Surviving Customer Service 5

If you’d like a copy of your very own and not wait for it to unfold slowly, wander on over to my store to get one.

There is no “I” in team! Yes, that turns out to be very true. But there’s also no “U” so that means you matter less to your bosses, from the bottom to the top, than a register key and more easily eradicated than a spill in aisle five.
The ‘Team Concept’ of management is the updated version of the company town where the people you worked owned your home and every store in the area which replaced the indenture servant mode of management.

The only differences between the ‘Team Concept’ and indenture servitude are:

1) better public relations

2) fewer public whippings

At least when living in a company town when you passed out in the middle of the street you’d be less likely to get run over and killed. It’s not that the people were any kinder, it’s just that they didn’t want to do their job and yours.
The creation of the ‘Team Concept’ of management began when corporations realized its employees believed the bullshit they were spewing about free thought. Trust me, when your company tells you they like their employees to ‘think out of the box,’ what they really mean is,

‘Boy, you’re sure making it easy for us to keep an eye on you!’

It also gave them an idea. A simple idea that’s been utilized for centuries to control and manipulate: Cults.
If a corporation can mold you into drinking deeply from the cup of commerce then it’s only a short time until you’ll believe working fifty-five hours a week is not only the norm but, because you’re on salary, your duty.

The problem was the word cult has such a bad connotation they had to come up with something that would not only achieve the same effect (unquestioning loyalty) but do so in clean, wholesome manner.

Then it dawned on them. They fill their corporate speak with sports metaphors anyway so why not attach the same passion people have for their sports teams and modify that for their nefarious desires.

So, in a secret lair deep behind a shelf of out-of-date whoopie pies, the heads of the top eighty seven corporations world wide met to hash out what this new mind-control experiment would be called.

Don’t think these people take meetings like this lightly. They knew the decisions made in this room would resonate through generations of customer service representatives until, through evolution, they will once again avoid public relations and get back to the public whippings their fore-managers so enjoyed.

After hours of subsisting on the aforementioned whoopie pies, one enlightened (and legend has it, light-headed) middle manager jumped from the seat with such a stirring delivery in defense of the ‘Team Concept’ that the assembled had no alternative but to fully embrace the ‘Team Concept’ of employee manipulation.

I know what you’re thinking, ‘The ‘Team Concept’ adds fun, excitement and a sense of community into our work-a-day lives.’

Do you know what I’m thinking? No? I’m thinking, ‘I hope I get to you before it’s too late!’

Give me a minute and you’ll see just so eerily similar the connection between cult and ‘Team Concept’ is.

Team Concept: Single-minded attempts to achieve a common and unattainable goal (e.g. a 10% sales growth per hour while reducing staff hours 30%).
Cult: Single-minded attempts to achieve a common and unattainable goal (e.g. gain infinite wisdom and inner peace prior to meeting the common deity).

Team Concept: Build camaraderie through use of oft-repeated phrases, draconian rules, and petty trinkets.
Cult: Build camaraderie through use of group mentality, unwavering loyalty, and totems of power.

Team Concept: If believed you’ll be publicly praised by upper management and rewarded with promotions.
Cult: If believed your kids will beatified through sex with the leader and you’ll get the magical kool-aid recipe.

As you can see, the major differences between the ‘Team Concept’ and signing up for your nearest cult (check the phonebook under ‘whacko’) is how quickly you become morally and emotionally bankrupt and the speed in which you’ll experience death.

But, no matter how good a zombie like demeanor and sudden death sounds, trust me, cults have their down sides too.

So, when a manager calls you a valued member of the team in the middle of a droning incantation, stay strong, fight the power of their shiny words and glittering trinkets. Shake their hands, if you must, look deeply into their eyes unwaveringly and utter the phrase that will allow you unfettered access into a world filled with fewer lies and more with distance between you and this cult like tremor,

“It’s time for my break.”

If you’d like a copy of your very own and not wait for it to unfold slowly, wander on over to my store to get one.


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