Walter Weaks joined the other staff members in the conference room, to watch the presentation they had been told would be “exciting.” The presenter was a corporate skirt from higher up. He recognized the plastic woman as Susie Cherub from Marketing. He walled his eyes. Ho-hum. Weren’t there better things everyone could be doing right now?
Susie was busy screeving something on the whiteboard. Then she turned around and began her presentation.
“Good morning everyone!” she put on her best cheerleader plastic smile. A few harrumphs were returned. “I’m really excited to tell you about our new business plan for your department.”
Walter Weaks’ thoughts: Really excited? Sure you’re really excited. Who wouldn’t be really excited about some bureaucratic bafflegab in outline form, copied and stapled together as handouts? ‘Really excited’ is doublespeak for, ‘I’m trying my best to get you all really excited, because I really want this plan to work.’ What would really excite this skirt is if the plan actually did work and she got a bonus for it.
Susie Cherub: “We learned a lot from our last business plan, and we’ve put those exciting lessons into our new plan.”
Walter Weaks: That last plan was a real flop. Just admit it woman, and give us some honest information. If you’ve really learned, then it’s from the college of hard knocks. Don’t ever try a plan like that again. It’s a wonder we didn’t all get laid off because of you and the other educated idiots who came up with that stupid plan. I surely hope you’ve learned something.
Susie Cherub: “What we need is teamwork to make this plan work. So let’s get all excited for our team!”
Walter Weaks: Teamwork! Yay team!!! If I hear the teamwork word again I’m gonna puke. Is that all you are, just a corporate cheerleader? But I know what you mean by teamwork. You really mean that you want cooperation and obedience. Don’t anyone dare step out of line and think for themselves.
Susie Cherub: “But no business plan is perfect. So think outside the box and come up with some good ideas, yourself. Let me know about those ideas. I’m really excited to hear them.”
Walter Weaks: Think outside the box and tell you?! Not on my life! What you really want is a scapegoat. If this plan fails, you want to point at someone and say that he didn’t like the plan and wasn’t following it. That poor bastard will be accused of not being part of the team and will get his ass canned. I’ll think outside the box alright, and continue to do my own thing. But I sure as hell am not telling you about it.
The “exciting” presentation ended and everyone shuffled back to their cubicles. And Walter Weaks continued the soliloquy in his mind: Susie Cherub, you are just loaded up the ass with clichés and bromides, aren’t you? Well I’ve got a few for you. I’m not going to stick my neck out with suggestions on how to improve your dumbass plan. No, I won’t take one for the team. Instead, I’ll keep a low profile. I’ll stay in my cubicle and keep my nose to the grindstone and mind my own business.And I’ll hope and pray that your snakebitten plan works, so that my department will survive and I won’t get laid off.
And if my job lasts long enough for me to retire with a nice pension, then on my retirement day I will feel really excited.