C.E.O., Gobloc Insulting
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Basic Literature is a corporate satire blog, updated with satirical and humorous commentary on the corporate world, including career advice, management tips, business strategies and marketing tactics.
a satirical blog about our corporate world

How To Secure Your Job

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Citigroup last month announced one of the biggest layoff ever recorded- slashing 52,000 jobs. With a total of 220,000 people stopped receiving their paychecks from the financial sector alone, everyone working in banks, insurers and investment/trading institutions is now vulnerable.

how-to-secure-your-job

If you think you’re in a different sector and you’re now safe, it’s safe to conclude that you’re not. The job cuts in the financial sector is not even half of the total 1 million layoffs made this year- so basically whatever sector you’re in, you’re in the hot soup. And we’re all aware that this is no chicken soup.

Frightening, I know. But don’t go berserk. Here are some Black Zedd’s tips to secure your job:

  1. Steal your company’s money and hide them

    You have a greater advantage if you work in the accounts’ department. Make sure you can divert a huge stash of the money and hide it somewhere in the Cayman Island. Tell your employer that retrenching you will cost more now.
  2. Print a fake offer letter from your competitor

    And convince your boss that every other ailing competitors see you as a savior. It will make them rethink any decision to let you go.
  3. Report you boss’ wrongdoings

    There’s lots of things you can report to lots of parties. Your boss arrived late in the office, he’s having an affair, he’s incompetent, he skipped a meeting for no reason..well, nobody is perfect.

    Just pick a crime and report them to any of the following authority: the CEO, BOD, the shareholders, the labor union, the industry’s watchdog, the labor office or the press.

    Or let’s be safe. Report everything to all of them. Hopefully he’ll be out of job before suggesting your name first.
  4. Hire a hacker to erase employees data

    Offer rewards to those who can hack into you company’s database and erase all employee data. This should leave your employers clueless about who to retrench, and will give you more time to ‘reset’ your reputation and work your ass off.
  5. Kidnap a member of the HR director’s family for a ransom

    There’s no guessing what you’ll ask in exchange: your unconditional employment for the next [insert number] years.
  6. Get involved in a car accident

    And thank heaven for the various discrimination policies that’ll prevent you from being fired while sick (check with your state laws first). This is only useful for smaller companies which will not let you go for the sake of ‘restructuring’. See here.
  7. Get arrested and remanded

    ..for a crime you didn’t commit. Conspire with your neighbor, for example, to launch an anonymous fake report about you doing something unlawful.

    Pick a crime that will take ages to investigate. If your company tries to let you go, cry foul of discrimination. By the time you’re out of the lockups, hopefully the dust has settled and your job is safe. Even if you’re laid off for getting arrested, you can sue them, with cost, for punishing you based on a crime you didn’t commit, tarnishing your good name and causing mental anguish. Retirement fund. Yay.


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Advertising To Children: What Ethic?

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Your mother must have told you, back then when you were  little “Don’t talk to strangers”. It’s a classic advice. Children are susceptible- they’re easily tricked, they lack a good sense of judgment, and can be emotionally driven by their desires.

Which is..

advertising-to-children

..for businesses to target. Marketers have tried to exploit the vulnerabilities of these younglings, but since they're not allowed to talk to strangers, it seems, at first glance, the chances to court them are pretty slim.

Luckily, there’s this electronic box that can quickly transform itself into a powerful subliminal hypnosis machine- it’s called TELEVISION. And we know children love TVs a lot. And they're easily swayed by nice advertisements.

There are so many ways we can get into their family’ wallet- as proven by the $600 billion sales children under 12 influenced years ago. Television is a hell good example. You’re never a stranger once you’re on air.

Stamp your brands earlyEven if your businesses are not selling children-related items, advertising to children is still awesome because exposing your brands to young kids are like sowing the seeds of loyalty- they’re going to grow up being acquainted with your brand name. 

It can court unsuspecting kids, capitalizing on their emotionally-driven judgment, and lure them into fulfilling your desire.

If you’re already advertising to children, congratulations. You have the same characteristic with a pedophile.


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How To Reduce Employees Absenteeism

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Employees skip the day at the office for various reasons. The problem is, some of those reasons are valid and legal. We can blame the employee union for that, but of course you need a lot of cash and a link with a Sicilian family to make them shut-up (or disappear).

 absenteeism

Your employees can call in sick. Or cite family reasons. Even worse, they just tried to call it a day and you fell for it- thus voluntarily giving them the day off. Or you’re just one of those incompetent managers that managed to land the job because you’re somebody’s nephew, and you don’t command any respect. Your people took turns to go AWOL. Whatever it is, the problem of absenteeism must be stopped.

You can give your employees incentives to come in and work.

But no. To pay people to do the job they’re paid for in the first place is much worse than bribing. Furthermore your company is a cheapskate- which explains why they’re so demoralized to come in, so what makes you think you can get the budget allocation?

So try these approaches instead:

 

Send all employees to boot-camp

This is no ordinary training or seminars. Provide ‘motivational’ slideshows about the economic crisis and how companies are laying people off. How inventions and innovations are mushrooming all over the place, how automations will lessen the need for human workforce.

How consultants (me!) can unearth (non-existence) efficiency problem in companies and suggest retrenchment to improve the bottom-line. How vulnerable employees are, compared to companies. It will forever alter their perspective- they’ll shift into survival mode and embrace presenteeism.

 

Scrap the monthly wage system

And introduce a strict, pay-by-the-hour system. Even nature-calls will be deducted from their salary. So they can’t blame you for salary deduction. If they’re not paid, it’s because they didn’t work. Fair isn’t it? You’ll experience a slight spike in your OPEX, but with more people in doing their work, you’ll get the return sooner than you expect.

 

Hire a full-time doctor

This is a classic solution taken to a new height. Don’t use panel doctors and clinics, instead, hire an in-house doctor, make him/her the ONLY doctor that can award sick leave for your company.  Then, deduct the doctor’s salary according to the number of sick leave  given to your employees.

 

Introduce shift rotation

You may well heard about this one. But it’s a bit different. All people will work during the regular hours, but introduce a night-shift specially for absent employees. Whatever their reason is, absenters will have to replace their day off with a compulsory graveyard-shift.

