Monday, March 31, 2008

A Day in the Life of A Genericorp Employee

Have you ever wondered what your employee actually accomplishes during work hours on any given day? Where do they go every time they leave their desk? Surely, they can’t be going to the bathroom again! What website is that on their browser and why is the window so small? Or how about why their screen savor is on when they seem to be sitting at their desk working? For the answers to these questions and more, look no further. Here is my play-by-play of a typical day at Genericorp.

9:12 I’ve just finished my first batch of personal emails, and am now preparing to make my first attempt at work for the day. I plan to make a simple task that should take about 10 minutes last me up until lunch. Wish me luck.

9:22 I hear the clicking sound that only nails being clipped could create. Someone is sitting in their cubicle right now clipping their nails. With a nail clipper. In their cubicle.

9:40 Just went downstairs to the deli for breakfast. I did my best to sneak by my boss with my bagel in hand, as all Genericorp employees are not allowed to eat outside of their designated lunch hour, or leave their chair for any reason other than to check the fax machine, make a copy, or pee. On top of that, I will avoid my boss at any cost (Poor people like avoiding their boss).

10:31 My phone just rang again, and I am forced to pick it up and talk to someone about work. Some people have no consideration for the fact that others are trying to not get their work done.

12:36 I’ve been so busy with brain melting work that I forgot I was doing this post. I’m lying. I was on Stereogum.

12:38 Do you ever just look around your cubicle at all of your old post-its? They seem really meaningless compared to when you actually posted them up….and they were pretty meaningless then, too.

12:46 Lunch is at 1. So I usually leave about now. It sometimes results in lashings in the conference room (I’m exaggerating. I’ll probably get a dirty look followed by a condescending email from my boss).

1:56 I’m back from lunch 4 minutes early, but don’t worry! I plan to sit here and stare at the screen until exactly 2:00pm, at which point I will commence not working.

2:37 Man I wish today was Birthday cake day…

3:39 I prepare to go downstairs and make a personal call on my cell phone. Making personal calls is especially difficult when your cubicle is placed relateivly towards the center of your office. You are, quite literally, surrounded by cubicles. Your co-workers (and in some cases, your supervisor[s]) are close enough to hear every detail of your conversation. Be back in 5.

3:56 Oh, happy day! Tomorrow is cake!

4:20 Attempting to apply for jobs while at work, though I’m also pretty busy trying to rationalize staying here. Remember, you will never get that raise. But who needs a raise when Genericorp has such great benefits?

4:32 It’s so not 5:30 right now. I haven’t done any work since noon.

4:45 I just found this awesome site to trade gift cards. That killed 10 minutes.
*They did not pay for that link. We don’t make money. We’re poor.

4:47 Garbage collection time! This means the end of the day is near. I can almost taste the sweet flavor of freedom! I love when all of my discarded paperwork is taken away once and for all. It’s one of the few thrills of my day.

5:05 It’s still not 5:30, but it’s getting ominously close! About 3 people have made their way outside for that last cigarette break of the day, everyone is rustling their papers, coats, and bags, and the general dead-quiet that lasts for the bulk of the day is starting to slowly fade.

5:12 I just realized that my George W. Bush Out of Office Countdown desk calendar is still on last Friday. Poor people love to decorate their cubicles with things like desk calendars and pretend that they are in a somewhat comfortable setting for 8 hours of their day. 305 days left….err….298.

5:15 I am usually exaggerating, but it is usually not by that much.

5:16 14 minutes left…

5:17 13…

5:18 12…here goes my restless leg syndrome…

5:19 11…

5:20 10! 10! 10! I want to see the sun again! We’re almost there! Don’t give up now!

5:32 I want my overtime.


Elizabeth Stolfi
Corporate Cog
Mindless Media
A Genericorp Company

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Poor People like Relieving Stress

Over my many, many months at Genericorp, I have seen employees attempt to relieve stress in many ways-- flushing office supplies down the toilet, long distance calls to loved ones, carving gang signs into their desk, tipping the vending machine and pillaging the remains... However, these practices are not recommended at Genericorp. We like to keep an air of serenity in our office, so whenever one of our employees is upset during office hours (undoubtedly due to issues at home or a poor work ethic), we offer these tips to get them through the work week.

An organized desk is a happy desk. There is no disputing this. If you are uncomfortable in the office, it is probably because your desk is untidy and your work is unfinished. Try finishing the report that was due last week, or re-alphabetizing the files on your desk. You will undoubtedly feel more accomplished and at home in your work space.

