Monday, July 21, 2008

Bereft Of All Business Acumen

Knowing that I will never have any success in the business world is slightly liberating, although it will doom me to bagging groceries when I'm 68 years old. I was told I did not have 'it', and I was not surprised. I do not possess that capitalist gene. I've shied away from positions of power my entire adult life and I felt a nagging queasiness when I was in charge. (I work best alone. Maybe in small groups, if the people don't suck.)

I have pinned down the three major reasons why I will never succeed in the business world. My guess is there are about twenty, but three is manageable and will not send me into a cloud of depression. They don't bring me down very often, but when you are surrounded by the workaday mutants who feast on each other on a regular basis and you know you never peruse or be on the menu, it's natural to wonder why.

Reason One: I aims to please. I am an entertainer first, artist second and everything else third. When two people of business shake hands they are sizing each other up and gauging the best way to extract something out of the other. The exchanges are designed to probe and to test each other for weaknesses. When I meet someone, if they aren't total wastes of time, I immediately try to endear myself to them. I tell personal stories if the situation warrants it, I play a little dumb sometimes to get a joke. I guess I'm probing a little. But I'm investigating strengths, mostly. I want this person to feel comfortable around me. End of story.

Reason Two: I am honest. Honesty and humility are the quickest ways to make a connection. I don't "keep it real" and my honesty is rarely "brutal", but I am a genuine person when I speak to you. It's all I know.

Business people cannot tell the truth. That is what business is. Not just dishonesty, but the clouding of truths to benefit the company or the team or the unit or the office or the supervisor. Getting a clear answer is like putting spilled syrup back into the bottle.

Reason Three: (The actual reason I wrote this…the first two were filler, really) I abhor spending my time with meaningless chores. Every task I have ever accomplished, every project I've completed was 100% meaningless. Folding your underpants is a chore, but at least a drawer full of tidy underwear has some value to you. The crap that I've done has no merit, no legacy, no dignity…nothing.

We were just asked to help construct a 'mission statement' for our project. If there is a more useless endeavor, I'd like to hear about it. There are two ways of looking at business. One is, you are in the business to make money. Period. Or, the old-fashioned construct: You are in business to provide a good or service. What the hell is a mission?

Business is almost like a cult. You have to get everyone to sync up to the same invisible God, unattainable Nirvana, Commandments to guide you there and sometimes there are three types of cake in conference room every third Friday. I seethe when I am forced to talk about nothing at all to a bunch of people who believe the same thing. "Why am I here? What the hell happened?" I've written documents and processes and notes that are never followed and are only created as evidence for future bumblings. The powers above me need something to point to when an employee slips up and pleads ignorance. That's all they are. There is no work done. Hungry people aren't fed, the poor aren't sheltered, the lost aren't found and the aimless are kept right where they are.

Barf. No wonder I write this crap.


1 comment:

  1. sounds so much like a dilbert cartoon

    how to succeed
    1) pretend to drink the kool-aid
    2) keep your head down
    3) go home at night and hug your wife and kids
    4) thank god/whatever you don't actually buy into that shit

    mission statement? wtf. if it was actually truthful, well that would be a different story.