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Wage Slave Revolt

I don't talk about The Day Job much. I try to keep it separate from my blogging, but every now and then something happens that forces me to cross the line a little.

Several years ago, The Company (which I will not name, but is a very big and very well-known company) thought that all of us wage slaves deserved a little something for the Christmas holiday season. So they sent to each and every one of us (I think there were over 10,000 employees at the time) a little present. So we all got in the mail a big envelope with the company's name on it and "OPEN IMMEDIATELY" in big red letters.

Inside was an Advent calendar. But this wasn't your standard one, but a SPECIAL one. Behind each and every door was another product or service we could promote -- not just to customers, but our friends and family as well.

My response is still fairly legendary within The Company. I sent off a signed fax to Marketing Services, thoroughly roasting them for it. I included my own list of 25 things they could have done instead; the highlights were "realize that a letter marked 'OPEN IMMEDIATELY' from one's employer could be construed as a legal directive to work, and pay each employee the legally-mandated minimum 2 hours pay for reading the letter at home" and "fire the entire Marketing Services Department, replace them with random toddlers from nearby pre-schoolers, then watch costs plummet and productivity soar."

Well, they're at it again.

Like most big companies, The Company publishes a newsletter. It's filled with the same old rah-rah crap you'd see anywhere. For years, they've circulated it electronically, and every location was supposed to print one out and leave it around for anyone interested to read.

Well, those days are past. Now they're going to spend the money to print literally tens of thousands of copies and mail them to every single employee's home.

I'm planning on telling some people just what I think of that idea, but I figured I'd use this platform to spread the word to any other companies considering such a thing:


I'm an oddball, but not entirely one. And I think I speak for a lot of people when I say I want to leave work AT work, and not have to deal with corporate rah-rah bullshit when I'm off the clock. If they insist on printing all these out, why not just mail a bunch of copies to every single workplace, and let the employees either read it there or take it home.

I'm weighing my options. Should I mark it "UNWANTED -- RETURN TO SENDER?" Send off a scorching e-mail to the CEO and/or other concerned parties? Submit a request for pay for the time I spend reading the worthless thing?

And if anyone else has ever dealt with this, chime in below.


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Comments (12)

Regardless of how funny I t... (Below threshold)

Regardless of how funny I think a well worded, and sharply pointed, response to such would be (and I think whatever words you choose would mightily hilarious), sounds like a good way to get fired, man.

I find it much easier, and safer for continued direct deposits, to shake my head and drop that drivel into the shredder.

Go out and buy a few lottery tickets and hope for the best, I say.

Why not Fax the board(email... (Below threshold)

Why not Fax the board(emails are more easily ignored) asking what the purpose is of the piece mailed. Think about it, they could have emailed you, but know its harder to throw away a piece of paer than it is to delete an email.

A bulletin board will suffice for company 'info' right?

So ask them what your reason is? You can be part of the solution, or just another bitching troll.

Back in the day when I work... (Below threshold)

Back in the day when I worked for a Virginia owned bank, a lot of banks had been bought by out of state owners (i.e., bought by NCNB, Wachovia, etc.). My company's marketing department came up with their newest campaign: Bring 'Em On Home. The slogan was aimed at getting customers to swithc back to a VA owned bank. Trust me: that's a big thing in Virginia. Anyway, I didn't fault the logic. What I did fault was the company creating glossy, 10-page booklets and sending to every single employee. But wait, it got worse: included in the packet were account signup forms. Five of them. The expectation, apparently, was for us wage slages to beat the bushes to sign up at least 5 new accounts. I promptly tossed my package into the trash. When I was asked a week later how my account signup program was going, I responded that if our marketing department sucked so bad that they needed the OTHER employees to garner new accounts to keep us solvent, we were in big trouble as a company. This didn't go over so well, but they left me alone after that.