Soft Music
During morning hours, some of our employees like to play the radio at their desks at a low volume. It puts people at ease to hear the gentle music of liteFM and hum along to their favorite song from Jon Secada, Counting Crows, All Saints, Cyndi Lauper, The Sugar Hill Gang, Gwar, or the original soundtrack of the Never Ending Story.

We do not see the need to invest in corporate mediators or in house HR at Genericorp. However, we do believe in the healing properties of plants and encourage our employees to stop by the palm in the entranceway whenever they wish to experience the tranquility of nature.

Exercise is the best way to release endorphins, and endorphins make you happy… since the company requires a 70 hour work week, and has otherwise decorated and arranged the office for optimal suppression of joy-- we offer discounted gym memberships. Workers can enjoy 10% off memberships to a pre-selected gym where they can exercise in the cocoon-like sanctity of another small grey room and work themselves to a state of physical exhaustion on par with the mental exhaustion inflicted by a corporate setting.

Co-workers often like to bond over “happy hours” or “dinners.” However, we recommend that you try drinking even when you are alone. Honing this habit early in life is critical to developing the level of apathy required to survive corporate life for over 6 months.

Sensitivity Trainer
Mindless Media
A Genericorp Company

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Poor People Like Therapy

A new study from the Genericorp Institute for Efficiency was published last month. This study finds the (holiday-less) March-April-May stretch, after President’s Day and a long way from Memorial Day, is the most favorable time to fall victim to Corporate Fatigue. We do not want to interrupt this lucrative time of year with sabbaticals, rest, or relaxation. So please, if you are exhibiting more than 5 of the signs listed below, please contact a pre-approved, in-network therapist, or your office shaman.

· You have a toothbrush, deodorant, and change of clothes stashed in a filing cabinet somewhere.
· You buy things that you don’t need for your apartment, but conclude, “That would be perfect for my cubicle.”
· You’ve wondered aloud what type of benefits Mr. Smithers has…hmm…
· You’ve considered emailing IT when your internet porn has frozen.
· You’ve tried to set up a friend by sending his Vcard to the new girl in accounting.
· Your kitchen faucet, armchair, steering wheel and shower loofah are covered in post-it notes.
· You have set an Outlook reminder for March 26th, Road Rules/Real World Gauntlet 3 Reunion Special.
· Even in the privacy of your own home, you catch yourself looking over your shoulder before logging on to your MySpace page.
· You bind your grocery and to do lists.
· You called a lunch meeting with your 8 year-old to discuss his personal internet usage and phone time.
· When your cell phone rings, it takes you about 5 seconds to remember where you are and what greeting you’re supposed to use.
· You replace your patio furniture with tents to keep out the oppressive sunlight.
· You try to transfer your roommate's calls to her voicemail.
· While visiting your mother’s house, you enter the bathroom and inadvertently reach about the toilet for a seat cover.
· You conclude voicemails to your mother with, “Please call back at your earliest possible convenience to confirm.”
· While making phone calls on your commute home, you continue to use codenames for all your co-workers.
· When you are home between the hours of 9-5 on a weekday, you feel disoriented and seek solace in your blackberry.
· You have written an angry letter comparing the contents of the vending machines on floor 3 vs. floor 4.
· You know damn well that “Mary Richards” was a cutter.
· You flash your ID at your cat as you enter your apartment.

Sensitivity Trainer
Mindless Media
A Genericorp Company

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Eleven Tips on Getting More Efficiency Out of Women Employees

First published in the July 1943 issue of Mass Transportation magazine, "Eleven Tips on Getting More Efficiency Out Of Women Employees" was an overt proclamation of equality , not only for the women's movement, but for the advancement of employment opportunities and working conditions for all poor people in general!

As you read the following excerpt from the article (I highlighted some of my favoritest points!), you might find it really hard to believe that rich people were this forward thinking way back in the 40's. This was recently verified as "true" on Urban Legends Reference Pages. However, we here at PPLP have discovered that these helpful tips for getting more efficiency out of your female workers is still actively used today. It is published regularly in new edition's of The Rich Person's Handbook.

"There is no longer any question whether transit companies should hire women for jobs formerly held by men. The draft and manpower shorrtage has settled that point. The important things now are to select the most efficient women available and how to use them to the best advantage. Here are eleven helpful tips on the subject:

1. Pick young married women. They usually have more of a sense of responsibility than their unmarried sisters. They are less likely to be flirtatious. They need the work, or they would not be doing it. They still have the pep and interest to work hard and to deal with the public efficiently.

