Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Noblesse Oblige

Wow, has it been that many days since I posted? Time flies when you work in Corporate Servitude. That's right folks....tonight's rant is about my job.

I'll start with a little bit of backstory about how I was raised. I was raised by a man who had very specific ideas about how "management" should behave. My Dad worked in a government capacity and he taught me many things that are still with me to this day. Here are some of the highlights:

1. Bosses should NEVER accept birthday gifts from subordinates. It is wrong. If you want to get a card, that is fine. But no subordinate should ever have to spend his/her hard earned money on a boss. Noblesse oblige....look it up.

2. Since his income was provided for by the tax-payer, he said that the vehicle he drove should never raise an eyebrow. For years, they drove the crap American cars that were so prevelant in the 70s.

3. Bosses should never bring their kids stuff to the office to sell. You know, girl scout cookies, wrapping paper, fund-raiser stuff. He thought it was wrong because it made subordinates feel pressure to spend money they couldn't afford to spend. Plus, he believes that the kid should be the one doing the selling, not the parent.

4. You are not going to like everyone in life, and not everyone's gonna like you. Save yourself some tears and get over it now (I was 9 when he told me this).

In 2006, my payscale has changed dramatically. Additionally, my health insurance costs increased dramatically. So, you can imagine my scorn when I found out our CEO bought a Hummer. And, this Ass actually drives it to work. It is wrong on SOOOOOOOO many levels. First off, are you REALLY that insecure???? I mean a Hummer just SCREAMS "LOOK AT ME!!!!!" What, are you trying to prove you are more successful than your brother or your inattentive father??? Why not just splay open your personal psycho-drama in front of everyone??? What's next? HAIRPLUGS????

Ya know, if you wanna have a house in the Hamptons and tootle around in your Hummer, knock yourself out. But if you want to lead "your troops" in corporate America, I suggest you pull your head out of your ass and buy something just a smidge less conspicuous.

And now, a vocabulary lesson for all the CEOs and Upper Management types out there:

nouveau riche

Learn 'em! You might end up being a pretty darn good leader.

Yours in the Bond of Servitude

Shrinking Violet


Blogger DebbieDoesLife said...

I'm sure you feel better now.

My dad was also a government worker. He was all about the "not selling shit at work." so I never won the award for selling the most of anything.

My husband's boss (CEO) has to choose every day if he wants to drive his Mazaratti or his Firarri (sp?) to work. That is when he isn't cruising around on his friggin' yacht.

6:50 PM  
Blogger wordgirl said...

Rich people who make money off the backs of the REAL workers and deem in necessary to drive Urban Assault Vehicles to pick up milk and deodorant from the 7-11. "Stupid As as Stupid Does". I'm pretty sure that's in the Old Testament.

6:55 PM  
Blogger Ditsy Chick said...

Ain't that the truth? On the year we laid off 14,000 people, my CEO earned 35 M in stock options, but turned down his 1M salary - to show solidarity with the peeps.

I think I love your father.

I hate Hummers, they give new meaning to non-functioning status symbols. Yes, I always assume they have small a small penis when the drive one.

7:55 PM  
Blogger Shrinking Violet said...

I can just feel God workin' up a big ole SMITE.

7:04 AM  
Blogger Tink said...

I'll toast to your whole friggin post. The company I work for is run by a family... A family that lives in the richest part of town and drives around in new BMWs every 6 months. They've cut raises, holiday parties, and bonuses. It makes me SICK.

7:29 AM  
Blogger CISSY said...

LOL, my last job the bosses drove very conspicuous foreign-made sports cars, one hummer and luxury cars. In getting to the office, employees walk from their uncovered parking lot through the covered "executive" lot where they can get a good view of what the bosses drive. In addition, an attendant immediately would great them and wipe down their vehicles so they would look pristine when they pull out of said covered lot again. Yep. That was a newspaper parking lot.

9:05 AM  
Anonymous TB said...

