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Surviving Speeches & Sloths . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Wednesday, January 16, 2008

There's a certain sense of accomplishment once you're on the other side of two days worth of company meetings.

During the process, however, it's brutal to sit through 14 different sessions, 5 meals, and countless motivational tactics. I'm always amazed that these cheerleading antics aren't delivered with a slight sense of irony because they're so blatant in their messaging that I wonder who exactly gets charged up by listening.

In fact, if I were a Vice President, it would concern me greatly about the viability of my company if I had a team of workers who actually Needed these speeches to do their work properly.

One of my least favorite tactics is speakers using several words with one key letter to spell out a motivational concept. In the case of my meetings, that word was ATTITUDE. The biggest stretch was for the letter 'D' which was represented by 'Defy Mediocrity.' Of course.

My own word would look something like:

Nobody Cares

Enough is enough - at least for me.

My one small, subversive victory came during a 20-minute presentation I delivered on the last day. Overall, the presentation was concise and contained the appropriate messaging, but I did manage to slip in a nice analogy when I compared the speed of the financial services industry to "a tree sloth covered in molasses."

That got a small laugh, and several looks of puzzlement, a reaction that almost made it worth the time. But not really.



  1. kismetic Says:
  2. "Defy Mediocrity." Wow. I mean, really. While you're at it, rebel against apathy. Hee hee.

  3. What's scary is that people do buy this stuff. Going "up the ladder" takes commitment to the team, the proper attitude, positive thinking... all the BS that Trump spouts in that train wreck of a reality show of his. Real advancement in the corporate world does take ability and talent, but it also takes the willingness to put the bottom line ahead of everything else - customers, employees, one's eternal soul. What do motivational workshop speakers know about true greatness?

  4. Heff Says:
  5. I feel your pain, 2 Dollar. At least it's over....for now.

  6. Kismetic - Ha. I thought that you in particular would like that one. And I might use that Rebel against apathy in the future. Seriously.

    Getoffmylawn - "What do motivational workshop speakers know about true greatness?" Exactly. I suppose it's a relative concept, but I still want nothing to do with it. I'm sure you avoid most of that with your own staff (I'm afraid that a little bit is necessary in some ways I can't quite explain).

    Heff - It's brutal for sure. And yes, at least I'm mostly done with this intensity of message until the summer. Small favors.

  7. vivavavoom Says:
  8. "defy mediocrity"...who is the 6 figure guy that came up with that. makes me SO happy to be self employed. the only person I have to give pep talks to is myself. Or I just go to lunch.
    Mr. Viva has been in the corporate world for many years and he has had to sit through many mind numbing things like this. He even had to sit through a "there is no I in team" kind of thing and then after the mtg they let many people on the team go because of budget cuts.

  9. Miss Ash Says:
  10. Oh man I love it: "a tree sloth covered in molasses." Pure genius I say haha!

  11. I think I'd rather slam my head in a car door than listen to that rah-rah crap.

  12. The Troll Says:
  13. Meetings and retreats suck. The mandatory "fun-time" afterward sucks worse. Although it's sometimes a surprise to find out who the alcoholics and sluts are.

  14. BostonPobble Says:
  15. When I used to give these same motivational speaks, I was always amazed at how often they actually worked. Amazed and a little frightened. I would stand up there, spewing what needed to be spewed thinking "You're *buying* this!" I got good enough that only people who knew me really, really well would note the wink-wink in my delivery. Sometimes, delivering these things can be as soul-sucking as attending them. Glad you survived and glad you got a slight response from your Delightful line. A tree sloth covered in molasses...hee.

  16. nobich Says:
  17. Glad to see you survived the bullshit. ( and slung alittle of your own??) Ha!

  18. Vivavavoom - How did you know it was a 6-figure guy spewing this? Ha. Seriously it was. And "mind numbing" is a good choice of words as I remember being self-employed myself, and as you noted, the lack of those kinds of talks are one of the many highlights. No question.

    Miss Ash - Thank you as I like the visual (and tree sloths ARE notoriously slow even without the molasses).

    Native Minnow - Exactly. It does about the same for me as the car door sounds better as well as getting punched in the kidneys.

    The Troll - You're right as I was lazy and didn't want to broach the after-hours subject in this post. The only fun part is what you mentioned, although that's usually a bad trade (and you probably had your suspicions going in as well).

    BostonPobble - Interesting. I wouldn't have guessed that, although with your vocabulary I can see why you'd be good at leading a charge. And I do believe that this kind of thing works for some people. I am not really one of them as I do my job because I rarely do much of anything half-assed (the fact they pay me decent money doesn't hurt either).

  19. Nobich - Missed you in Cyberspace, and thanks. I only threw in a little something to amuse myself (mostly) at this event. I'm just glad it's over.

  20. You wouldn't catch me at a meeting unless there's booze, good food, more booze, fun people, more booze, a big raise, and more booze.

  21. Grace Says:
  22. That's one special-looking sloth. Those things send shivers down my spine. Uhhhh... but congrats on the presentation. It's always nice getting a laugh out of the audience.

  23. Gypsy Says:
  24. Meetings always make me want to curl up and go to sleep. This used to be problematic when I had to take the minutes and large slabs of the meeting would be missing due to the fact that my mind had wandered off or tuned out....LOL. Needless to say this worked in my favour as they decided to relieve me of this duty.

    That sloth is the ugliest thing I have ever seen.

  25. Upset Waitress - Those would all help alleviate matters, but unfortunately, none of them occurred. Maybe a flask and a decent sandwich should be smuggled in next time.

    Grace - It is good to get a laugh or at least wake them out of a stupor. And don't worry about the sloth as they are tremendously slow creatures.

    Gypsy - I know what you mean about the mind wandering, and sometimes you get onto some bizarre and fascinating subjects since you're brain has been forced to flee from the actual subject matter at hand. Ha. This can be a good thing. Finally, the sloth is far from a good-looking animal.

  26. Wendy Says:
  27. Eunuch. I like that word a lot. I like saying it. I like thinking about it. I'm planning on using it as a swear word when I'm driving in heavy traffic. Thank you!

  28. A new swear word for traffic is always a good thing. I like the word Eunuch as well, although the actual definition makes me cringe.


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