2. When you have to use older women, try to get ones who have worked outside the home at some time in their lives. Older women who have never contacted the public have a hard time adapting themselves and are inclined to be cantankerous and fussy. It is always well to impress upon older women, the importance of friendliness and courtesy.

3. General experience indicates that "husky" girls - those who are just a little on the heavy side - are more even tempered and efficient than their underweight sisters.

4. Retain a physician to give each woman you hire a special physical examination - one covering female conditions. This step not only protects the property against the possibilities of lawsuit, but reveals whether the employee-to-be has any female weaknesses which would make her mentally or physically unfit for the job.

5. Stress at the outset, the importance of time; the fact that a minute or two lost here and there makes serious inroads on schedules. Until this point is gotten across, service is likely to be slowed up.

6. Give the female employee a definite day-long schedule of duties so that they will keep busy without bothering the management for instructions every few minutes. Numerous properties say that women make excellent workers when they have their jobs cut out for them, but that they lack initiative in finding work themselves.

7. Whenever possible, let the inside employee change from one job to another at some time during the day. Women are inclined to be less nervous and happier with change.

8. Give every girl an adequate number of rest periods during the day. You have to make some allowances for feminine psychology. A girl has more confidence and is more efficient if she can keep her hair tidied, apply fresh lipstick and wash her hands several times a day.

9. Be tactful when issuing instructions or in making criticisms. Women are often sensitive; they cannot shrug off harsh words the way men do. Never ridicule a woman - it breaks her spirit and cuts off her efficiency.

10. Be reasonably considerate about using strong language around women. Even though a girl's husband or father may swear vociferously, she will grow to dislike a place of business where she hears too much of this.

11. Get enough size variety in operator's uniforms so that each girl can have a proper fit. This point cannot be stressed too much in keeping women happy."

I'll keep all of those in mind!

Elizabeth Stolfi
Corporate Cog
Mindless Media
A Genericorp Company

Monday, March 17, 2008

Holidays That Shouldn't Really Be Holidays

After learning that Mindless Media will NOT be closed for Good Friday this week (via the proverbial condescending email from my boss), I’ve decided to compile a list of “Work holidays,” or: Holidays That Shouldn’t Really Be Holidays. I’ve also included a short email which you could use as a template to notify your employees of the non existing holiday.

Be sure to not only gip your employees out of these said “holidays,” but remind them via email that just in case they forgot (or thought for some ridiculous reason that they would have off for a holiday), they do not get a holiday, “floating” holiday, or even a short afternoon. THEY STILL WORK HERE.

Veteran’s Day
‘If you did not fight in a war and have all of your limbs, you can come into work.’

Columbus Day
‘Everyone knows this story is bogus anyway. We will be open for business on this day. However, feel free to wear your “Kiss me I’m Italian” t-shirt.’

Good Friday
‘Lots of people hang on crosses. There’s no need to get a day off. Please be on time, and do not attempt to nail yourself to the file cabinet in protest.’

Martin Luther King Jr. Day
‘MLK was cool and all, but I have a dream that we can all manage to get our work done today.’

President’s Day
‘We have a President everyday. There is no need to get a day off for this.’

Independence Day
‘Fireworks are not until 9:30 anyway. You can work and celebrate a birthday at the same time. We do it every month.’

Labor Day
‘I never really understood the significance of Labor Day, except it’s your last chance to wear white, which you can do while working.’

Yom Kippur
‘We’ve decided that there are too many Jewish holidays, and have since abolished all of them.’

Christmas Eve
‘Try doing this in the 1800’s with no heat and a crippled kid and have some real problems. You can work today.’

New Year’s Eve
‘Regardless of the fact that Mindless Media is located in the heart of Times Square, you can manage to get through the crowd and numerous police barricades and come to work.’

Elizabeth Stolfi
Corporate Cog
Mindless Media
A Genericorp Company

Poor People Like Avoiding Their Boss

Poor people are not necessarily bad workers, in many cases they are good workers--the best in the sense that they consistently show up, work, and never ask for a raise. However poor people do like avoiding their boss, because they are aware that no obvious benefit can come from interfacing with the boss. They realize that meeting with the boss usually means more work for the same amount of money (although the company may just be fulfilling it’s ideological responsibility to challenge it’s employees).

As a boss, the most effective way to counteract such prejudices is to apply certain interpersonal communication strategies to conversing with employees.

