Tuesday, January 27

Keep Calm and Carry On

I do believe that those inspirational workplace posters featuring words like "teamwork" and images of muscular rowers have been unofficially replaced by the "Keep Calm and Carry On" prints that are sweeping the design world. Ever since I joined the American workforce, a very expensive but not altogether useful degree in hand, corporate bigwigs have been chanting this motto between hyperventilated puffs into paper bags. As if acknowledging the obstacles out loud to the workers--we who are far more savvy than we're given credit for--as if actually finally telling us the truth would blindside us, causing us to fly into a frenzy, a confetti of shredded documents fluttering in our wake.

What most of these higher ups and government types fail to remember is that the majority of the people in this country are merely innocent cogs in the big wheel of capitalism. We can't afford to cut and run, because our personal revenue is firmly anchored to regular paychecks, not in stocks that we can sell off for a paltry few million rather than a bazillion dollars, then complain about cutting the maid service from 5 days a week to 3. There are no other jobs waiting for us. I can't go dancing into the arms of another conglomerate to the tune of a cash register ca-ching, taking corporate secrets and an exposé book deal with me.

Now I love me some Vanity Fair, but the article they recently ran on how the economy is affecting--gasp!--the Hamptons (cue Hitchcockian imminent doom music: dun dun duuuuunnn) didn't exactly make me run to the tissue box. In fact, I had to stop reading halfway through because the sheer, unashamed pomposity of these people bemoaning flying first-class rather than on a private jet triggered my barf reflex.

It's almost sad, really, watching all these corporate head honchos, The Big Cheeses of America, desperately (pathetically, really) clamboring for a final moment of indulgence before the tethers of greed finally submerge them in the inevitable mire of exposure. They know that the comeuppance is coming, and what better place to wait for its arrival than at the St. Regis.

Meanwhile, I say a hearty "Whatever, dude" and go on about my business of honest work for a decent wage.


Unknown said...

To add to that - all in the same day I heard a Wall Street CEO whose company received some of the bail out money spent $1.2 million on renovating his own office, and THEN I saw that Citibank (who received bailout money as well so it wouldn't go bankrupt but is still teetering on the brink of it) just purchased a corporate jet . . . because even flying first class must just be too low for them. But, no worries, at the end of the day we ALL get to pay for these things . . . with our tax dollars. Gotta love it.

Maggie May said...

yes. and yes. i looove VF features but they do have an unhealthy obsession with the Hamptons.

Anonymous said...

I have to admit that I like VF too, mostly for Christopher Hitchens, who - while I don't always agree with him - is one of the most insightful and entertaining public intellectuals around.

Dusty @AllThingsG+D said...

Great post Erin. I can barely watch the news anymore--it makes me SICK!

Anonymous said...

I think it rediculous that all these bigwigs whose hidden agendas, closed door policies and don't ask for accountability cry because they have to start acting (although not really) like us mere mortals. I especially loved the exec who was on the job for 3 weeks and got a 6 mill bonus when he was fired. After 20 years of working my butt off for an OIL COMPANY (as Erin previously mentioned), I didn't even get a good bye luncheon like those who left a few months previous. Stop yur crying you greedy gumps and starting paying attention to those who actually do the work for you!


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