The later the shift starts, the better it will improve their determination to make it to the office. You can also hire a homeless to spook the office during the night shift- an excellent reminder to keep your employees away from being absent.


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Being Bold Or Being Stupid?

Monday, November 24, 2008

There's a fine line separating stardom and mediocrity. When you're in a situation that can propel you to be treated as a star by your company, being bold is the only decision you have to make. But wait. Being bold can also mean being stupid!



Be Bold!


When you're in a meeting, you try to get into the radar. You, being bold, interject with all your manliness, and begin to raise your salient point one by one with your face beaming with confidence.

But not realizing that you're being stupid, everybody shook their heads in disbelief, responding that the point you've given is too obvious to be raised in the meeting- everybody already knows about them.


Be Bold!


When you're one on one with your boss, you'll try to project your true quality. Being bold, you try to be honest and disclose your discontent with the way he manages certain stuff in your department.

You only realize that you're being stupid when you found out a couple months later your boss didn't gave you any raise, all your peers are being promoted and you're always stuck in the fringe of all your boss's favorable decisions.


Be Bold!


During one of your inter-department errands, you saw your CEO or company director nearby and quickly notice an opportunity to impress the generals. Being bold, you approached him, introduce yourself and try to have a friendly chat with him.

But unbeknown to you, you're actually being stupid- he responded with "you should spend your time more at your desk, this is not a shopping complex"


Be Bold!


When having to face your client/customer with a bad news, you decided to get straight to the point and tell the truth. Being bold, you explain what went wrong and how he/she is affected.

You knew it that you're being stupid when the customer hurls you with every possible unpleasing adjectives, starts calling you names, continuously banging the table and blaming you like hell- where in fact you have nothing to do with this mess apart from just conveying the news.


Be Bold!


When you need a new challenge in your career, you realize it's time to move on. Being bold, you tendered your resignation and accepted a promising job in a new and unknown company- hoping to be a key player in the company's rise.

You know you're just being plain stupid- 3 days into your new work, all the promises given to you suddenly seem too good to be true, your workplace is a mess, your colleagues are all unqualified, your boss is a jerk and your head is filled with "My former company is way better than this! I should have stayed there!".

*****

Pathetic, isn't' it? So what separates being bold from being stupid? It's called 'do it'. So play it safe. If you're thinking of being bold- don't do it. Being a mediocre is better than being a regretful failure.
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Need More Time!!!!

Friday, November 7, 2008


Ah... Time management. Another crapoholic term that will chime in your head every time you enter the meeting room...half an hour late. Most of the time you're too preoccupied, the word 'deadline' is no longer defined in your dictionary.

Let's cut to the chase. These are some of the significant time-wasters in your work that you can eliminate..if you have the balls.

Finding the parking spot
Your pride with your bling-bling ride is gone once you find out that looking for parking spaces are like searching for a needle in a haystack- time is not on your side. The fix requires cycles: recycle your car at the scrapyard and get a motorcycle or a bicycle or a tricycle.

Walking
Average people walks 18,000 steps per day. Can you imagine how much time is wasted during these walks? Here's how to spell the solution to this problem: R. U. N. Y. O. U. C. O. U. C. H. P. O. T. A. T. O.

Caffeine fix
Hanging out in the pantry might be as delicious as your coffee, but stop wasting time. Buy a pack of Red-Bulls and you'll save ample time. And oh, the side effects will shorten your career in the long run too- early retirement!

Proof-reading
To write a report is one thing. To READ BACK THE REPORT is another. Now every time you've finished the pointless report your boss sent you to do, use Text Aloud to let the computers read it back to you.

While you reluctantly write another overdue report you owe your boss.

Error-correcting
Submitting the report is not the end of it. There are times when you'll be sent back to do corrections, and correcting your report is like redoing the same task again- a waste of time indeed. If this happens often......find another job using a lower qualification. You'll make less mistakes.

Boss's lecture
Yes. It's one of the leading culprit behind your lack of time. Now treat your boss like this and watch him letting you go the next time you screw up.

Chat
Do you really need your co-workers? Do you really want to have a conversation with them? If you think you can't live through the day without speaking a word to your colleagues, you need to know more about web 2.0. Can solve the 'walk' problem too.

Meetings
Yes I've covered them before, but unfortunately it's only applicable to top managers. Now simply, if meetings are the thorn in your flesh, start a fight with everyone in your next meeting. Be super obnoxious. For sure you'll not be invited next time.

Reading emails

If you don't have a Blackberry, it's a mixed blessing. Even you're free during your time off the office, this means you have to entertain every single message from your desk. To reduce waste of time, forward this post to your pathetic forward-crazy friends and save tremendous time going through your emails.

Requesting help from other departments
This is a pain in the @ss. All those explaining, begging and even to a point, whoring, consumes lots of time just to get a simple thing done. To reduce the time taken, don't use the phone to communicate with them. Use email, and CC every message to their boss, their superiors, the General Managers, the CEO and subsequently the board of directors, the minority shareholders, the minority shareholders' watchdog, and the newspapers.

*****

Well...to be honest, following only the last step should be more than enough. Now you'll have more time. To read blogs!
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How To Make Consumers Spend More

Monday, November 3, 2008

The current economic crisis dealt a huge blow to consumer spending, where sizable drop in demand was recorded all around the world. When the public cuts back on spending, consultants like me will be on the wrong end of the domino game, thus taking the biggest hit.

Therefore it's only logical for me to recommend steps to encourage consumers to spend more. It's not that the lack of demand stops our clients from using our service. It's because they think it's wiser to keep using us and default on payments. Clever eh..

So let's look at how we can move the market out of this recession and make consumers spend spend spend..in light of the current economic mess.


Use extensive fear in advertising


Fear is a well-known theme for advertising. Often associated with health-related products, now its appeal is applicable across a wider group of product. You only need a simple statement like the following:

If you're not buying this product because you want to save money, your company can also stop employing you for the same reason. Think again. Save the economy. Buy more.
You can also use graphical descriptions about being jobless and starvation. Pick a third world country and start from there.


Tell them everything is for the sake of saving money


This fever should be more widespread. Tell the consumers everything they'll buy is for the sake of saving money. It should be extended to those luxury goods. Economic value will always work in this economic mess.
"Stop wasting money buying useless wealth statements (like a fake Rolex). Buy a Mercedes."