First--Smile. Always smile. If you smile, your employees will smile. There is nothing more effective than an office populated by smiling employees. Employees should be at their wall-locked cubicles smiling and whistling as if they were headed to the mines with Doc and Dopey. They can learn a lesson from that band of dwarfs! Sure, Bashful developed bronchitis, Sleepy was struck down with a case of silicosis, and the brothers lost Happy to TB (at his funeral, the remaining dwarfs where unable to handle his casket due to a long festering case of rheumatism), but that didn’t change their overall demeanor. Smiling promotes harmony.

Establish a common bond. Surely poor people must like some of the movies or shows you like, and are secretly yearning to hear your opinion of these treasured shows. Be topical when choosing an episode to discuss-- Did you hate the twist at the end of 24 last night? Make sure to tell the entire office about it. Whether they watch or not, whether they saw the episode or not, make sure to spread it around.

It also important to harp on the things you didn’t like the MOST. Tell everyone what shows you think suck and which movies are most undeserving of an Oscar. If they disagree, they will surely speak up and engage you in playful banter about the merits of the movie or show! This could be a nice bonding activity for you to share. However, it is important that you always win the argument; shut down the discussion if you are losing ground… you do not want your employees to lose respect for you.

Lastly, engage in common experiences. Try to hold events in honor of the company and allow the employees to join in. Celebrate anniversaries and milestones of company. While at the event, it is fully acceptable to initiate a conversation about the rising awesomeness of the company and the celebration. Later, you will have a deep bond with each attendee that you can conveniently harken back to with little more than a nod of the head and a shared, “That was awesome.”

Sensitivity Trainer
Mindless Media
A Genericorp Company

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

How to Rationalize Staying At Your Crap Job

It’s understandable that when in a situation that sucks, poor people like to convince themselves that there are tons of good reasons for it. This is sometimes called optimism, but more often; denial. Regardless of the specifics, it’s important to rationalize staying at a job where the pay is equal to that of a 16 year old McDonalds employee, the daily tasks are as mind-numbing as a commute with no iPod and nothing to read, and the room for growth is as tightly squeezed as your monthly budget.

Here are some things to consider when thinking about getting a “better” job:

Personal Internet Use: What’s the downtime factor at your current job? Have you compared the amount of money you make to the amount of time you actually spend doing work-related activities on the computer? Sometimes, it isn’t worth the trouble of a job change. Sure, you could make more money somewhere else, but at Mindless Media, you can realistically get away with not doing a minute of work on any given day. Myspace, Facebook, and commenting on the new Stuff That White People Like post can occupy hours of your day without anyone even noticing. Also, consider the position of your cubicle, and the angle in which your monitor is facing. Is this out of the view of your supervisor, or would he/she have to stand up or walk across the office to really get a look at your screen?

Office Hours: Does anyone really give a shit if you’re on time? Consider this very carefully before applying for new jobs. After a few months of being 5-20 minutes late on a daily basis, your boss has either decided to continually let it go, or fire you. Chances are, they will not fire you. They have someone at their company who is willing to work for what they pay them. They will likely not want to give this up. Also consider your lunch break; do you often leave 10 minutes early and come back 10 minutes late? If you get a new job, that will not fly until you have at least broken in the job for 6 months. That’s a long time, considering that the minimal pay increase will seem just as insufficient as your current salary in no time.

The Commute: What’s the commute like to your job? Often times, people go as far as to move in order to decrease travel time door to door. If your commute is under an hour, you should keep this job. If you’ve already moved to be closer to your office, getting a new job would be rather silly. Chances are, the new job will either be farther away, or require that you move in order to get there (unless you don’t value sleep, free time, or yourself in general). Also, even if you think it may be easier to get to said “better job,” you’ll find in less than a week that the commute is not only about the same, but in most cases, 10-15 minutes worse. The chances of finding something worth the trouble that is actually closer to where you live now is unrealistic and foolish. Best to stay put.

Dress code: Do you get away with jeans and sneakers on days not designated with the prefix “Casual”? Do you often enjoy “Casual Wednesday,” “Casual Tuesday,” and yes, even “Casual Monday”? Then do yourself a favor and stay where you are! Getting a new job will not only entail the torture of a job interview, second interview, and the proverbial “first day” (in some cases, “first week”), but it will most likely require better dress, which means relatively matching outfits, weekly trips to the Laundromat, and shopping sprees that you wont be able to afford (even with the new salary). If it’s a “better” job, it usually means you have to dress better. Is this what you really want?

