Friday, September 07, 2007

True colours

In a rare burst of honesty today, 50 CEOs of Fortune 500 companies issued a joint announcement:
"We have decided to come clean. People have never been our most important asset, that's just a bunch of smoke we've been blowing up your collective asses for the past 60 years. People actually come joint 17th on our asset list - sharing that position with angle-poise lamps."
Later, in response to a muttered question from the near-silent floor:
"I'm sorry, what was the question? Our most important asset? Trust me - you don't want to know what we truly think is important. Our rate of employee engagement is too low as it is ..."
The CEOs then announced that in an historic co-operative effort, mugs with "You're #17!" would be distributed globally to all employees who had not already been scheduled for termination brightsizing.
"It was a truly Herculean effort," said one CEO. "It took almost a week of hard negotiating at a secluded resort on Maui before we came up with the mugs ... and another two days to agree on fonts and colours"

To commemorate the event, the CEOs were each presented with a white cat, a large tank of piranha fish, a voucher for trapdoor mechanism to be fitted in the place of their choosing and a Gulfstream 550 jet.

"Nice goodie bag," one CEO was heard to say.


Steve Roesler said...

Thanks for starting my morning off with a big smile, Rowan.

Now, for an honest-to-goodness, real-life example of your post:

About 10 years ago I was on a consulting gig with a global company. The CEO had his direct reports together for a meeting. Part of the discussion was about the annual report.

One of the execs said, "I really think we should emphasize that people are our most important asset."

The CEO responded, and I quote (drumroll, please):

Yeah, right after the photocopy machines. If we ever get into financial trouble, at least we can get something for the photocopiers."

Really. I couldn't make that up if I tried.

Lisa Braithwaite said...

What an imagination you have, Rowan!

On another note, I finally decided to look up "anglepoise lamp", since the only time I've ever heard that term is in the song, "(I Want to Be An) Anglepoise Lamp" by the Soft Boys. Now I finally know the name of that lamp that's on everyone's desks.

Rowan Manahan said...

Steve - I can see the surreal moment now. "George. GEORGE! What's the going rate on used C++ Programmers? One careful owner. Low mileage ..."

Lisa - always glad to increase people's wordpower. Think of me as your own personal Reader's Digest.