I'm sorry about the health care compensation thing. That really sucks.
Your vocabulary list got me thinking. Sadly, it seems to be about a 70/30 split between normal boss/executive types who just want to get through their workday so they can go back to living their real lives, and pompous, arrogant, jerks who are overly concerned with their bank accounts and their lifestyles and unable to relate to anyone beyond talking about their golf game or their stock portfolio.

9:48 AM  
Blogger Plain Jane said...

I'm not very fond of Hummers or the message they send either. It's just ridiculous.

However, there was a phrase coined long ago (and not by me) that often gets repeated, "Good enough for government work.". It's a negative statement (in case anyone missed that) and implies that work good enough for the government is pretty substandard.

That saying, I think I'd want to do better than the government employees and staff that caused that little quip to be brought to life.

If I'm the boss and I have a nice chunk of change to spend, I'm spending it on myself and that might include a nice car (certainly not a damned Hummer though). I won't short change myself just to make the workerbees happy when my employer thought I was worth the salary I earn.

I think staff should be strong enough to say, "No, I can't buy your child's crap/stuff right now, as much as I might like to. Sorry." or maybe just "No, I'm not interested." If you have to worry about backlash for being honest about something like that, maybe it's time to look for a new job. I also believe that kids should be selling the crap, that's the whole point... isn't it?

As a boss, I like getting gifts on my birthday or holiday - and I give really nice ones in return. I can usually tell if someone is trying to suck up to me or is genuinely offering a thought of niceness. Makes a difference to whether I accept or not and no one should feel OBLIGATED to such.

Look at me ramble...

10:09 AM  
Blogger Suburban Turmoil said...

Ha! My PREACHER has a Hummer! He's also an author, and I'm sure (or is it I sure hope?) he bought it with those profits, but still... It just doesn't seem right somehow.

Great post!

11:43 AM  
Blogger Swedish Girl said...

Nothing makes me as angry as big SUVs! Bad, bad, bar car.

12:07 PM  
Blogger The Gradual Gardener said...

I read something a comedian said once, probably in Reader's Digest...it went something like "I was going to buy a Hummer but then I decided it would be cheaper to tatoo 'I NEED ATTENTION' on my forehead."

Not sure who said it, but it sums it up pretty well, doesn't it?

12:40 PM  
Blogger The Queen Mama said...

Your papa was a wise man. I agree with him totally.

My former boss had a houseboat in its own private slip, which I felt was almost as bad as a Hummer.

HATE those things, by the way. Of course, I pretty much feel that way about all vehicles that cost as much as a small house. It's just TRANSPORTATION, people.

12:52 PM  
Blogger Brooke said...

I was a big-wig once (pre-meltdown) for a very large national financial institution and in the same year the company announced it would not be honoring its previous promise of large bonuses (many of which were already spent by most employees), they offered me mine on the sly. Because you know, I was a boss and all.

I was appalled. And I soon quit.

2:13 PM  
Blogger Rock said...

I just want a hummer....

10:02 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Ha! Penis extender! How true. And what an incredible waste of money. Those things aren't even nice. And, I can't figure out how anyone could park it in a normal parking spot.

That sucks that you got hit in the wallet so hard this year.

Would your Dad be opposed if you keyed the bosses Hummer?

11:11 AM  
Blogger mama_tulip said...

Yeah, I have a hard time with company owners who get limo's to pick them up and drive them to dinner while the rest of us you know, drive ourselves or ~gasp~ hail a cab.

12:01 PM  
Blogger Shrinking Violet said...

According to my Dad, never do anything you can't sign your name to...so, if I keyed his car I'd have to sign my name. Funny, my blog is anonymous by preference. But, I'd own up to all of it in a heartbeat!

1:54 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Make sure no one at your office reads your blog. Even though my blog is wide open, you are criticizing the top level. If you really do not like working for this person, Wait until you leave this company, then talk about him.

Your father sounds interesting. I'd love to hear more about him sometime here.

4:53 PM  
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