Being Comfortable: Lastly (and most importantly), are you comfortable at your current job? Isn’t it nice to already know everyone that you work with, who to avoid, and how to finagle your boss into thinking that you’re a good employee? Is your cubicle decorated with desk calendars, posters, and gifts from co-workers? That monitor you put all of the cute stickers on… you won’t be able to bring it to your new office! Think about this before you do anything rash. Imagine settling in to a new work environment, having to meet all new people, and redecorating your cubicle with the semblance of what little of a personality you have left… Again! Do you really want to learn how to do a whole new batch of tedious tasks, just when you got the ones you have now under control?

And, of course, there’s the free pizza

Elizabeth Stolfi
Corporate Cog
Mindless Media
A Genericorp Company

Monday, March 10, 2008

Poor People Like Conformity

As any good cult leader will tell you, conformity is vital to maintaining the ranks. An orderly office is an effective office. Why would people continue to flock to the Army or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints if they did not believe that the discipline of these institutions would benefit them? As these institutions have proven, it is important to establish boundaries within an office—clearly define the path to corporate mediocrity.

Below are the top 5 ways to establish a comfortably uniform environment.

5. Dress Code
Most offices today opt for a general-business causal office dress code. However people cheat-- Jeans, Uggs, sweatshirts and flip flops are bound to appear in your office when strict consequences are not enforced. Discourage flexible codes by strictly defining your dress code. Require all men to wear ties and all women to wear skirts with stockings to the office. The more time employees devote to choosing office attire, the more they must care about employment with the company.

Plus, if employees are just slightly uncomfortable at their desks, it reminds them that they are not lounging at home or in a social setting, they are at work to complete a job. Their feet are being held to the fire, 0r their noses to the grindstone, whatever form of metaphorical torture you prefer.

Furthermore, to impress outside clients (which is in the best interest of the company), consider banning all light wash denim, short sleeved dress shirts and themed ties. Carl Lagerfeld will thank you.

4. Abolition of all holidays
Nothing can divide a group of people like a discussion of religion or politics. To ensure that your employees do not engage in these debates, abolish the holiday schedule all together. No holiday greetings, gifts, discussions or parties-- at Genericorp, we all worship the same way-- with WORK. Employees will be grateful for the decrease in tension at the winter solstice.

3. Gender specific departments
Ever notice that 99% of IT is male, sales is all male (often highlighted by one testosterone fueled, hard partying female), data processing/reception/secretarial services are female, promotions/PR/marketing… all female. Coincidence? Self fulfilling prophecy? Patriarchal tyranny? No. A simple and effect business model? Yes.

For those of you who failed out of business school after Glengarry Glen Ross 101, allow me to let you in a little secret that has proven effective since the founding fathers first established a land free of social prejudices and religious persecutions-- and they became free to pursue the right to life, liberty and pursuit of the free market-- boys and girls do not work well together. Men and women should be separated to increase productivity and foster a safe work environment. If asked, would you rather employ the mixed gender group from the local University Greek Council or the Amish? Think about it.

2. Rally Cry
What’s the best way to unite a sports team? A shared appreciation of athletic competition? A focused path to a common goal? No. Gary Glitter’s song, "Rock and Roll" (… HEY!) Try this in the office.

Try to establish a company-wide catch phrase to repeat to all employees-- it’s best to spread appreciation for the designated phrase with heavy repetition.

1. Cubicles
When hiring an employee, you want to give the illusion of respect and importance, but in fact only supply about 70% of what humans actually require. For example, you give a new hire a title that does not come with any authority, so they can order a nameplate for their desk, business cards for their briefcase, and create fun, new signature for their email without having to deal with the authority and independent decision making responsibilities. For this new impotent associate, you offer a salary that is about 70% of what is expected, but with medical coverage-- just enough to be considered a decent full-time salary with benefits, but without providing complete fulfillment.

Cubicles are the practical application of the same 70% theory. For an employee’s work environment, the desk provided should be at least 30% smaller than the desks of upper management; this may seem large, but remember that their desk can easily double as management’s storage space. Walls are 30% smaller than required to provide inadequate sound protection or privacy.

Further benefits include that cubicles cut down on unnecessary eye contact and conversation between future conspirators. Employees either have to stand to converse with one another (which immediately puts them in the general office field of vision), or they can correspond via email, where they can be monitored. They surely will not notice the security cameras being installed while arranging the picture frames in their stall in aisle 4, row B.

Don’t think of this process as stripping employees of their unique personality, voice and perspective, but as providing a safe environment where employees can fester for years in the future.