Let them pay later


With the advent of credit cards, consumers have an established reputation in "Shoot first, ask later" attitude. Translation: buy first, pay (regret) later. So revamp your financial strategies to raise more working capital: give your consumers credit facilities even for the smallest item. Works great if you tie this move with the next point.


Always bundle everything


You should always bundle your products together. Instead of selling a single unit, you should now sell in a package of say...10. And tell them "save more when you buy more". In this trying time, only the first 2 words matters to the consumers.

See my other devious retailing tactics.


Use emotional motivation


When people are upset (no one is happy during economic downturn), they'll become emotionally-charged and will find ways to cheer up. At least that explains the box office trends during both economic boom and slump. You should re-brand your product as a psychological answer to this state of depression.

"Don't worry. Eat ice-cream. Lots of them."

"Shopping is a well-known therapy."

"Money is the root of evil. Learn how to let go. Spend. All of them."


Blame them


...for blessing this ridiculous Laissez Faire system in the first place, despite them being constantly on the weaker side of the table. This is the time for those anti-free-trade zealots to go to the public with banners like:
"We're the cause of this fall. Now we have to fix it.
SPEND MORE. BUY BUY BUY."
But these zealots have to do a better job this time. Because as you can see, their protests all this while are just futile.
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Free Tool To Prevent You From Being A Fool

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Apart from being an average Joe, you can also be a sorry fool. So what makes you a fool?

Apparently, a lot of things. But do you know some of them can be eliminated using your web browser?

Yes, you can. In conjunction with Black Zedd's Basic Literature's first anniversary this week, I'm throwing you a splendid gift.


Black Zedd's Toolbar


So what makes you a fool that you can avoid by using this toolbar?


1. You're Clueless About Your Work/Project/Report



Solved. Perform a quick search for your work from different knowledge portals (apart from Google) anytime you're facing those terms/jargon you're clueless about.

You can also search for downloadable documents like PDFs, MS Word and MS Powerpoint presentations using the 'Search For Your Work Literature' feature. Plagiarism ahoy!



2. You're Often Slammed For Being Outdated With The Latest News


Solved. Quickly scan the latest headlines from leading news publication around the world. Shove it into your boss's @ss- every single minute of updates.


3. Your Cubicle Is On The Poorest Spot That You Hardly Knows The Weather Outside




Solved. Now you can stay forever inside your cubicle. The tool automatically detects your location and serve you with the current and forecasted weather condition.


4. You Spent So Much Time Logging Into Different Email Accounts Only To Find Out No One Sent You Anything



Solved. Preserve your ego. Now you can bundle ALL your emails together to check for updates. Oh, you can even play a sound too if you receive a new email. May not be worthwhile to read though.


5. You're Too Paranoid To Abuse Your Workstation By Browsing The Internet



Oh come'on. No body's going to tell. And nobody's going to find out too with this quick nifty button to clear your browsing trail. Solved.

*****
Stop looking like a fool. Go ahead and download the toolbar for free. No spyware, malware or any Tupperware for that matter.

Toolbar hosted by Conduit, please view the Trusted Download Program Certificate here.

It's easily configurable (lots of other features) and shrinkable. You can uninstall it anytime. Give it a try.

On a related note, it's been a year since Black Zedd first wrote in this blog, so I would like to thank all of you for reading, bookmarking and linking the Basic Literature. Keep it real folks...




Now get back to work. Your boss is waiting for the damn report.
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Managers! Observe The Blue Eye System!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Are you a manager? Then you have to follow the norm- pick a bozo from your pool of subordinates, and treat them as your favorite. Because the corporate management arena work using the Blue Eye System, where you MUST have an incompetent blue-eyed boy or girl.


Why?

You need someone to remind you that you're still in charge
Having someone who nods to your every decision is a great way to do that. Because most of your staff is clever enough to think you're incapable of making any good decision.

You need someone to share your bullshits
Managers sometimes suffer inferiority complex, a state where they're short of distinguished accomplishments to bolster their self-esteem. So are you, so you need someone who nods in excitement to every bullshit you created (to make you feel good)- like the story back then when you were in high schools..

You need the false sense of competency
It's an open secret that you don't have to be smart or competent to be a boss. So you need something to feel like you're one of those competent stars. What is better than having such looser sticking around and praise you all the time?

You need to do less work
The blue eyed boy/girl will go to great lengths in securing this promising position (it can result to promotion, raise etc..), so they'll respond to your every request with 'Your Wish Is My Command'. They'll run all your personal errant. And even fetch you at the airport, which is handy during your midnight arrivals.

*****

Unlike me, I don't have anyone particular as my favorite subordinate. Because I'm so competent, I don't need them. But hey, if there's someone who is more capable than me, they can replace me as the new CEO.

But of course after I struck a deal with them that will leave me a couple of billion dollar richer. Does Golden Handshakes ring a bell?
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Your Friends, Your Email And The Stupidity

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I'm sure you spent hours everyday going through your email. Do you know your mailbox is an excellent tool to measure the level of stupidity of your friends?


Just count how many of your friends are abusing the saying 'Sharing Is Caring' and blindly forward every possible email they receive.

Okay, then maybe you like some of those emails, like the humor and funny jokes to keep you lighten up in contrast of your doomed career. And those motivational slide shows to disorientate you from the fact that you hate your job.

But how about the stupid email about Bill Gates who's sharing his fortune? Or the absurd email about how the sun will rise continuously for 1 and half days this month? Or any of these collection of hoax emails that people like to forward endlessly?

If MOST of your inbox are filled with those kind of craps, than it's safe to conclude that your friends are a bunch of gullible idiots.

But wait..

"Birds of a Feather Flock Together"


..which means, by befriending them, you're an idiot too. Ooops.

p/s: if you're also guilty of forwarding those emails, I'm astounded by the fact that you're reading this blog.
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The Economic Crisis: A Stupid Self Fulfilling Prophecy

Thursday, October 2, 2008

In the recent weeks' tragedy, following the fall of Lehman Brothers, there were fears that a second Great Depression is brewing. While analysts desperately try to allay those fears by telling people not to panic, it's hard to calm down.

Obama Pictures and McCain Pictures

We're in a deep economic problem. And literally, 'economic problem' is caused by scarcity. But like the oil crisis, it's not the scarcity of resources. In today's world, it's the scarcity of thoughts.

