Pumpkin Seeds: Anti-Corporate America Edition
1. In a bizarre turn of events in the Yummy Sandwich saga, I bumped into its President/Owner, Avi, on Tuesday afternoon as I was heading out for lunch and a walk in the park. He was standing out in front of my office building, wearing a Yummy Sandwich t-shirt, and stopped me, asking my name with a gleam in his eye. It took a second for my brain to process everything as I answered, "Guy. Why? Are you kidnapping me?" He laughed and we talked and he apologized for the infamous Powerpoint presentation, "We’re a new company and we’re making a lot of mistakes but we didn’t mean to offend anyone." He explained the “illegal immigrants” line as trying to quell landlords’ fears of security and lamented the difficulty of trying to simultaneously appeal to CEOs, employees and landlords. Apparently, they’re still in our building but he says a combination of inconsistency and my complaint to HR about their presentation got them the boot from our offices. He was surprised when I told him no one from HR had ever addressed my complaint directly, not even so much as acknowledging receipt of the email. He says they’re updating the presentation based on the things I sent them last week and I suggested they either take it off the website or password-protect it. Jus from a business perspective, it’s crazy to have it out there for competitors to access and cherry-pick. He was a nice guy and seemed sincere. The fact that he was in uniform, actually working the cart was appealing, too. He gave me a free sandwich – which yes, was pretty yummy – and I told him I’d write something complimentary.
2. Dear Diana Taylor: If you happen to come across my journal while searching for info on Yummy Sandwich, let me assure you that I now believe that, despite their shaky start, they’re fundamentally a good group of people, Avi, in particular. Mistakes are to be learned from, not permanently marked for, and I applaud them for seeing the error of their ways.
3. "Synergy" is one of those corporate buzzwords that usually means someone is about to lose their job. In the interminable restructuring going on here at work, the domino effect has claimed another victim and found me barely dodging the axe. What was presented as a merge of two groups has become a hostile takeover and I'm the last Survivor from Tribe Fucked. Because I’m "highly-regarded," instead of cutting me loose because my position is conveniently being upgraded to a "senior-level" slot, I’m being offered "a great opportunity" - aka a shift to two of our lesser titles and what is effectively a lateral promotion in change of title from Marketing Coordinator to Assistant Promotions Manager. In other words, the new Director wants to assemble her own team and I'll get to handle titles she's already put her imprint on. (There's a pretty reliable rumor that I have that option only because the CEO stepped in on my behalf as a favor to a mutual friend! Thanks, D!) Crap is what it is as I’ve fallen victim to being really good at my job as it was defined in one structure, and not being given an opportunity to make my case as to what I'm capable of doing in the new structure. Actual details are pending, so there's still a possibility I may be looking for a job by the end of next week.
4. Poetry Slam, Inc. has officially sold out. Welcome Clear Channel, that bastion of free speech and individuality, the official sponsor of the 2004 National Poetry Slam. Good news for the entertainers, bad news for the poets. It was fun while it lasted but it's been time for something new for a while now. [UPDATE: Add R.J. Reynolds to the list of friendly corporate citizens sponsoring the event!]
5. It'll be interesting to see how many supposedly socially-conscious poets back out of NPS in protest of Clear Channel's involvement. My guess? ZERO. The lure of potential fame trumps loosely-held ideals every time.