You know what was even worse? For the 4 previous weeks before sending out the account signup packages, the company had sent out expensive glossy fliers which showed various photos of a car being uncovered, with the promise of "more to come". So 5 weeks of fliers to all company employees, culminating in a browbeating effort to get the rest of us to do the marketing department's job.

Wanna know the kicker? Less than a year after this campaign ended, our bank was bought by an out of state company. All those people who had been fooled into switching to a VA OWNED COMPANY were now SOL.

Dude, I WISH my problems at... (Below threshold)

Dude, I WISH my problems at work were as simple as receiving an unwanted newsletter at home.

But if you feel the need to say something about it I think you ought to appeal to their sense of economics and tell them realistically that the monetary expense of mailing these out, only to likely end up in the trash, is a waste of company resources. Suggest that some are printed and posted on the work site and email others "within the company's email framework" to get the same results.

I heard from a friend of mi... (Below threshold)

I heard from a friend of mine that there's this wonderful thing called the interweb and that it has this thing called eeeemail. I also heard that this eeeemail can be used to send inane crap like that to everyone that they want to. I think your marketing folks should look into this interweb thing.

I don't know, Demosthenes. ... (Below threshold)

I don't know, Demosthenes. I've heard that there are already too many trucks clogging up the intertubes. Sending more mail into the tubes will only make it worse. Wait a minute, what if we built a tube to nowhere...?

You are obviously not a TEA... (Below threshold)

You are obviously not a TEAM player.

If you really want to make ... (Below threshold)

If you really want to make the point, try this:

Create a dummy newsletter in a similar format, substituting stories based on your complaints in the post: one might be on the costs of printing and mailing something no one reads, another a union rep talking about the unpaid work at home issue, & etc. Just a few will do - "Onion" them up with good humor, and mail one to each Board member, preferably at home.

OK, Jay, just ask yourself ... (Below threshold)

OK, Jay, just ask yourself one thing: How big a kahuna are you in the company?

If you're not at least a medium-sized kahuna, then shut your mouth and leave it alone. One of realities of corporate politics is that things at certain levels get done to show management that Person X is doing his or her job. Let the poor schlubs in internal communication do their job, and be done with it.

If you feel like you have to say something, do it nicely and in the context of "this might save the company money ... " Otherwise, you're cruisin' for a wage-slave bruisin'.


I have to agree with pennyw... (Below threshold)

I have to agree with pennywit. Your "kahuna"/ranking status in the company should dictate the level and style of your response.

Inner company rah rah crap can be GOOD if done correctly (ex: picnics and outings to build team work, motivate, etc.)

When done wrong, it's like being part of a cult. Marketing people start acting like frat kids with too time on their hands.

Have fun, whatever YOU do will make your point in an entertaining way......

I get to see a lot of this ... (Below threshold)

I get to see a lot of this sort of thing in my job (corporate meetings and conventions). Some of the horror stories are pretty amazing.

For example: a "revenue-enhancing team" (actually cost-cutting, by their instructions) decided to send out one of those cheerily-worded, "team-building" flyers, with lots of examples of how to get more sales and convince clients to stick with the company - except the last page was a fairly detailed list of all of the things that were expected from the sales staff, or they'd be considered for justifiable termination.

...and yes, they actually used those last two words. And yes, about 10% of the sales staff was on the chopping block, and the cute little flyer was basically a "do 100% of this within 3 months or get canned" letter.

After I pointed out that the "termination" bit was a little too much, they removed the whole last page, except for a generic "these are the new comparisons" comment. And if you didn't make the cut, you're gone...

The problem is that some of... (Below threshold)

The problem is that some of these enhancement/morale schemes come with only one side of the coin. Say, for example, your employer had sent that advent calandar ... and coupled with it was extra vacation time for the person in each location/region/team whatever who dold the most widgets?

Of course, this puts me in the mind of a Hooters waitress a few years ago who busted her butt to sell as many beers as possible b/c Hooters was going to award a "Toyota." When she received her reward, it was a "Toy Yoda." At which point she turned around a sued them.

Details here.







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