Just look at the current scenario. To respond to the current economic crisis,


...the public is withdrawing their deposits
They freak out and pull out their money from the banks to 'prevent potential losses'. But we're in a middle of the credit crisis- and we need more deposits to keep the economy moving.

Q: Isn't by withdrawing the money, we're making the situation worse?

A: We don't care.


...and the banks are laying off their employees

Banks are laying off their workers to secure their 'long-term presence' and 'market strength'. They're reacting lightning fast to the recent crisis, dumping valuable manpower that took stages of interviews just for them to consider hiring.

Q:How on earth by reducing your manpower in 2 weeks can you retain your market for 2 decades?

A: We don't care.


.....while people are fighting against the bailouts

because they think it's stupid to hold government (and taxpayers) responsible for corporate companies' troubles. They prefer to let the ailing corporations succumb, along with the rest of the economy.

Q: Can a broke corporation save you from economic collapse?

A: We don't care.



...and the Congress?

The congress rejected the bailout bill, only because of partisan influences. And for heaven's sake, it was fellow Mr. President's Republicans who went against the bill.

Q: Can we jeopardize the global economy just because of a speech?

A: Yes we can!


*****

We're facing a prophecy of doom: an economic meltdown.

But what's interesting is the extent of our stupidity is so great, it seems this prophecy will be self-fulfilling.


Luckily there's CEOs and consultants like me- the wise people who insists on golden handshakes and parachutes. Because this is economy. Someone must profit out, from this scarcity.
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Seminars: Types of Attendees

Friday, September 26, 2008

Going to a seminar? Here's a fun thing to do instead of sleeping. Take the seat on the last row, and start identifying these types of seminar attendees.


The nerdy

They're located on the front row, even they arrive late. This is because the front row will always be reserved for these type of people (unintentionally). Usually these people wear glasses. They have the highest tendency to laugh at the speaker's jokes, even if it's not funny at all.

The fussy

They're seated everywhere. It's easy to spot them- they're the one with the most head movement, up and down. This is because they tend to jot down everything the speaker says and written on the slide. They're like the reporter.

The sleepy

They always arrive late. They'll avoid sitting in the first and the last row. They'll find the blind spot to sleep, avoiding the hot zone like those seats next to the isle. They'll try to hide behind the head of the people seated in-front, staying away from the speaker's line of sight.

The noisy

They're audible- whenever the speaker ask a question etc, their voice is the loudest. They will respond to every single question, being sarcastic at times, but when the speaker ask to raise hand (in order to answer), they'll shut up immediately. And not respond.

The nosy

They're the ones who like to ask question- whenever there's an invitation for a question, they'll be the first one to raise hand. If they walk to the mic, they'll open their question with a lengthy statement- enough to qualify as a seminar on its own. Most of their questions can be considered as an irrelevant, silly question.

The arty

They usually occupy the back-row. Their attendance is only possible because of a mandatory order by their superiors. They tend to to take notes, but actually they're trying to sketch the speaker (without success). They'll also draw objects, including logo and emblem of leading brand-names.

The smarty

They're seated on the back row. They're always looking at other attendees, observing each and everyone's behavior. They'll nod discreetly at times, as if they're agreeing with a point made in their mental note. Sometimes they also shake their head in disbelief, on how accurate a description they read about seminar attendees.

You're looking at another reader of the Black Zedd's Basic Literature. Kudos.
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How To Avoid Helping Your Co-Workers

Friday, September 12, 2008

One of the burden of the office job is when your co-workers come and seek your help- it often ends up with a burdensome task that will result to more workload.


By eliminating the request from your peers alone you will free up a significant amount of work. Here's how you can do it.

Before we begin, set your own cellphone number on your desk phone's speed dial and vice versa.


When your co-worker approaches you to seek your help, follow these steps:


1. Tell him/her "Oh, one minute, I have to make this phone call"

2. Dial an incomplete number. Start talking.

3. When he/she's not looking, speed dial your cellphone number. (Keep talking)

4. Your cellphone will ring. To your fake amusement, answer your cellphone. Tell the imaginary caller that you're busy on another line, ask them to hold.

5. Switch back to your desk phone. Talk.

6. Hang up your desk phone. Continue talking on your cellphone.

7. When he/she's not looking, speed dial your desk phone.

8. Repeat step 4-7 (switch the phone type) until your co-worker becomes bored and leave.



What if your co-worker returns for the second time?




9. Of course, repeat step 1-7.



What if
your co-worker returns for the third time?



10. Do step 1, but dial his desk phone number instead.

11. Your co-worker will return back to his desk to answer the call. Hang up once he/she arrive at his/her desk. (you should keep pretending and talk)

12. Repeat step 10 & 11 every time he/she returns.



What if
your co-worker still return after the 10th time?



13. Call your boss.

14. Pass the phone to your co-worker, telling him/her the boss wants to speak with him/her.

15. Once your co-worker says hello, stomp on his/her foot really hard. Let's hope he/she'll curse your boss and end up getting fired immediately.

Tadaam! One less work today!



Ehem! We're An Equal Opportunity Employer

Monday, September 8, 2008

Welcome to Gobloc Insulting, a marketing consultancy firm.


We give equal opportunity to every people to work in our company, regardless of their gender, race, religion and any characteristic that may be considered for social profiling.

For example, we never discriminate the women.

Just look at the candidate lists for every interviews. We have women being considered for every top management position.

Ehem. Just don't look at the list of successful candidates.

We also never discriminate the minorities.

We never put in 'race' or 'religion' in our application form. We don't want candidates to think that we're discriminating them.

Ehem. That's why we call all of them for interviews- to visually identify and reject the minorities.

Heck, we don't even discriminate the idiots.

We believe potential shouldn't be measured through academic pointers per se. That's why we provide IQ and competency test to all candidates- regardless of their academic achievements.

Ehem. This way we can blind the public from the truth - that we're offering the job to the family members of top management.

*****
Giving opportunity doesn't mean giving the position. Being 'considered' is not the same as being offered. In some cases, it may even sound like an insult.

"We'll consider your application. Thank you"

Sounds familiar?
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How To ab-Use Corporate Blogging

Monday, September 1, 2008

Corporate blogging is the way to go. I always encourage my clients to set up their own company blog, simply because consumers trusted blogs even more than conventional media nowadays.


