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Thursday, September 2, 2010

And Now, a Word from Your Human Resources Department

Hello, and welcome to Acme Napkins and Grommets’ Quarterly State of the Business Meeting.

We here at Acme Grommets and Napkins appreciate the dedication and loyalty you’ve shown lo these past three years. The current economic downturn has been hard on all of us; and we value both your commitment to the firm and your willingness to embrace pay rates first considered “livable” during the Industrial Revolution. I, personally, have been forced to not only cut the delivery of fresh flowers for the executive lavatories to once a week but to limit the champagne at the executive box seats at the opera to domestic only.

But we all make sacrifices, don’t we?

And frankly, that’s what today’s meeting is all about: sacrifices. Because if you’re like me – and I can see by the intense looks of unrestrained interest on your faces that you are – you will want to know how you fit in, how you can help keep this particular boat afloat as we navigate the rapids of rising costs and falling wages and how you can ensure that you and your loved ones keep a roof over your head and shoes on your feet.

It is at this point that I turn the microphone over to Dirk Hardly, VP of HR. Dirk?

Thanks, Bob. I’m here today to talk to our team members about the importance of staying positive and staying employed. As many of you know, there are plenty of opportunities available outside of Acme Grommets and Napkins for those interested in such diverse categories as curbside drug distribution, the adult entertainment industry, and whatever they’re calling those guys that stand at intersections holding the “Going Out of Business, Everything 70% Off” signs we see so often these days.

The truth is that we’re just one big family here at Acme Napkins and Grommets. Why, I started here at the same time as Pearl over there. As a matter of fact, we sat next to each other in orientation. And yet look at us! We don’t speak, we’ve never had a meal together. And that’s because we’re a family; and I am the one with the good job, the one with a child in a private school and six weeks of vacation while Pearl? Pearl is the one you call when you need something typed quickly, isn’t that right, Pearl? Ha ha. That Pearl. You can just tell by the look on her face what a sense of humor she has.

So where does that leave us? Frankly, I’m not sure. And that’s because families often don’t know what will happen next, do they? The world is a mystery. And yet you love your family, you stick with them, no matter what. Through the easy times and the hard times – but especially the hard times – we stick together, because how would we replace you? Would we put an ad in Monster? Or would we contract out to temps?

As I said, the world is a mystery.

And with that flippant and thinly veiled threat, we’ll close this meeting with HR’s motto: Who Ya Gonna Complain To?

Thanks for attending, everyone. Now let’s get out there and be productive.

27 comments:

a Broad said...

I am reminded of those days when the peasants rose up and burned all the homes of the nobility and burned some of the nobility too.
I wonder now if they might have had the right idea..
But don't mind me. . it is raining, it has rained every day this week, I am cranky.

Pearl said...

a Broad, I, too, may be a bit cranky.

The Peasants are Revolting. :-)

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I'm laughing, but mostly cringing--you're so funny, but the truth behind this humor STINGS. I swear if I ever hear an owner give a speech like that at D's company, I'd begin lighting fire to things.

Pearl said...

Green Girl, corporate America is pretty darn funny right now.
Which is why I keep tequila at my desk. Now who's up for shots?!

Jude said...

I am NOT a big fan of those awful, HR-tinged company brass speeches. You caught the tone perfectly.

Pearl said...

Thanks, Jude. All you can really do is laugh about it, don't you think?

Douglas said...

You reminded me of a certain incident that came after months of similar "pep talks" about how the company had to "slim down" to be "competitive" and it it had to "mean and lean" to survive which meant, of course, that layoffs were looming and we should all smile as we collect our last check. But, somehow, I managed to slip through the cracks and found myself at a meeting with managers (though low level ones) who were concerned that it had come to be their turn. The air reeked with worry and fear. I simply commented with the same platitudes that these very same people had been laying on me and my peers just a couple of months before. Revenge is actually very sweet.

By the way,

The Peasants are Revolting.

was first spoken by Marie Antoinette... sometime after her cake remark and just before she lost her head. And I think she meant to explain how she felt about them.

Symdaddy said...

Revolting peasants aside Pearly, I am slowly getting to grips with American humour and I'm beginning to appreciate you more and more (this is because my previous unmentioned talent for languages I think).

Keep it up girlie.

Symdaddy said...

insert 'of' between 'because' and 'my'.

Just when I thought I was doing goodly English I goes and does rubbish! Damn!!!

5thsister said...

HA! I think I know Dirk! Quite the arse he is!

Becky C. said...

Pearl, you are the voice of all [insert fancy title that really just means "typist"]'s everywhere. Thank you!

Sam Liu said...

A delightful, funny and strikingly powerful bit of satire, Pearl. Bear witness to the injustices of capitalism. "Workers unite - you have nothing to lose but your chains..."

Mandy said...

Here's one of our pep talks: "Look around you. There are people in this room who won't have a job at the end of the month if you don't get your asses in gear."

*SIGH*

Whoo! Motivation!

Sarah said...

By family they mean Greek family right? Because when things get tough they cut family members first.

Jon in France said...

Dunno Pearl; there may be some hidden meaning there in that speech. Big rises and more holiday, for example.

Stranger things have happened.

That horse become Pope, for example.

I feel revolutionary stirings this side of the pond too. The populace are becoming agitated that Carla Bruni's husband (a man who sometimes masquarades as President) has turned out to be just like all the others. Fancy a swap?

ISRAEL CARRASCO said...

I remember those companies meetings. Back then when I had a job. LOL

Gigi said...

HA! At least you get company meetings with the brass - here at the Good Ol Boys Club everything from middle management up is cloaked in "if I tell you anything you must DIE." veil of secrecy. Heck we aren't even sure who "they" are should we revolting peasants decide to revolt....

Hmmm, maybe that's part of their master plan....

a Broad said...

Oh, Peasants aren't THAT revolting ! heh heh heh ...
There are quite a few HR people who are much more revolting, if you were to ask me ..

KaLynn ("MiMi") said...

So funny! So scary! You make me laugh as I wonder if it will happen to me.....

GTChristie said...

I worked for a company once whose motto was: You can say anything you want on your last day on the job.

Owen said...

Does Dirk know about this blog ??? Better not tell him...

Who to complain to ??? I don't trust anyone at the straightjacket factory where I work, designing new and fashionable jackets for the frothing at the mouth hordes out there. So when I want to complain, there is a big rock I go talk to in my back yard where no one can see me conversing with a chunk of granite.... It does me a world of good, and the rock doesn't seem to mind...

Bossy Betty said...

Pearl--I would like a peppy song to sing at the end of our meetings. Thanks!

Casey Freeland said...

This is so real it makes my brain hurt. And you are hilarious.

Cheers,

Casey

Argent said...

Good grief! I've BEEN to that meeting! We're getting exactly this message this year, despite the fact that our company has raked in millions of pounds of profits this year.

IndigoWrath said...

Hey Pearl, I'm pretty sure you must work in one of our American offices. That said, there's self-serving assholes all over. Ooh, I you have a cloth, I have a bucket of soapy water. We could do intersections together? Indigo

Tempo said...

I guess I'm really lucky in that what I do, others cannot. I get a little begrudging respect...even though I dont deserve it. Still and all, bosses are all arses...all bosses...all arses!

injaynesworld said...

You've captured the corporate mentality brilliantly, my talented friend. All we have to fight back with are our votes. You Minnesotans have got to get rid of that nutcase Bachmann.

Loved this as I do all your writings.