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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Virtually Welcoming You to Our Virtual Meeting

And now, a brief tele-meeting with our CEO and President, your friend and mine, Randolph T. Freakly the Third.

Take it away, Randolph.

“Hello! Can everyone see me? Yes? Great. You know, we are so glad all of you could join us today. Whether meeting in person or meeting virtually, we welcome you all, as we always have, with a warm – “

Bee-Boop!

“Hold on. Appears we have more people joining us!

“To whoever has joined us, welcome! As I was just saying, whether meeting in person or meeting virtually – “

Bee-Boop!


{sound of hand cupping microphone followed by muffled disgruntled-ness: “How do you mute this @!#$ thing?” A large disembodied hand passes by the camera, and several bee-booping moments later, the head of Randolph T. Freakly the Third reappears.}

“All right! We’re back!

“You know, the last few years have been difficult times, and in an effort to optimize our enablements, leverage our bootstraps and further verbify, I’d like to introduce the VP of Marketing, Shirley Spoonfed. Shirley?”

The shiny, discombobulated head of Shirley Spoonfed appears. The screen visually stutters as Shirley begins to speak in a blink-blink-mouth-open-mouth-close-blink show of animatronics not seen since the Disney “Hall of Presidents” was new.

Somewhere, Max Headroom cackles gaily.

“Thanks, Randolph! So nice to see you all! Ha ha! No, I can’t actually see any of you. That’s what makes that funny.”

A buzzing sound interrupts Shirley’s train of thought and we watch as she digs, off-screen, into what must be her jacket pocket. She surreptitiously checks her Blackberry. Smiling, her attention returns to the camera in front of her.

“Growth! We’re looking at partnershipping with our partners and making impactful impactments. We are on the rollercoaster ride of economic recovery here, people, and it’s our belief at Acme Grommets and Napkins that we go with it, that we all just throw our arms in the air and scream because this is our time! This is where we sell our products! From the data entry drudges to the guys with doors and suits, we’re seeking entry into more levels of more companies. This is where we drive for full-on client penetration!

“We’re partnering, we’re solutioning, we’re wreaking havoc with the English language and we are just so excited about it. Words like “spearhead”, “integral”, and “benchmark” will be used liberally going forward. References to “full plates” and what we can "bring to the table" will be made. We are energized, we are aligned, we are in full command of our corporate-based thought templates.”

Shirley beams brightly into the camera.

“Back to you, Randolph.”

Randolph T. Freakly’s head returns to the little square in the upper left-hand corner of the computer monitor. He looks a bit dazed.

“Thank you, Shirley. Always inspiring.”

A muffled comment – followed by a roomful of stifled guffaws – takes place somewhere to Randolph’s left. He waves an irritable hand in that direction.

“Well I guess that about covers it! So thank you, everyone, for taking time out of your day to attend this meeting. Now let's get out there! Go forth, do good work, and remember: while I make more money than any six of you put together, none of it would happen without your input. And for that, I thank you.

"As always, my door is always open.”

So concludes the Virtual Meeting.

38 comments:

haphazardlife said...

Sounds like our conference calls. Luckily we don't do the video stuff.

Joshua said...

Stop spying on me.

Simply Suthern said...

"full-on client penetration" I am sure many of them feel that way. LOL

Pearl said...

haphazard, it's actually quite disorienting, the visual part!

Joshua, put your pants on!!

Simply, they actually said "client penetration" in the meeting. :-) I snorted, wrote it down, and looked around the room -- unfortunately, I seemed to be the only one amused!

Joshua said...

SHHH!!!

George said...

Apparently a meeting that most of us are familiar with. You have captured this snippet of corporate life perfectly.

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

Teleconferencing...gotta love it. I found it so hard to stay awake for those. I'm sure the sound of snoring gave me away more than once. At least they couldn't see the drool.

Pearl said...

Joshua, your secret is safe with -- oooh. Sorry about that!

George, I'm surprised we get any work done at all...

Delores, the mute button has become a very important tool in the office arsenal!

Leauxra said...

I may have snortled a little bit reading that.

I thought these meetings were secure. How did you sneak into our all hands meeting?

jenny_o said...

Funny in so many ways!

Scarlet Blue said...

A buzzing sound interrupts Shirley’s train of thought
It was her lonely brain cell self combusting.
Sx

Thank you for making me smile this afternoon!

Teresa Evangeline said...

Your sentence following, "Thank you, Shirley. Always inspiring," brought out a guffaw in me. This is funny, funny, funny.

Calvin and Hobbes talked about verbing and how it would become a "complete impediment to communication." We are almost there. Nothing like a corporation to further it along.

George Carlin's routine, "Let me service your account" with all the motions to illustrate, of course, came to mind. Client penetration, they actually said that. It's a good thing we will not be sitting together in a meeting. I fear we'd be asked to leave. Exactly when I'm not supposed to laugh out loud is when I come dangerously close to doing so.

Thanks, Pearl.

Joanne said...

When I left the big corporate world in 1988 we did conference calls and on my way out the door I saw a big screen to teleconference between plants. This is like conference calls in Oz. What's in the professor's pocket? Whoops, the curtain fell down. Love it.

Glen said...

Little bit of blue sky thinking here - and I'll just shoot from the hip if that's okay? I've always said that you are an out of the box kind of person and frankly ---- I'm thinking it's maybe time to get back on track and kick the ball back into the net and....

I think I was at that meeting? Isn't that the one where Monica Manindrag wound up having an embarrassingly over enthusiastic sneeze that resulted in Randolph’s wig having to be dry cleaned?

Kara said...