A blog is more trust-worthy than your press-release or news section because they're likely written by someone not as crooked and deceptive as your PR consultant. It's more personal, casual, less-professional.

The public willingly stick their neck out for blogs- providing a more effective channel to push your kool-aid down their throat.

Here I outline 10 surefire way to achieve a PR zen through your corporate blog:

  1. Always post using names of your employees. For better result, use the name of the CEO. It will create a 'perceived' down-to-earth image. Another point for PR.

  2. People are likely to connect with your organization if they can see real human interactions within. That was how Survivors kicked-off the reality show bandwagon, right? Publish stories of your employees that are related to your target market. For example, if your business targets mothers, create news about employees giving birth. It will foster affinity to your organization.

  3. Human tends to unite around a cause when tragedy struck. So, publish false happening around the office to elicit sympathy, like "Mary our R&D director just loss her only son in a freak accident"..anything that can garner compassion. It will gain you more followers to your blog. Plus the spillover effect from the compassion will neutralize any resentment towards your company.

  4. The more frequent you update your blog, the more people will tune in to follow. More posts will provide more rooms to repeat your false conscience for the environment and to your public. Remember: use this to REinforce your phony principles.

  5. Once in a while highlight fake e-mails from your customers. Some of those emails should be negative in nature, but highlights how your organization solve their problems and turns the complainer into satisfied, loyal supporter.

    Consumers trust bloggers. Abuse the trust.

  6. Form up a special committee of 'independent bloggers' that consists of your paid staffs to set up their own blog and publish writings on how good your company and products are. Remember to conceal their true identity at any cost.

  7. Make it compulsory for EVERY employee to comment POSITIVELY on every post from their home using fake names. The IP distribution will help in increasing the Alexa ranking- providing false signal that your corporate blog is indeed popular.

  8. Plant links in the committee members' blog, using effective keywords as the anchor text, such as 'the company that care about the environment' etc... Also harass those do-follow blogs (spare mine) with comments linking to the corporate blog to get more PR juice.

  9. Form up another committee, the 'Digg and StumbleUpon brigade' to digg/thumbs up your postings and bury/thumbs down posts from other competing blogs. This is a measure to promote your blog even further. [source]

  10. Reply to comments with "Thanks for your interesting input. We'll definitely discuss them in our next incoming meeting" and mentally replace the reply with "Yeah right, suckers!"
Just follow these simple steps and you're on your way to a new hight in corporate credibility.
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Do You Have What It Takes To Be A C.E.O.?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Based on the Product-Moment Correlation Coefficient study done on media interviews with today's top CEOs, I've designed a test to determine your tendency to be a C.E.O.


The test was derived from the variables most common among these high-flyers, reflected from their answers from interviews with various business publications.

Confirm your grim future by taking the following test.


i. Do you read books?
[Yes/No]


Top CEOs always brag about the books they read. No, those are not your sham e-books, outdated textbooks or on-line types of readings. It's the actual, physical and picture-less books that may take a whole decade for couch-potatoes like you to finish.


ii. Are your hobbies conventional? [Yes/No]

Top CEOs always indulge in exotic hobbies, passionately. Like Norio Ohga, the former CEO of Sony- he's a conductor for an orchestra. Or Bill Ford, the former CEO of Ford Motors- he owns a black-belt in Karate. Other examples include polo, yachting and sky-diving. If your hobby is merely golf- go fly kite.


iii. Do you read philosophy? [Yes/No]

Every top CEO knows their way around when it comes to philosophical senses. They quote philosophers more often than they mention any corporate bigwigs. If you think Plato is a highland, think again- about your career path.


iv. Is your idol still alive? [Yes/No]

Top CEOs always admire ancient figures as their role models. Like Marcus Aurelius. Or Napoleon . If you consider present-day corporate magnates like Donald Trump as your idol, your cubicle will be your only legacy.


v. Do you watch Bloomberg? [Yes/No]

Top CEOs love scrolling news/stock tickers. If you consider those scrolling items around your TV screen as nuisance, get a life. Out of the corporate world.


vi. Are you fat and healthy? [Yes/No]

Top CEOs always trim down. They jog. They exercise. But they're not that healthy. Common health issues would be high-blood pressure, heart attack and occasional diabetic complications. If you're fat, you're out. If you're healthy, wait till another 10 years.

*****

Those are the common chracteristics of top CEOs, apart from being competent. You're not competent. And if most of your answers to the above questions are negative in nature, you're helpless.

Read this blog more to boost your confidence- there are lots of other devious means to be a CEO.

The first step?



Don't be yourself.
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How To Steal Money From Loyal Customers

Thursday, August 21, 2008

If you haven't heard about Pareto's 80-20 principle, I'll explain it, simply: 80% of things are contributed by 20% of the group.

The smallest proportion contributes the most

In marketing, most of the time, 80% of sales come from 20% of your customers. Which means, 20% of your customers are loyal customers who will repeatedly purchase your product and contribute up to 80% of your revenue base.

Pareto's Law also means 80% of your customer base are clever enough not to make you richer by more than 20%.


Bringing into perspective, 20% of your customers are dumb enough to keep buying your products. So identify these pathetic lots and keep disorienting their conciousness by implementing some of these steps:

1. Personalized service

They'll be happy if you greet them with their names. They'll feel an 'honest connection' building between your business and their sorry souls if you can address their personal details, their preferences and their previous purchasing records...

...when all you care about is squeezing more money from their banks by investing on advanced CRM software and a little bit of 'because we care' acting.

2. Membership premiums

They'll be happy if you treat them special. Give them glossy plastics named 'Membership Card'. Provide special services to these members. Because they're so naive to think they're treated exclusively...

...when you actually automatically offer the membership to every single customers free of charge. But it'll work because loyal customers are dumb enough to think they're specially selected.

3. Special offers

They'll be happy if you promote a product that might be of their interest. They'll be happy if they get a newsletter highlighting the latest offer based on their previous purchases....

....where in fact all you're trying to do is hard-selling junk products that is a bitch to clear from the shelves. And match the product to those unfortunate loyalists by chances.

4. Customer reward schemes

They'll be happy to admit they're savvy consumers by spending more. Reward their purchase by offering discounts if they purchase more. Tell them "You'll get $100 in discounts if you purchase the next product"....

