Goose-stepping. And being consumed by the Borg…


I used a perjorative phrase in a “rah, rah” survey about whether or not my current employer runs “a great place to work”.  It launched me on a mission to show a “goose-stepping” example, without it being all about the Nazi’s.  While my complaint has to do with Germans, it mostly has to do with the clash of cultures.  Their nationality is irrelevant.  What it has to do with in terms of my pet peeve is the destruction of relevancy in the creative process as a reward for work well done.

My newest employer has acquired a whole bunch of startups, and is proceeding to assimilate them with reckless abandon.

If anyone follows the Star Trek universe of theology, the Borg are the worst things to have ever evolved from humanity, and are the death of individuality and creativity.  The end of the human race.  The faceless Borg soldiers below show just how replaceable we all are in their eyes:


Faceless.  Standard size.  Interchangeable.  Soldiers.  Willing to obey orders without input or query.  While I started my career with this firm with strong aspirations, and they still treat me kindly from on high, in a general sense, despite manipulating the numbers to take away a bunch of bonus $ from our team AFTER it was legitimately earned, there is no way can I promote our company a great place to work.

First, I lack the essential gender accoutrements to be taken seriously by my current employer, despite all the tongue wagging to the opposite assurance.  Simply look at who is in charge, and it’s a sausage fest.  Over 100,000 workers world-wide.  Of those 100,000 workers, 18 are on the board and only 1 is a woman?  When assessing their culture for a “global” company, 17 are WASPs, and one is East Indian.  Oh, and he’s a male, too.  They are great with trying to give the appearance of flexibility.

Second, I neither reside in the fatherland, nor in the American hinterland to make it possible to have a career future with this firm.  I just don’t drink enough kool-aid to believe what they are spoon-feeding all of us on a daily basis.  But, the contents of today’s survey were worded such that they know the have a problem and wish us all to fabricate the truth.  Yes, they are just that competitive.  The truth be damned, they want their award.


Finally, I just don’t have the correct lack of passion to pull up a chair, grab some popcorn and revel in the dysfuction like my hinterland comrades:

image  image  image

My favorite this week was the fact that we must all use Microsoft (another body of Borg methodology in a corporation) products for everything, and my laptop crashes about 5 times a day simply because everything is hooked together.  Outlook + Word + Lync + Excel + Skype = system crash … and on and on and on.  So, the question about whether or not I feel I have the necessary tools to do my job is resounding “NO!”

I’m thrilled that we are saving money with voice over IP – I do the same thing at home – but my home service actually works.  Everyone connected to the call can hear and be heard when I use my own VoIP line.  What an incredible concept… there are tools out there that actually work !  They just don’t get manufactured and bundled together by Microsoft.

So, before I got on another failed call with my boss this morning, I had to replace my headset (# 4 since we started using Lync a little more than a year ago).  The MS operating system, in its infinite wisdom, decided that the headset jack would no longer be recognized, and the only way our IT guys could fix it was to give me a new USB headset, and set that up as the preferred port.  Seriously?  2 weeks of calls and troubleshooting comes down to throwing out a headset less than 30 days old to try again  with yet another piece of hardware?  It’s amazing we get anything done.

We may not be ready to goose-step our way into offices all over the world yet, given our own difficulties in geting our Collective tools to function, but it’s certainly NOT for lack of trying.

Don’t you worry though, I’m sure people needing a paycheck will continue to rah rah the company into its present state of mediocrity.  Survey and be damned.  When it comes to the results it gets from the survey for useable information, the company motto appears to be,  “We got this”, despite whatever’s going on behind the curtain.  Sheesh !

At this point, I need my head examined.  I need to find my passion.  This current role isn’t what I signed up to do.  Clearly, I’m not feeling that I’m looking my best in hessians, goose-stepping my way through life.

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