Max Headroom?!! Now there's a name I haven't seen in ages! Thanks for the flashback!

lisleman said...

so enjoyed your words. Shirley Spoonfed - that's a great one. Is her middle name "Was"?
The only biz jargon I didn't see was "space". The space cadets love talking about this and that space which will be the next growth space. More space between the ears, I think.

bruce said...

i am so glad i am not in the corporate world.

plus i hate to shave....

i love all the CorporateColloquialisms you managed to bandy about!

fishducky said...

VERY funny comments to a VERY, VERY FUNNY post!

ipenka said...

"How do you mute this @!#$ thing?"

Haha, definitely sounds familiar!

Audubon Ron said...

You know, at the end of the day we can’t keep kicking this can down the road. We have to change paradyms and the narrative and like what-ev-errr b/c opinions are like belly buttons, everybody has one and Shirley’s has a bigger opinion. And whatever you do, when in doubt – punt.

mrwriteon said...

Damn it all, I can never think of anything worthwhile to contribute when I'm put on the spot. That's why I never get ahead in this racket and the less competent are promoted around me.

Daisy said...

for Real???
Is Disney really in charge?
Do chickens have lips?

Pearl said...

Leauxra, we’ve hacked into your corporate calendars. Looking forward to Thursday’s Happy Hour and Totally Nude Friday!

Jenny_o, and it’s all perfectly true! :-) Actually, a good portion of it IS…

Scarlet, I hadn’t thought of that. Dammit. Her last brain cell combusting and she checks her cell phone… I love it.

Teresa Evangeline, I can absolutely assure you that the words “client penetration” are being bandied about as we speak. And yes, I suspect that if we were in the same room while this was being delivered that I would’ve bit the inside of my mouth bloody trying to remain “present”…

Joanne, thank you! Corporate America is rife with humor – it is even funnier that none of said humor is intentional…

Glen, I love it! Clearly you’ve attended several of these meetings. A little blue sky thinking – why I oughta…

Kara, that’s pretty much what those little talking heads look like! Not to mention I never turn down a good flashback. :-)

Lisleman, Kinda like that one myself. And we’re all about enablement up in here.

Bruce, Corporations have their high points, don’t get me wrong. But when they’re ridiculous? Then they are ridiculous on a grand scale, and heaven help those who can’t laugh at it!

Fishducky, I’ve often said that the comments can be better than the actual post. I just love it here.

Ipenka, It’s like someone’s grandpa with the DVD player…

Audubon Ron, that was perfect. There’s nothing like a cliché!! :-)

Mrwriteon, oh, I think you do all right. Not to mention that the good stuff isn’t in the promotions – the good stuff is in the fact that the promoted THINK they have the good stuff. But they don’t. They just usually have more stuff in general…

Daisy, I suspect Disney is in charge of more than we know!

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

OMG, Pearl, this is so funny and so true!! I'm so sick of the corporate-speak and the pointless meetings and the marketing gibberish, etc., etc. I once attended a teleconference that was the one and only meeting of the Committee to Examine Whether (the company) Has Too Many Committees. It was a nightmare of gibberish. The person beside me said "I don't remember what life was like before this fucking meeting." Another made a gesture of shooting himself in the head as an organizational psychologist drew endless charts and graphs on the whiteboard. Whatever the business, the insanity is still the same! I really loved your humorous take on this! Your blog is great!

Roses said...

Excuse me, do we work together? Your on-line personna from Minnesota is just a hoax and actually you live in Norwich, Norfolk, UK and work in MY company.

In which case, wear a red carnation tomorrow and we can go get drunk together.

Eva Gallant said...

I SO don't miss those meetings!

IndigoWrath said...

Hey Pearl! I swear you work for an American division of my employer, who always manage to leverage their interactve synergies in a boundary-less customer-centric envelope push. As for "full-on client penetration", they seem keener on "full-on employee penetration". We've been royally rogered every payrise for years. I'd rather not talk about it. Or try to walk. Indigo

Bodacious Boomer said...

Now I remember why I left corporate American so many years ago and that was way before virtual meetings.

Gigi said...

Seriously? No one else even noticed the "client penetration?" They must have all been sleeping at that point.

Macy said...

Pearl, you and I are going to have to suspend our cynicism... as you've pointed out mouthing off corporate platitudes pays a damn sight better.

Amber Star said...

Oh Lordy, now I remember why I left the working world.

HermanTurnip said...

So, you've listened in on the inane meetings I'm forced to attend every time a paperclip goes unaccounted for, a cycle of electricity is wasted, and the latest intern is found horribly mutilated in the copy room. This is what I have to put up with for $7.25 an hour...

Symdaddy said...

Hi Pearlchen!

I am still reading! Don't assume that because I haven't been dropping the occasional rude, sarcastic or dumb comment that I have gone away!

I can still see your house from here!!!

Betcha missed me, di'n't ya?

kavita said...

Hilarious ! enjoyed my visit here .

Nancy @ A Rural Journal said...

Sometimes I miss being in the corporate arena. But this post makes me not think that way. Anymore. :)

savannah said...

sweet mary sunshine, sugar! i used to write that sort of non-speech! you forgot one key word: sustainability *sigh* now, you understand why i am no longer a member of the corporate culture...and routinely get my hands swabbed at airports! xoxoxoxo

(i'm kidding...ok, not really.)

Bodacious Boomer said...

The Savers near us closed. I was bummed. I loved going there. It was like going on a treasure hunt. You just never knew when and where the treasure was.

Dawn @Lighten Up! said...

"Full-on client penetration"
HahahahahaHAAAA! I just peed a little.