....where they're so dumb that they will literally translate the statement using only the first 3 words....and act quickly.


*****

These are some elements I used in crafting Customer Loyalty Programs for my clients. Of course there's more, but I think you're the 80% who is smart enough to figure out that I'll be 20% poorer if I divulge my whole 'trade secrets'.
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15 Tips For Your First Day At Work

Thursday, August 14, 2008


If you're facing your first day at a new workplace, follow these tips closely to spring your career potential full steam.

1. Arrive on-time (not earlier)
And explain to your new colleagues: "People who come in early does not understand what sharp and punctual mean" What a great first impression it will leave.

2. Bring some documents from home
And slip in some magazines to read. First half of the day will be boring because they just don't know what task to assign you. They'll torture you with employees handbook and other propaganda material.

3. Don't tell people you're excited with the new job
It will cheapen your value. They should feel excited having you.

4. Don't remember names
It's just not cool. See above.

5. Identify the key characters
There will always the loved (the diligent employees) and the despised (infringed lazy bastards) seniors. Stick with the latter to make yourself feel better.

6. Don't get optimistic
If you're seeing professionalism among your new peers, remember they can't act that well for more than a day.




7. Don't do follow-ups with the admins and IT personnel
Because the sooner you get the access card/workstation/stationaries/passwords, the earlier you have to start working.

8. Don't jump the gun trying to impress people
...with your talent and capabilities. Remember, the less capable they perceive you, the less work they'll assign you. You got the job already right?

9. Don't ask questions

The more you know, the less excuse you have to defend yourself once you make mistakes. Remember, it's not a question of 'if', it's 'once'.

10. Skim your boss' room
And identify his interests and achievements. That way you know which subject you can complement and praise him in your quest as an ultimate ass-kisser.

11. Show signs of poverty
Don't flaunt your wealth, convince them you're a poor guy to avoid treating your colleagues to lunch once you claim your first month's paycheck.

12. Identify other fellow newbies
And own them. It'll be handy when you go to the induction class/course - for covering your absenteeism.

13. Don't leave your desk too often
Or your seniors might steal your shiny new office equipment/furniture/supplies out of envy.

14. Check internet connectivity
Because you may not read this blog if your new company restricts internet connection. If that happens, remember iBypass. Or read this blog through your email here.

15. Leave on time. (Not later)
Trust me, it's the only day you can go back on time.



Case Studies: Being a Creative Capitalist

Monday, August 11, 2008

When I received my August 1st Time Magazine's issue in my mailbox, I was quickly drawn upon the familiar face on the glossy cover- it's the former #1 billionaire, Mr. Bill Gates. The PC tycoon personally did a write-up, covering the subject he mastered so greatly- capitalism.

A quote from his opening paragraph:

How To Fix Capitalism

In these tough times, it's easy to forget that during the past century, the world has gotten better. But billions have not been able to benefit from the capitalism's miracle. Here's how to help them..

Read the annoying multi-page on-line edition here.

He suggested 'Creative Capitalism' as a mean to serve the market. The ability to create new approaches to expand the reach to a wider people- to increase the span of capitalists' 'miracle'- that's what can be done to help more people.

Well, we're definitely on the same page here. Here are some case studies on how I told my clients to be creative in conducting their businesses:


Creative Diverting

When a timber company approached me for a help in facing the growing global warming protests, I told them to creatively divert those protest. Go to the government. Lobby them. Bribe them. Donate to their campaign fund. Ask them to support the business as another crucial effort to sustain human life. The protest then shifted to the government, while the company continued to make hefty profit from clearing the forest.


Creative Yelling

When a cosmetic company told me they're facing a growing Attention Deficit Disorder and advertisement fatigue among the consumers, I told them to be more creative in finding places to slot ads. Conventional media like billboards can attract consumers , but its message retention rate will be poorer by the day. So put the ads where the customers can't turn away. Paint the whole train. Sponsor a stadium. Or maybe in the future, paste ads on people's foreheads.


Creative Fibbing

When a pharmaceutical producer came to me about their lack of product credibility, I immediately asked them to find several desperate doctors and pay them to be the ambassador for the product. It doesn't matter whether the product works or not- or whether the expert really knows what he's talking about. It's the assurance from someone 'outside' your company that matters.



Creative Sabotaging

Repeat purchases by your current customers are what you should aim for. But what if you only have one or limited product ? When a computer hardware company asked my advice, I told them to creatively design the product so that it'll fail sometime later. And inform the customers that the failure is another natural wear and tear. An upgrade or replacement is then needed. As a result, a repeat purchase.


Creative Stunning

When a telco company approached me to solve their customer phone support woes, I asked them to adopt a more creative method. Instead of having their customers waiting for hours before someone talk to them- use the automated answering machine with sexy voices to immediately pick-up any calls. Give them hundreds of options to select, in the name of 'more effective system'. Play soothing song in between. That will keep them occupied before an actual human being is available to talk to.


*****

When Mr. Gates mentioned 'miracle' in capitalism, you now see how I concur with his view. The power to agonize people, without them realizing, is a miracle indeed.
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10 Reasons Why Theory Y is a Lie

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

For sure you've heard about the Theory X and Y management styles. There's even theory Z, but then I don't think it fits the continuum of the first 2 theories to be relevant.


Let's see theory X. Managers who are the proponents of Theory X will ALWAYS assume their workers are lazy and are reluctant towards working. Thus managers need to continuously enforce, monitor and crack their whip on these workers.

Theory Y managers are the complete opposite. They will always assume the best out of their employees, seeing these people as independent, reliable and self-driven employees. Encouragement and motivation is the way to go.

Well, I have my own theory. It sounds like this:

There is no such thing as Theory Y.


Why? Because a theory is just a speculation, it only exists so that a more astute observation can qualify or nullify its validity. Oh crap. I don't think you're following me. Let me rephrase.

If something is consistently proven wrong, we shall no longer call it a theory.


You should agree with my view that theory X is the only acceptable theory. After all, you can't assume the best out of yourselves when there's things like these:

  1. You complain about not having any internet connection in office. But when you do get one, 9 out of 10 tabs will consist of entertainment sites.

  2. Your routine morning e-mail activity is mostly spent on reading and forwarding funny chain mails. And the occasional "forward this to get $1 billion in your account" emails.

