crap that goes on changes week by week so I never know what to expect next. It’s like some sort of deeply sinister machine wearing us down, but under the most cheerful veneer possible. My bosses fill the role of the ever-changing Number 2 perfectly: any time I speak with them I have no idea which personality will respond. Rover now comes in the form of a BlackBerry. God help us if we aren’t team players, or suffer “unmutuality.” And none of it will ever, ever make sense.
By hook or by crook, they’ll have what they want.