Sensitivity Trainer
Mindless Media
A Genericorp Company

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Top 10 Songs That Poor People Like to Sing Along to in Bars

One thing you can be sure of when working in a big room of cubicles, is that there is always at least 5 people who play horrible music that no person in their right mind should listen to voluntarily. I’m talking about songs that come on at a bar when no one has put any money in the jukebox (not before 10 drinks, anyway); songs that are playing in CVS while you’re picking out a card for your Mother’s birthday; songs that were played at that Bat Mitzvah you went to in 1997 when the MC asked that everyone “find that special someone and make your way to the dance floor.” I’m not kidding. I’m far from kidding. You can hear these songs on a daily basis in any office, usually playing at an obnoxiously loud volume with no regard for the people that don’t want to hear them ever again.

These are songs that poor people like.

The first installment in an endless series of Songs That Poor People Like Top 10’s covers the songs that Poor People Like to Sing Along to in Bars. As the Mindless Media Sensitivity trainer once told me, “Poor people like to sing; like in church and on American Idol.” As you read down this list, you may think that this is a Top 10 Songs That Poor People Like to Sing Along to in Bars in 1986. Butitisn’t. You can hear these songs sung gloriously RIGHT NOW at any bar where poor people like you and me go to drown themselves in their miseries and forget that they, in fact, work here.

Good luck...

The Top 10 Songs That Poor People Like to Sing Along to in Bars

10. “Born in the USA” by Bruce Springsteen

Ah, a classic. A staple in rugged, blue collar, hard-working Americana. Though this is actually the most bold and unabashed musical expression of Anti-American sentiments ever made (Got in a little hometown jam/So they put a rifle in my hand/Sent me off to a foreign land/To go and kill the yellow man), people still love to embrace this as a flag-wavin’, football lovin’, campaign rockin’ American Bar Song. Expect this to pop on the jukebox relatively early in the night (let’s say, 10:35PM on a Saturday/8:45PM on a weekday). No one knows any lyrics besides the actual line “Born in the U.S.A.,” so it’s not as much of a drunken sing-a-long as you would expect (but still deserves a place on the list). Poor people love Bruce!

9. “American Pie” Don McLean

Even if you think this song is a bit dated and really doesn’t fit on this list anymore, you’re absolutely wrong. I’ve sung along to this song at a bar within the last year, and let me tell you – it was fun. Why? Because I’m poor. What’s fun about singing along to this song is the fact that there are so many lyrics (arguably 14 verses). It’s impossible to A) Actually remember all of these lyrics even if you’re an avid fan of the song, and B) Remember more than half of the lyrics after a couple of drinks. Poor people like to sing along at bars and prove to their friends that they know all of the words. The combination of drunk poor people and a song with a lot of lyrics (ie: “Rapper’s Delight,” any Eminem song) always makes for a good time.

8. “Sweet Home Alabama” by Lynyrd Skynyrd

I know. You think this song is dated too, but again; you’d be wrong. I also have a pretty successful sing-a-long to this classic bar song in recent memory. Poor people love to sing about Alabama. The song is actually a pretty complex political statement, but absolutely no one actually cares, or pays any attention to the lyrics as they sing them. This and “Born in the U.S.A.” will definitely be on my “Top 10 Political Songs That Poor People Like to Misinterpret”…

7. “Free Fallin’” by Tom Petty

What do you get if you make a rock song about a good girl who’s crazy about Elvis, loves Jesus (and her boyfriend too)? A song that poor people like to listen to in bars! Not only do poor people like to get drunk and rip through this first verse with impeccable vocal precision, but poor people also love to cover this song in a bar with their band! Every poor person who owns a guitar (it’s probably one of those $400 Fender Strats from guitar center, isn’t it?) knows how to strum that D chord opener and get all of their poor friends to sing along. ‘Cause I’m freeeeee-eee-ee.

6. “I Love Rock ‘n' Roll” by Joan Jett

Contrary to popular belief (thanks to Brit-Brit), “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” was not written by Pat Benatar (In fact, it wasn’t even written by Joan Jett. The original version of the song was written in the 70’s by British band, The Arrows). What makes this such a great Bar Song for Poor People? Well, any song you can pound your fist to is an automatic bar hit (one hand pumping, one hand holding beer). Any song with that “We Will Rock You” drum beat and loud, distorted, crunchy hard rock guitars is also a winner. Of course, the line “Put a another dime in the jukebox, baby,” is the real breaker. Poor People Love To Remember When Things Were Less Expensive. Dime? Man, those were the days.