  3. If you come in late, you will never tell your boss if he didn't realize it.

  4. You're only eager to go to work if your boss is out of town for conferences or holidays.

  5. You felt joy when you're assigned to go out of the office, which you will always drop by someplace not related to your work.

  6. You always wish you have the best desk- the one located near the walls so nobody can see your PC screen. If your cubicle have glasses, you'll paste every schedules available on it so that your sleep will be unnoticed.

  7. You would always ask how much is the salary FIRST if there's a job offer or promotion.

  8. When calculating allowance claims, you will always overestimate. When filing your tax return, you will always underestimate.

  9. The only reason you keep track of your projects and deadlines is to identify the time when you can sit back and relax.

  10. You never talk about work in the cafeteria. You will always whine about them.
So let's admit that there's no such thing as a motivated, self-driven, ambitious and trustworthy employees. At the end of the day, all you ever care for is bringing the most money home - by doing the least work possible.
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Blog Commercialization is Imminent!

Monday, August 4, 2008

I've never slap any adverts in my blog before, but since I owe a lot to the capitalists' ideologies, I'm about to change that and screw the unfortunates with intrusive, obtrusive and annoying advertisements.

Not that I need the money badly, but I believe if you can't come out with something that you need, your incapability must be penalized. This is how 'equilibrium pricing' works anyway.

In months to come, you'll be harassed with adverts which will tremendously effect your browser loading time, your focus on the content and subsequently your mood for the day.


Thus this is a great time for you to actually learn what RSS subscription is so you can read my writing without actually being here.


Video: RSS in Plain English


Subscribe to my full feeds through a feed-reader, or read my writing through your email. I will not spam you nor sell your address to anybody.


Subscribe Through Your Feed Reader
Read my blog using a feed reader (or even your web browser)

OR

Have my writings delivered
to your inbox.

Put in your email address.

I will not spam you.

Existing subscribers don't have to resubscribe.
(Thanks Avatar for bringing this up)

But of course I will not let you get away that easy. By reading my writing in someplace else, you will miss some planned features for this site (like the new upcoming Sidenotes), which will be only available if you come here and suck those ads. If you're curious what those features are, check this blog more often then.

New Address:
www.blackzedd.com

As the first step towards my evil plan, Black Zedd's Basic Literature is now streaming from a new address: www.blackzedd.com. All old links will be redirected to this domain.

For you people out there who are struggling to remember my address and type 'Black Zedd' in Google's search bar (I know), now you don't have any excuse to do so. Just type Black Zedd, add the typical dot com (or press CTRL + ENTER) - and voila!

Some changes will take place from time to time to accommodate this wicked strategy. If you're accustomed to my writing, you'll know the suffering is an exaggeration. But then stock valuations also work this way.

You should have seen this coming. Resistance is futile.

Thank you for reading Black Zedd's Basic Literature, the place where you learn that the truth about corporate world and your faith on humanity will always have an inverse relationship.
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Career Advice for Call Center Executives

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Oh crap. This past week my ISP have decided to irritate me, everything becomes so slow, my internet speed is measured in light-years.

When I called their customer call center, not surprisingly, my complaints have fallen to deft ears. Just to make myself happy, I told the guy I'm a renowned consultant and I'll share my career advice with him. He concurred to listen.


"Happiness is a distant feeling"

Unlike those advertisements where call center executives are beaming with smiles answering calls, the following fact remains true: customers like me will never call you to sing a praise, to congratulate on a job well done, nor to share our joy for your services.

I will only call to whine, complain, grumble, curse, abuse, and "I want to talk to your manager."

Caption: A scene from heaven


"I will only know you for the wrong reason."


Even you're answering my call using the standard "Hi my name is ......, what can I help you" - if you did a good job to satisfy me, all you have is your sorry hand to pat your back.

Because if callers like me took an effort to remember your name, we will only use it to report your incompetence to your boss. So the most pat will come from your supervisor's hand. And it will be on your forehead.


"I am not the only one you say 'hello' to"


The best thing about consumers like me is that we're full of determination. I'll make a point to solve my problem. And guess what? I call during night-time and weekends.

Because your company will never let the answering machine proves its worth, you'll work in rotating shifts! Say hello to uncertainty, along with any plan with your peers and loved ones. "I'll have to wait for the next roaster to come out" you say with a glimpse of hope. But when it do come out, all you gonna say is "Hello disappointment!"


"Your company love me more than they love you"


Oh yes. So whenever heated arguments take place, you will always be on the receiving end of the blame. I'm the divine, righteous and godly creature. I'm free to curse you anything.

You're wrong, and you will always be. Because I'm the customer. And according to any customer service bible, I'm always right. You're the Satan.


"Your future is bleak"


Call centers are technologically-improved and geographically independent, so more and more 'cost-savvy' companies are outsourcing their services to India, the place with abundant of cheap manpowers who are well-versed in English. So go look for another job.


*****

After I was finished with my advice, the chap on the line paused momentarily. "I hate you, but I'm starting to hate my job even worse" His fake energetic tone had faded.

"That's because my advice is leukemia my son. Yes, the truth can be damaging. In the corporate world, it will always be."
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How To Handle Complaints

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Customer complaints are annoying and irritating. If you're on the supply side of doing business, complaints are like your staple food. Here's some of responses I recommend for you guys facing the wrath of customers:

Blame other department.

Blaming other division of your business is good. It projects the image that you're the competent star among your company's pool of slackers. "If I'm the one assembling this product for you, I'll make sure you're smiling to your ears".

"Sorry this happens to you, I'll give them a good shove in the butt so they'll remember this mistake" It'll give them a better peace of mind. A fake one.

Blame the top management.

This is a different trick from above, where you project yourself as a sorry victim of your company's ruthless management.

"We've told them this feature will be disastrous, but they won't listen. At the end of the day, we're just a wimp trying to make a living here". Sympathy will soften their anger a bit.

Blame the uniqueness of the case.

"I say, we've never encountered this situation before. Yours is very unique. We need more time to rectify this." will actually make the complainer feel more exclusive, as if the whole company is now working hard just for his lone whining. May even result to higher satisfaction.



Blame own inexperience.

This is an old classic. "I'm sorry, I am new here." Of course they'll blame your company for fielding such noob in the line, but hey. As long as you're safe, it's all right. Right?

