Friday, January 22, 2010

The Myth of Corporate Omniscience...

Keith Olbermann’s Special Comment last night discussed at length the Supreme Court’s supremely bad decision to open the floodgates to Corporate Money into the Political Process. While I think the decision was ridiculous on its face, and harmful to the good of the country, I don’t think it’s the end of the world. Why?

Because the Corporations…of which you are so rightly a feared…are going to @#$% it up.

Not might @#$% it up…they will @#$% it up.

I work for a Corporation. I work what you would call a Mega Corporation, one of the largest in America, if not the World. I won’t tell you which one, but I will give you a hint.

People keep talking about too big to fail…well howzabout too big too function? That’s us in a nutshell.

The idea of International Corporations being all knowing, all seeing and thus omniscientis just a damn joke. They can barely handle their own business, much less anyone else’s.

That’s not to say they’re not going to try…but they will always waste time and money in the process...always.

Let me repeat an example I made on TPM Blogs yesterday: the decision to save money, by cutting jobs in IT Support, but laying off a bunch of people in America, and outsourcing those Poland.

It @#$% you…not.

First, the idea of me having a problem in America…calling some dude in Poland to explain my problem...having him or her barely understand the problem...then having said same dude (or dude-ette) call America again to fix that same problem is...

You can’t write comedy this golden.

And let’s not even get into the issue of the language barrier. While, I'm certain that there is a sizeable chunk of the Polish population with good English skills odds are they’ve already been hired to phone bank somewhere (or God forbid were so good, they were promoted off the phones). You’re running this Polish IT Company, you suddenly need to hire a bunch more people…now you have to cull from the B Team of English Speakers. Your new hires step in and start screwing up Service Requests, slowing things down because the people who made the requests can’t get their work done, and--

--okay, I’ll stop.

The point is that a bunch of people on the ground...who don’t work in offices…who, like me, work in cubicles, knew this was a bad idea from jump. It’s not just the fact that we knew some of the people in Corporate IT, we did…they were friends of ours. It’s not just the fact we use to pick up a phone, and someone you knew would come bounding across the street and fix the damn problem. We knew that sooner or later the BigWigs were going to decide this isn’t going to work, and they’d pull the plug anyway and try to hire everyone back. In the meantime, a lot of lives were changed, a lot of money was wasted, and a bad idea that shouldn’t have been enacted…was enacted anyway because it looked good on the bottom line.

This is what you should be afraid of. Not Corporate Omniscience ruling your life like Big Brother, but Corporate Idiocy making a mess of it like the Marx Brothers.

I bear no illusions. The Court's decision was damn dangerous. They’re going to try to get what they want, when they want, and how they want it. They are going to succeed in a lot of cases…but not all. And even in those cases where they do succeed, the odds are they’re going to screw it up for them as they will the rest of us. All manner of resistance launched against this decision is right and should be enacted.

But just don’t be afraid.

Don’t assume the world’s coming to an end. It’s not.

(I’m still trying to figure out what Keith meant when he kept semi-joking about being yanked off the air at any second. Uhhh, he does realize he works for a Corporation right now, right? I mean, if NBC/Universal wanted him off the air tonight, it could do it.)

And let me suggest another strategy for future use against our Corporate Overlords.

How about pitting them against each another?

Another part of the myth of Corporate Omniscience is that they’re all working in fascistic concert with each other. Bull. There are 13 separate companies (not divisions mind you, actual distinct companies) where I work and we don’t work well with each other, must less anyone else.

Remember, Ford Motor is tacking on $1500 dollars to the price of every vehicle it rolls out for Health Care for its employees. You don’t think Ford Motor doesn’t hate the Health Insurance Industry? Now, Ford Motor spends way too much time taking this anger on its employees, but what if they would be convinced to take it out on United Health Care?

Just something to think about.