Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Don't Fall Victim to This Day!

I was recalling with business rock star, Patty Gale,  about what it was like working in corporate America. I'm sure it's still the same in today's workforce (for those still employed), but I've been out of that workforce for almost 10 years, so things may have changed. And people in hell now get ice water.

Anyhoo, we were reminiscing about the days when upper management 'rewarded' the staff by having special shirt days, allowing the employees to kick off their heels, loosen their ties, and dig deep into their dresser drawers or into the back of their closet to find that crazy Hawaiian shirt, that seemed like such a good idea at the time or, in my case, the green shirt to wear on St. Patrick's day, or whatever else those wild and zany employee board members came up with.

Actually, if I remember correctly, upper management had nothing to do with those ideas anymore than they had to do with 'bring your kid to work day', but I digress.

This was when 'casual Friday' was still in its infancy, (that's a whole 'nother post) so having an opportunity to wear something that didn't have to be dry cleaned was considered their best effort at throwing the dogs a bag of bones.

So my memory was this. We all got the notice (on green paper, of course), that St. Patrick's Day was coming up. (I should be saving this post for St. Patrick's day, but oh well, I'm feeling creative today.), and we all were 'given' the opportunity to get as crazy as we could in order to celebrate this one day furlough from pinched toe shoe hell.

For me, as much as I couldn't stand my job, my best idea to celebrate was to put as much Irish Whiskey in the sludge they called coffee and actually be happy during the nine hours I had to put in.

But I didn't. I found, in my extensive collection of crap clothes that I had yet to take down to Goodwill, a greenish shirt with hints of blue in it. I knew it was pushing the envelope, but hey, WHO is to say what 'green' is? So many shades, and what if someone is color blind? I figured it was good enough, and put it on with my best pair of Levis.

Ahhhhh, never mind the color, it was a T-SHIRT & JEANS day! YA, BABY.  The way I saw it, I was more productive than when I was in my 'office attire'. I was willing to be reprimanded if I could just be comfortable for once.

As I suspected, every one went stone cold crazy, wearing mile high hats with shamrocks on them, lime green and shamrock green shirts, socks, over sized clown sunglasses that were green and, dare I say, green pants.

About two hours into my workday, I was approached by the head of the 'employee morale board' (I'm not kidding) in my very official cubicle and started speaking softly to me.

"Jhanna", She leaned in and half whispered to me. "Ummmm, a few of the employee morale board members have come to me and have mentioned that your shirt really isn't (insert air quotes here) "green". You know, this is green." She gave the thumbs up to her own shocking green shirt with shamrocks emblazoned on it.

I leaned forward in my synthetic fiber office chair. "uh-huh. Go on." I said, squinting my eyes slightly to express that, perhaps, this news might actually have me concerned.

"Well, here's the thing. If you don't abide by the rules of the fun shirt day, well, we just won't have them any more. And I can understand if you don't, you know, have the (air quotes again) "funds" to purchase a real green shirt, then you'll just need to wear your normal professional office attire." (thanks for acknowledging how little the company actually paid me.)

She leaned back and stared with her head cocked to the side, and pinched her brows together, like a concerned cocker spaniel.

I wanted to pinch her arm until she cried.

I gave a sigh, slumped my shoulders a bit and said, 'I understand, and am truly, so ashamed. I mean, look at me.'

She cocked her head even further, to the point I thought it might fall off her shoulders. She gave a small smile and perked up.

"I'm glad you understand because, hey! This is supposed to be FUN! We work for such a fun company! (it was a bank), and we want everyone to have fun! Ok, then! Let's go have some green Tampico punch and shamrock cookies in the break room!"

I could not make this up if I tried. This is corporate America at its best. Or it's worst. I dunno. I'll let you decide.

As I sat in the bar that night, slurging down my beer with all the other lost business souls, I couldn't help but think, 'What the F*CK am I doing WRONG?! Why don't I get it? Why do I not fit in at ANY job I work?!"

I had answered my own question. "Why do I not fit in at ANY job I work". Because it's a JOB!

Corporate America is not intended for people to thrive. It's just not. They have a bottom line that they want to accomplish, and you are there to help fulfill that goal. their goal, not yours. You get paid a certain amount and, if you're in a 'good' job, you get two weeks vacation after exchanging fifty-two weeks of your life for it.

I'm sure some readers will say, 'Hey, now! My company is great!' Great. Live long and prosper. More power to you and 'your' company.

But the majority of people who work in a corporate J-O-B are M-I-S-E-R-A-B-L-E. It's where their dreams go to die. Nothing will kill your dreams faster.

The reason some one's dreams succeed while working at a corporate job is because the dream is to get OUT of the corporate work force.

Ok. Enough of that. Now go. Go work on your business. Go create your dream career. Go get to your MLM company's convention. Just promise me, you'll get out of the corporate world as quickly as possible.

If you don't have a social marketing company you're affiliated with, contact me. If you've got one and you don't know where to start, then contact me and we'll just talk. Just GO and release yourself from the pain of a possible Casual Shirt Friday.

If it's too late and you already have your story, let me know and I'll do my best to help you so you don't end up with another story.


Anonymous said...

Jhanna, You're awesome! I guess on FB, we didn't get to finish the rest of your story, so I'm so glad you posted it here.

I can't believe we put up with that stuff, either.

However, we have found a better way!

You rock on!

Jhanna Dawson said...

Patty! Thank you for the call, that was cool!

We ALL have at least ONE story that can sum up our experience in C.A.

We're fortunate. We found the Emergency Exit and went through. Whew.

It's up to us to show others the same door to freedom. ;)