Monday, February 16, 2015

Company UnKool Aid

Years ago, I remember being told to tidy up my work area because a potential new client was coming in for a "chemistry check."

I don't know who HR is trying to fool, but a "chemistry check" is nothing more than a stall technique. It gives the agency financial guys time to run down the client's creditors and make sure that the
all-important revenue stream keeps on streaming.

In other words, if the check clears we have chemistry.

It also gives the bulbous, red-nosed CEO an opportunity to use the expensive executive conference room, break out the agency's limited set of real silverware and meet and greet the potential new client and their marketing staff.

It is at this point the said CEO can, during a laborious Powerpoint presentation, look across the room at the leggy assistant CMO and think to himself, "Yeah, I can bone her."

That comes under the heading of a "anatomy check."

Turns out we won the pitch and the first order of the day, sadly, was a team building exercise.

We gathered at the client's Thousand Oaks headquarters where the CMO, sporting a toupee that looked like it doubled as a carpet swatch, passed out little scraps of paper. We were then instructed to write down our favorite breakfast cereal, our favorite band and our favorite author.

To be honest, I don't remember what happened next, because 'team-building' or corporate 'ice-breaking' or 'positive self-esteem nurturing' or whatever the fuck you want to call it, is not my favorite activity.

Frankly, I'd rather have a prostate exam by a surly urologist with calloused hands and unclipped fingernails.

All of which should tell you more than enough about me, in case the 1200+ entries on this blog didn't suffice, and why I was so excited to stumble across these highly-cynical but deadly-accurate Demotivational Posters.

I like this one. This one is applicable after an hourlong briefing for an automotive sales event, an exercise in redundancy if there ever was one. The dealers want to move to some sheet metal. End of story. No more questions.

A lot of what passes for insight inside an ad agency isn't. Moms are busy. Dads are stressed. Teenagers watch TV on the Internet. Got it. Let's move on.

Not fond of Saccharin Susies. Probably not a surprise. It's easy for you to smile and be cheery and exude happiness like the day you were accepted into the Alpha Phi Sorority, you didn't spend the last 72 hours trying to crack a brand repositioning. And you don't have to spend the next 72 hours "exploring a different direction."

But hey Polly Pollyanna, thanks for bringing in the donuts. They're super delish.

There are 100 more of these posters online. I'm not going to dissect and comment on each and every one of them. Not because I'm lazy. I have a pot of coffee and a whole day off (my first in more than a month) to rifle through this corporate jackoffery.

But the other day, someone in a private email accused me of being a curmudgeon. And I don't want to lend any credence to that.

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