Blame the customer.

This is a perfect mirror. It deflects the ray back to them. "Sir, with all due respect, we think you've done something that jeopardized the product". Of course they'll be more defensive than ever, but your company is the one producing those product/services, you should know better about them.

Create something that's even remotely possible, get some ideas by interviewing the complainer. There's always common mistakes around. Use them. Like how auto insurance companies use in the case of a theft.

"If you sleep in your car, this wouldn't happen. This is negligence on your part. Your fault."


Blame humanity.

And quit your job. Because there's bozos who just like to complain, even for trivial things. Things that can be solved if they take half a second and think.
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Uninspiring Quotes for Your Career

Monday, July 21, 2008

**********

"Ability is of little account without opportunity."
Napoleon Bonaparte

Whatever your talent is, it's useless if you're not the best @ss-kisser around.

**********

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
Margaret Mead

Because the majority of people are whining idiots, the probability you're one of them is always higher.

**********

"In the modern world of business, it is useless to be a creative original thinker unless you can also sell what you create."
David Ogilvy

Tell your bright ideas to your boss, and the higher management will be impressed with him/her, not you.

**********

"In dreams and in love there are no impossibilities."
János Arany

Because your dreams are crushed and love turns into hatred every time your boss makes a decision, everything in your career becomes impossible.

**********

"The true worth of a man is to be measured by the objects he pursues."
Marcus Aurelius Antoninus

You're worthless if your boss didn't know what you pursue, you're a threat if he/she knows what it is. Either way, by trying to prove your worth, you'll become more worthless.

**********

"Good management is the art of making problems so interesting and their solutions so constructive that everyone wants to get to work and deal with them."
Paul Hawken

Keep whining about your salary to the management. It will be within their interest. Duh.

**********

"We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done."
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Talent is nothing once you've screwed up.

**********

Beware of thinkers whose minds function only when they are fueled by a quotation.
Emil Cioran

So if you're thinking of opening your presentation with a famous quotation, shut up.


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Fight The Monday Blues. Or Not.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Everybody is familiar with this day- it's a day when zombies rise from their death, walking aimlessly looking for things to remind them the suffering is real.

It's a day when your cubicle mood reaches the weekly low, it's a day when you just wish sleep-walking is a synonym for 'auto-pilot'. You wish all work is done without doing any work.


There's decent pointers around to counter this phenomenon, but seriously..being lazy by default, the last thing you would want to do is deceiving your unconscious soul to wake up.

Mundane Monday is a must. Even if you can temporarily disable the lethargic aura and face the day with your false sense of optimism, there's some 50 Mondays waiting next.

You know persistence is never your middle-name, and before you know it, the next Monday you will always realize that:

  • You spend an entire week just to rest for (at most) 2 days. Without any excuse to switch your cell-phone off.

  • Sluggishness becomes the one only similarity between you and all your colleagues.

  • You wish everyone's office is next door from their home. The morning traffic is unbearable.

  • You regret the way you spent your weekend- thanks to your standard 'How's your weekend?' pitch to start the ho-hum ball rolling.

  • You have a greater urge to be the boss, after watching his morning tardiness often went unpunished.

Don't fool yourself. Your body knows the truth whichever mean you use to cloak them. You had your break the day before, the lag will always be there when you start your working day again. It's the inertia effect. And I've even profited from it.

Don't be a hypocrite. Let's counter this Monday Blues using a more direct way - let's break this curse on Monday, let there be no more negative feeling on this very day.

Here's my ultimate prescription for you to weed off the effect of Monday Blues once and for all:











Work 7 days a week.



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Should You Work In Big Corporations?

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Lots of corporate aspirants favor big giant companies when they decide who to work for. Although generally a better paymaster, are big companies a right place to spring your career?


Because when you work in companies with so many people....


Rules will always be broken....

... by someone on a daily basis. And so does the HR efforts to cover the loopholes. And company guidelines will change every other day. And you'll be left in the limbo, because when you start to refer to the employee handbook for pointers, they are already outdated. I mean, who wants to reprint thousands of those useless guide that no one seems to care about except the Domestic Inquiry panel?

What you'll accomplish: Discover "I didn't' know that...." doesn't work.


Haywires are bound to happen...

...which HR advocates have found a way to deal with them. It's called the 'effective organizational structure' with a trillion chains of command and hierarchies of authority. Which means you're 1000 superiors away from impressing your C.E.O. Which means you're probably reporting to someone that's out of power to even say 'I think you're doing a good job'.

What you'll accomplish: Ability to work without recognition.


Repetitive task will be more appalling....

..and something must be done to minimize the problem of having millions of idiots doing 1 same work. That's why someone decided to find out who Adam Smith is and some reading later, 'job specialization' was born. Which means you'll be so specialized in a single work, and doomed to do the same routine task every day for years.

What you'll accomplish: Better understanding of a Zombie.


Everything seems to be standardized....

.....because it's hard to play fair if you're dealing with whiners, more so if they exist in thousands. Management can't grant flexibility to one department without employees in another crying out favoritism. So no. No special treatment. You're entitled to the same employee rights, claim rates, benefits and compensation tiers as the weakest looser in the entire company.

What you'll accomplish: First hand experience of "We are an equal opportunity employer"


Cost is a big factor....


....because big corps tends to have a big appetite for operational cost. Hence the micromanagement of expenditures (but not in employee satisfactions). So every simple proposal will have to go through millions of different committees before you can even start to consider calling them a proposal.

What you'll accomplish: Learn new jargon - "To Propose a Proposal"


Geographical placement is crucial.....


....that's why big corporations are often nestled inside one big building. If modern architecture is correct, parking spaces will never be built to match the number of occupants inside. So there's always short of parking spot, which means either you have to come the night before to secure a parking lot, or start calling roller-blade your car.

What you'll accomplish: Sharpen the road rage talent


Office antiques are more intensified...


..because when there's so many actors, the office drama will have a wider variety of scenes, so your life will always be filled with new chapters of gossips, smears, conspiracies, bullies and social quarantines.

What you'll accomplish: Higher potential to play a leading role- the naive victim.


******

There you have it. Now take a look at these Fortune 500 companies. Avoid them. If it's too late already, STOP BRAGGING about your company. Because now we all know that big corporations suck - big time.

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