5. “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond

Probably would also be on the Top 10 List of Songs Poor People Like to Listen to at Baseball Games (coming soon), “Sweet Caroline” has become the underdog champion of drunken sing-a-longs (as far as Neil Diamond songs are concerned). Did you know this song was written about a photograph of Caroline Kennedy? When she was, like, 10? When you hear the line “good times never seem so good,” be sure to shout, “SO GOOD, SO GOOD, SO GOOD.” Blame Boston for this one. Thanks.

4. “Poor Some Sugar On Me” by Def Leppard

If Def Leppard didn’t sit around the studio while recording Hysteria saying, “We really need a song that poor people can sing along to in bars,” I’ll be really, really shocked. I mean, if you could get royalties for jukebox plays in bars where poor people drink, Def Leppard’s Great, Great Grandchildren would be set on this track alone. If this song does not come on at your bar, you’re probably at a bar where poor people go to pretend they are rich and cool. FYI: Indie = Poor.

3. “You Shook Me All Night Long” by AC/DC

I have pretty much the same sentiments for this as above. Just replace “Def Leppard” with “AC/DC,” “Hysteria” with “Back in Black,” etc. There isn’t a poor soul on Earth who doesn’t love to sing the words, “She was a fast machine/she kept her motor clean” at the top of their lungs while drunk. Not one.

2. “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey

I can’t not sing this song. Just the mere mention of it makes me want to youtube it, plug my headphones in to the computer (no one else needs to know), and imagine that moment in the night when everything becomes clear, you just started your "one more drink" drink, and you decide that you “can't leave until this song is over.” For many poor people, this song has obtained even more sentimental value from its usage in the last scene of the Sopranos finale, despite the fact that many poor people do not have HBO (see #8 of the Top 10 Things Your Employee Would Prefer Over a Raise). This is the song for the climax of the night. Whether you’re playing pool, watching the last inning of the Yankees game, making out in the bathroom, or licking the wing sauce off of your fingers, you will DROP EVERYTHING to sing along to this song. EVERYTHING.

Some will win, some will lose. Some were born to sing the blues. The movie never ends. It goes on and on and on and on.
Don't stop believing.
Hold on to that feeling.

Christ, that’s good shit. And I’m not even drunk.

1. “Livin’ on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi

It was extremely hard to decide on the #1 for this list. After consulting Mindless Media’s Sensitivity Trainer and Corporate Surviver, it was unanimously decided that this is the #1 song for this list, any list…or frankly, anything. I don’t really see how anyone can argue with this. #1 Song Poor People Like To Do ANYTHING To. I’m at a loss for words.

This is…the ultimate fist-pumping, beer drinking, sing-a-long drunken anthem for absolutely anything; Sporting events big and small, bars, parties, concerts that aren’t even Bon Jovi’s, late night drives on the Garden State, etc. Even if you don’t like Bon Jovi at all, it doesn’t fucking matter. You will shout every word to this at the top of your lungs, and you’ll like it! This song is so monumental and extraordinary, that not only do poor people sing it and inject the phrase “Livin’ on a prayer” into regular conversation on a daily basis, but even Jon Bon Jovi himself references this song in about 87 of his other songs.

What makes this song so important to poor people is that the song itself represents the very struggle of being poor. Tommy and Gina have become the two most significant fictional poor people in the history of poor people. When the union’s on strike, you’ve been working the diner all day, and you cry in the night, baby it's OK 'cause we’ve got each other and that’s a lot.

For love, we’ll give it a shot….

Elizabeth Stolfi
Corporate Cog
Mindless Media
A Genericorp Company

Thursday, March 6, 2008

A Successful Interview

Why Poor People Are Funny: A Corporate Survivor Speaks Out

Poor people are born with what is known as a “sense of humor.” They tend to think their sarcasm and wit makes them more likable in the work environment. They believe that by confidently asserting their own independent nature to all projects, that they are creating a more unique product. This is not so. Your own ideas are not to be brought to any project within the corporation. They are severely rejected and your only option for redemption is to apologize and admit your own insecurity and instability.

