Wednesday, August 06, 2008

more than me job's worth, guv

Yesterday I was forced to attend a seminar at work that was so stultifying I would rather have read Twilight aloud to an enraptured group of goth girls. (Seriously, after hearing it was the next Harry Potter, I tried reading it and wanted to fling myself from my balcony. I only live on the second floor, so I doubt it would kill me, but hopefully it would cause just enough brain damage to erase the memory of that infernal book.) I don’t want to give the actual name of the seminar, but let’s just call it Go for the Gold: A Winning Mindset Means a Winning Workplace! The real name was about as dippy and Dilbertian, so this will do nicely as a substitute.

I knew it was gonna suck as soon as I walked into the room and a chirpy blonde with fake tits and a Texas accent said, “Y’all pick any table you want. Might wanna find a friend, ‘cause there’s lots of group activities involved!”


I didn’t recognize anyone I knew---well, anyone I LIKED---so I sat down at a random table. There were several spools of thread and a pile of paperclips in the center, and the mere sight of them filled me with dread.

After introducing herself, Perky started kissing corporate ass. “Now, I’m an independent consultant, but I gotta say that your company is SO awesome, because…” Blah blah blah. She was dishing out propaganda at such an alarming rate that I expected to see Leni Riefenstahl filming from the sidelines.

Button nose sufficiently browned, Perky said, “Now, I bet y’all are curious about those paper clips and spools of thread. What I want you to do is take a piece of thread and tie it to a paper clip.”

I picked up a spool and started yanking on the thread, but it wouldn’t come loose. Knowing full well it wasn’t particularly sanitary, but lacking appropriate tools, and seeing that there was so little thread left that the spool would probably be thrown away after I took my piece, I bit the thread loose.

The woman sitting across from me tsk’d and said, “You could just rip it off, you know.”

Um, did you not see me tearing at it for the last five minutes, bitch? Who am I, Edward Scissorhands? Mind your own damn business before I MacGyver this thread and paper clip into a torture implement.

Okay, you know that game kids play where they take a ring on a chain and say, “Does So-And-So like me? Circle for yes, back and forth for no.” Then the ring starts “magically” swinging? That’s what this was, basically.

“Now y’all weren’t even moving your hands!” Perky cried. “See the power of the MAHND?”

I began mentally compiling Monster search terms.

There was more…yes, there was more. There were group discussions, and there were group activities, and at one point, there was fucking ARM WRESTLING. For some inexplicable reason, I was paired with a beefy-looking man. Neither one of us managed to pin the other, but I’m sure he was going easy on me. I’m not even going to pretend it was because of my intimidating guns, because as a lifelong nerd, I lack upper body strength. I still remember the horrifying rope climbing incidents of junior high, where I’d get about two feet off the floor and then hang there until the PE teacher snapped, “Just get down.”

Finally, after 90 minutes of pep talks and arm wrestling and arts and crafts, we were allowed to leave. I raced back to my cube and consoled myself with DListed and a cookie.