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

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