Some of the below information may be disturbing to read. We have pulled the below quotes directly from The Rich Person’s Handbook:

“Humor is also a way of wasting time. Some ignorant studies that have supposedly been thoroughly researched are incorrect. Laughter has no place in a person’s work. It does not make morale higher or make anyone more energetic. Laughter is a waste of time, and frankly it just sounds like screeching nonsense. Poor people are always trying to come up with new ways to do as little work as possible; this is one of the worst problems we as managers face. To abolish laughter altogether would be ideal. However, we see that a poor person’s intelligence is to be questioned and that they would never be able to grasp the concept.”
-John D. Rockefeller of Standard Oil

“A sense of a humor in a poor person is very suspicious indeed. Be careful to listen for their sarcastic, bitter remarks on the institution. Often you will find a Dilbert calendar hanging in their cubicle or a mug full of coffee stains that states how bored they are with life. Beware of their seemingly witty banner. They are trying to draw you into their own web of deceit and pathetic helplessness. Do not stoop to their level.”
-Donald Trump of Trump Industries

“Furthermore, when you find yourself in the above situation, try your best to not make direct eye contact; But make sure to mutter under your breath inappropriate remarks. You can often times get away with a sarcastic remark of your own about their work ethic or lack there of. Most times, it is lack thereof.”
-Martha Stewart of Martha Stewart Living

As you can tell from the above quotations, your supervisor, also known as a rich person, does not trust you. Does not care about you. Does not even like you. They want you to do your job and keep your personality to yourself. Do not assert your own originality, because it will not be welcomed or acknowledged. You are brought in and paid the lowest amount to do the most mundane of jobs. You are to eat, sleep and breathe that job. Work is no place for friendship or respect.

The office is your life. Your life is the office.

My advice to all of you cogs in the wheel; Get out. Get out now.

Emily Houston
Corporate Survivor
Mindless Media
A Genericorp Company

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Poor People Like Saving Money

Finance websites such as MSN Money offer free, helpful saving tips for those in the lower tax brackets. The tips below mirror the sentiments found on popular money blogs that could not only cut down on monthly living expenses, but allow many people to begin saving now.

1. Make coffee at home to bring in the morning: Forget the $6 soy latte or the $7 Jamba juice, and bring homebrewed coffee to work in the morning. Not only will you be able to save your $10 per week coffee allowance, but you will be able to make full use of the "World's Best Worker" mug you received in lieu of a Christmas bonus.

2. Reassess your utilities, see where you can cut back on cable and phone services: If your home utilities are a chunk of your monthly earnings, it's time to re-examine your expenditures. Considering the amount of time you are at home to actually watch television, are these services worth the price? Increase your personal internet usage and long distance phone calls at work, and cut your home packages to the base package. Consider stealing a neighbor's cable and wireless internet. If they continue to pay for the platinum packages, they're asking for it.

The local library is a wealth of free books, DVDs and CDs available for free!

WARNING: Although socialist principles may work at the public library, don't repeat any of these ideas in the office. Work is no place for the expansion of knowledge and free flow of ideas.

3. Shop for used clothes: "Dress for the job you want, not the job you have." But with no chance of advancing out of the job you currently have... save your money, 'cause you can't save your dignity.

4. Take advance of your company's pretax options: Many companies allow you to purchase medical supplies or bus/train tickets pre-tax. Consider the stipend for a years worth of antacids, wrist braces and Lysol every January to reap the full benefits of these incentives.

5. Cut your own hair and start formulating your own makeup: See #3

6. Wean yourself off solid foods: Once cut with preservatives and fillers, liquid food and dietary supplements are cheaper alternatives to complete meals... also easier to eat on the go or hide from predatory co-workers.

7. Establish a monthly budget: The cardinal rule of personal finance is to establish a monthly budget and make sure to keep at least $500 dollars available for emergency expenses. Should you have a problem with your car, home, or require a post-evaluation bender, you will not want to put these expenses on your credit card - that will come back to haunt you later.

In addition, Genericorp offers a 401K to all full time, non-union employees. To reap the full benefits of the 401 K, it's best to start now. Saving only 40 dollars a month starting in your twenties could put you in a place for financial success in the future.

(That is, if the country doesn't go into a recession, bank rates cease their decent into the crapper, you manage to keep your full investment in the face of divorce proceedings or IRS audits, and you do not cash out due to lawsuit, medical expenses or child support.)

Scraping every penny together now and forgoing vacations, legal stimulants, safe transportation, professional grooming services, nights/weekends/holidays, nutritionally complete meals, intact footwear, decade appropriate clothing, dental care, and dignity, can put you on the straight and narrow to a marginally good retirement facility in Tom's River, NJ before your children hit retirement.

Sensitivity Trainer
Mindless Media
A Genericorp Company