Friday, January 25, 2008

Stupidity Exposed by Word

Hi. Paul here with my rant of the day; well, at least the moment.

With spell check embedded in virtually every application today, even a document done by a dunderhead dazzles on occasion. The problem comes when the scuff marks still show through even after applying shine to that sneaker. Stupidity can be drowned out, but like the off-key soprano in a kids Christmas concert, it will eventually come out and cause discomfort. Not for the offender, but for those in the audience whose aural palette can appreciate a decent C sharp.

Here at 17, I was recently copied on an email where the sender inquired if the recipient wanted to “spear head” something. If you’re going to use an insipid cliché, it makes sense to learn the value of a compound word. It almost makes me want to beat myself senseless with a base ball bat. If you didn’t get the irony of that sentence, your not paying attention.

Why are we ‘spear heading’ something to begin with? If it’s necessary to speak in mindless business banter, couldn’t we at least take the lead and get creative?

On an unrelated note, why does food seem to taste better in Chicago than in any other American city?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

9 to 5? oh i wish!

Having spent the majority of my adult life pursuing a career that will never bring me money or fame(ie modern dance), it was a strange new world when, in the interest of health insurance(and not having to spend Friday nights with drunken fools pinching my ass for tips), I decided to enter the corporate realm. Mind you, I had never worked in a corporation, and had no real desire to do anything but DANCE(!), and so didn't care what job I took, so long as I could dress up every day, and not be working until 3am.

What a fortuitous event it seemed when I was hired by 17 almost immediately, despite my double major degree in the most unmarketable areas existing from a small exclusive northeast school; and complete lack of excel or powerpoint skills. I think my parents died of shock, resurrected themselves, and threw a party(which I was NOT invited to, lest it derail this sudden exploration into adulthood). 17, a company that sells fairly innocuous software of the sort that would put you to sleep were I to describe it, seemed like a fabulous opportunity. Lots of young 20 somethings who seemed smart! Motivated! Interesting!

The first month was filled with all manner of fascinating new things I'd never experienced- cubicles! A supply closet! This crazy coffee machine! However, soon it all became a bit clear as to why movies like "Office Space"(which I had never understood before) are so successful- because working for "the man," to be trite and boring, sucks.

The one life raft in this ocean of horror on which I am adrift every day from 8-6? Paul, my entertaining, dashing, endlessly fascinating coworker. While out for savories at our spot last week, we were discussing the somewhat interesting way in which our company seduces people into signing their lives away here. Following is the beginning of a regular feature entitled "17 Speak- What They Say, and What it Means" Today let's 'unpack' the terminology of (drum roll please)The Interview:

They say:"We're a work hard, play hard company that prides ourself on a tight knit culture."

Equals: We're a bunch of alcoholics for whom this company is our only life. When we aren't working 70 hour weeks, we all go out with each other exclusively, and binge drink in the manner of a 21 year old frat boy. But with British accents. Cheers!

They say: "He's a good fit candidate."

Equals: Most likely a frat boy who uses too much hair gel, refers to beers as 'brewskis' and showers in Axe body spray. Enjoys binge drinking, referring to gay people as faggots(and not in an ironic way), yelling, and using phrases like 'making it happen.' Find themselves extremely hilarious, no comprehension of sarcasm. Bonus points if you live with someone else in the company. If you're married, have a serious significant other, interests or friends that extend outside the company, or have/may want children at some unnamed point in the future, please don't apply.

They say: "We are completely interested in hiring from within."

Equals: We will only hire from within this incestuous cult, no matter whether a qualified candidate exists, or whether it lies within the best interest of the company. Even if the only possible candidate is completely unsuited, if they are currently here, we will ABSOLUTELY choose them. While we tell you that upward promotion is what we hire for, you will need to be ready to beg, cry, and harass in order to achieve a position that opens up.

They say: "We have this fantastic little tradition called Fiesta!, where we all go out after work on the last day of the month and drink together. It's a terrific time!"

Equals: We will be quaffing elegant cocktails and suavely discussing intricate, esoteric topics with a bevy of sharp witted gentlemen and ladies, all equipped with a razor sharp intellect and rapier charm. Except the exact opposite.

Join us soon for more of these quaint turns of phrase!