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Location: Portland, Oregon

Otium cum Dignitatae

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Here's Why Nothing Works

You know what your life needs? A soundtrack. Something in the neighborhood of nine seconds long or so that just plays over and over again until you ask it to stop. In this vein, may I suggest...The 'Oh Brother' Punchline theme.
(That was entirely the work of The In Crowd, over at I'm Learning To Share!, who noted the passing of longtime Hanna-Barbera composer/arranger Hoyt Curtin by isolating the greatest bits of his work, and naming them.)

When I hear that tiny overture to failure, I consider the mendacity of Hollywood Lights. On Craigslist this morning, I see that they're hiring. This is odd, since they've been firing anyone with half an ounce of competence for the last year, while holding onto valuable people who happen to be related to the owner.

In this -of course- they strongly resemble the greater part of the American business community. For the last...Decade? Longer, surely. Anyway; this trend of continuing to cut labor while never ever getting rid of management is really making us all look like a bunch of goons who don't deserve to even be offered Nice Things. They keep eliminating Bone, until all that's left is Fat, which won't support you, if you're a Leg, say.
Thing is, all this cost-cutting that never seems to actually eliminate costs is done due to the bewildering vicissitudes of the market, y'know, which you'd think Management would be better at navigating. This is to say: it's their fault, but they never seem to lose their jobs, or even take a pay cut.

Now again, the Obvious Disclaimer: you can't run anything with only labor, or only management. It's cooperative; they need each other. But try telling that to some smilin' joe who thinks that only the people with the necessary capital should get to survive in this world.

Suddenly you'll be hearing that word 'Marxist' again, which keeps making a weird resurgence, especially in conversations that have nothing to do with economics. It's been a decade or two since I've met anyone who actually describes themselves as one, but any time you say you like da queeahs or something, you will be called this antiquated socio-economic term. To hear reactionaries tell it, we're surrounded with Marxists right now. And Leninists too, probably.

A popular trope among those with no discernible principles is to go on and on about how principled they are. And since you didn't ask, o Craigslist reader who is looking for a job in stage and event lighting, here's Hollywood Lights' principalia!

* We lead with INTEGRITY. We are committed to doing what is right, even when there is great pressure to do otherwise.

* Our PASSION drives us: Be it our passion for creativity in design, our passion for providing innovative solutions to our client's challenges, or our passion for exceeding our client's expectations.

* We strive for a culture of DISCIPLINE. We desire to hire disciplined people who engage in disciplined thought and disciplined action.

* TEAMWORK is encouraged and fostered through open communication, along with the knowledge that through collaboration we are greater than the sum of our parts.

* We embrace CHANGE and the opportunities it offers.

* We strive to grow wisely and PROFITABILY.

[A few notes about that:
1) I would hazard a guess that no substantial pressure is being brought to bear on this company to Do Wrong. But nonetheless they keep on stickin' up for what's right, eh? Go Team Integrity!

2) I've seen a lot of companies promise Passion. It's just generally not this embarrassing.

3) The inclusion of 'Discipline' here makes this lighting company sound like a leather daddy.

4) "Our approach to Teamwork is to get rid of most of the Team! This Works for us!"

5) 'Change', huh? Really? Good for you. You like the inevitable.

6) The word you want there is 'profitably', not Profitbily, which -with the addition of one more 'l'- would make an awesome musical genre.
Also: a company that wishes to make a profit, eh? Will the wonders never cease?]

So in closing: Christ, you people suck. I hope you fail, and you deserve to be losing all your business to Christie Lights.
I wish the same failure to Timberline Dodge, Jeep & Chrysler, but on the other hand, they're already heading there of their own accord, if I had to guess.



Blogger Aunty Christ said...

Well, and then there's my former company, who fired me and most of my coworkers about eight months ago but continue to pay three managers managers' salaries to proofread and address envelopes. Amazing.

2:32 AM  
Blogger rich bachelor said...

Fun fact I learned last evening: this job they are trying to fill at Hollywood is the same job someone just got fired from, at two dollars less than it had paid before. Lovely.

6:10 AM  
Blogger Salty Miss Jill said...

All forbidden words of the 2000's.
Add to that: paradigm (not the Popper definition, but the MBA shithead definition), accountability, thinking outside the box, and proactive.
Another great post, more please.

6:26 PM  

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