Thursday, January 28, 2010

A Peek At The Peak

This afternoon, I spent an hour on Mt. Everest. I made it all the way to the summit. That's right...I "summited". In an hour. Because that's a verb. Wanna know how I did it? With team work. Team work that includes an "I", because for some reason - I was told that it does. That the "I" is just as important as all the other letters. A concept I had trouble wrapping my head around because of what it does to the analogy.

And that's what this meeting was. One
giant analogy...no pertinent information. I HATE meetings like this. My company is making some changes that could be considered cool, if you cared about such things - and I thought this was going to be our opportunity to get more information on just what "changes" would entail. Instead we got an hour of PowerPoint slides of Everest - of the camps on Everest, of the white people climbing Everest and of the sherpas helping the white people climb Everest. And how the metaphor of the summit applies to not only our professional lives, but to our personal lives. Because we need to live in a world where anything's possible.


There are no quotation marks, but this is almost verbatim. It was nice to learn, albeit belatedly, that our benefits include unsolicited life coaching.

This isn't the first time this has happened. In the past - these gatherings have included references to how we must all drink the Kool-aid. It's what keeps us together, etc. Disturbing. I can't help but wonder if the executives understand exactly what happened at the end of that story. Because if they did, I feel certain they would agree that such a metaphor is inappropriate. Always.

This is how the cynicism bulb gets nourished into a full bloom. I've been maintaining my full bloom for so long, I really only have about 1/4 of my soul left. The rest of it has been sloughed off here and there on the way up to the summit.


13 keep(s) me blogging:

Brendan said...

You forgot the part about how getting to the top of the personal/professional mountain includes traversing the "death zone."

kara said...

that's the zone where mama better get a raise.

Charlie said...

I snoozed during all of our motivational meetings, and I was motivationally fired.

But at least I have my soul intact.

The Future said...

You know those analogies worked 20-25 years ago when people were more gullible or naive. Maybe someone had their old presentation sitting around and decided to recycle. Just think of it as being very, very green. Kind of like bellbottom pants, the "Peace" sign and platform shoes.

Robert the Skeptic said...

I remember at work when the manager discovered "Certificate Maker". Every meeting someone would get handed a certificate for some stupid-ass achievement. I would put mine directly in the recycling bin on my way back to my desk.

I like what Woody Allen said: "95% of success in life is just showing up".

Gorilla Bananas said...

It sounds like the kind of pep talk that Masai warriors get before going on a lion hunt. Don't be the sap who throws the first spear - that's the one who gets mauled.

Stinkypaw said...

I hated those when I worked for a big corp. so much time (and money) wasted... argh.

Orhan Kahn said...

We have mountains here in Sydney, they would eat you before breakfast. And spit your "Cool-Ade" in your face. Then send a bunch of snakes after you.

We also have beaches.

kara said...

charlie - they fired you to motivate you or themselves?

future - and email!

dad - i know they do that at other companies. i think i would just crumple them up.

goranas - do i LOOK like sap? hells no.

stinkypaw - and yet...no christmas party.

or - our mountains explode. beat that.

AxAtlas said...

i recall watching Touching the Void in a theater with friends out of boredom. it was a packed theater and we were surrounded by white dudes in business suits and their stepford wives. i only saw two mountain climbing looking dudes there.
Oh and it sounds like you were given an engaging presentation that synergizes the cultivation of mission-critical portals; thus yacking up the most annoying and vague and trite taglines like "Work hard! Play hard!" or "The difference is our people".

rachelslessonslearned said...

OMG lol

I thank my lucky starts I dont work in that kind of corporate environment! we get pizza and donuts instead of motivational powerpoint speeches.

of course, now that im gluten-intolerant, that doesnt sound so grand any more.

ah poo. wheres my demotivational poster?

Mary Witzl said...

My sincere sympathies, Kara.

At my job, we're 'all one big family'. One of these days I'd like to leave my dirty socks in someone's locker to test the theory.

Auri said...

Amen... part of why I got out of management... I got so sick and tire of all of the PC, analogous bullshit. And they make you say it. Or at least I allowed them to make me say it (I guess).
Next time you should act like you're taking notes and instead be writing your top 10 list of people you'd like to off =)
Off being a verb (of course)