How Corporate Drones Are Killing America

OK, now that the headline is cleaned up enough for people to use as a link, let me tell you what the actual post headline is:

How Corporate Bitches Are Killing America

Every winter, I go on the same frustrating task: searching for packaged hand warmers.

Four years ago, I could find them at KMart. Then they disappeared.

Three years ago, I could find them at CVS. But not all of them.

Two years ago, I could find them at a very few Duane Reade stores. But only a few of them.

This year, a local Rite Aid had them. Then the stock went.

This morning, being a regular customer there, I went in and asked one of the employees — who is also one of the Managers.

This was the conversation:

“Do you have any of those hand warmers in?”
“No. Sold out.”
“Will you be getting them back in?”
“No. We only get them once. They’re a seasonal item.”
“That’s nuts! It’s still winter!” (It’s in the low 20s here today!)

That man has been castrated and been reduced to a Corporate Bitch.

This is what the conversation would have been like had that Rite Aid been a local store with an actual local owner:

“Do you have any of those hand warmers in?”
“No. Sold out.”
“Will you be getting them back in?”
“You know, I hadn’t thought about that. If you still want them, I’ll order some in. It’ll take three days, though.”
“That’s fine! Order them. It’s still winter!”
“I’ll get on their website and place an order right now.”

This second way is the way America used to work.

Local stores with local owners could make their own decisions based on what they saw as what their customers were wanting.

This poor castrated Corporate Bitch had to do what headquarters permitted.

And if HQ said, You get one box and that’s it, how could he argue with them? What does he care? He’s a Corporate Bitch! He’s sold his manhood in exchange for a paycheck that expects him to only follow orders.

All of this coalesced in my head, the cause of the ongoing ruination of America, by a bit of graffiti I encountered near the ferry terminal this morning.

Someone stuck up an 8.5″x11″ paper with this printed on it:

Someone is counting on you

And I thought: My god! That’s it! That’s what all of us have forgotten.

When we don’t do our jobs right, when we neglect a task we’re supposed to carry out fully, we are setting up someone else for trouble we don’t foresee.

A security guard at Newark Airport leaves his post. This gives a guy the chance to go through the unmanned security checkpoint the wrong way. He’s noticed and the alarm is sounded. Thousands of people at Newark and across the entire nation — due to flight delays — are affected by the negligence of one person. Because he forgot that someone is counting on him.

How can any of you live with yourself, being a Corporate Bitch?

Is the conversation at home something like this?

Child: “Mommy, what does Daddy do for a living?”
Mommy: “Daddy is a Corporate Bitch.”
Child: “What does that mean?”
Mommy: “That means Daddy does what he is told no matter how stupid or hurtful it is to other people.”

Do you feel proud being a Corporate Bitch?

Let me really stab you:

Child: “Mommy, what’s a ‘corporate’?”
Mommy: “A ‘corporation.’ That’s something that’s make-believe but which has more rights than people who aren’t make-believe. Why, corporations have the power to make real people starve!”

Whenever you read of one company being acquired by another, realize this: that means there are going to be even more Corporate Bitches in the world, because one more boss has just been put out of existence.

And despite being a Corporate Bitch, you should remember two things:

1) Someone is counting on you — and it’s not your corporate HQ
2) It’s 2010: Give Some Back

Try to regain some of your dignity.

4 Responses to How Corporate Drones Are Killing America

  1. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by mikecane: @KathySierra

  2. Brilliantly put, Mike. It’s true here in the UK too. The corporate bitches forget the chaos butterfly effect, and they’re everywhere eating up our world by doing nothing.

  3. Alan Pritt says:

    About 10 years ago I got myself a Saturday job in a shoe shop. I was there about a year before I left for university. I didn’t intend to stay there that long, but a job quickly becomes a habit.

    I had a great boss who was smart, hard working, good at motivating us and just a friendly person to be around. The deputy manager was similar.

    Didn’t matter.

    Head office cut the wage budget so she had to put less staff on the floor forcing us to ignore too many customers. There were lines of shoes that customers specifically asked for and head office discontinued them. Shoes got cheaper and more plastic. We got too much stock for too small a building and so our stock room became a fire hazard. Sales incentives disappeared. Bit by bit the store went downhill.

    All because the person running it didn’t have the power to _really_ run it.

    The previous manager had left and started his own store up the street. I don’t think that worked out too well, but at least he gave it a go and while it existed it served its customers well.

    For me it was an early lesson. Apart from a two week temp job I’ve opted out of working for the man and opted instead for uni then freelancing and am now just starting my own company; all because I could not bare to be a ‘corporate bitch’.

    When I was 18 the choices I saw were university, get a dull corporate job and work up the ladder, or figure it out on my own. I went for uni. When I finished I realised you still have to figure it out. The most useful part of uni for someone like me is who you end up meeting. I met others who wanted to figure it out too.

    That’s not the quickest way of meeting like minded friends though. I want the choices for school leavers to be job, uni or hey there are a bunch of people over there who are actually doing something, go meet them and make stuff happen with them NOW. If that choice existed to me when I was 18 I would never have gone to university.

    Those up-starters always existed to some degree, but they are not visible to everyone and they weren’t to me. If that’s going to be a real option for people it has to be part of the culture like the job world has always been and further education has increasingly become (in the UK at least).

    Fortunately that culture I needed (and still do) looks like it is starting to grow to cover more of the country/world (at least in the tech sector). You can discover the people you need on the internet and then go meet them and make things happen. Here in the UK we’re starting to hear more of what is happening all the way over in Silicon Valley and being influenced by it. Venture Capitalists are starting to be more open and offering advice. We have shows like This Week in Startups and the more modest SmallBizPod to learn from. We have tools like and simple initiatives like Open Coffee to help local people find each other. All this is highly influential. So influential I’m tempted to call it the start of a movement that will rip the limbs off those bitch drones and replace them with real human hands again.

    Hopefully I’m not delusional. Hey, you’ve gotta have something to believe in.

    I know not everyone is built for start ups, but the more there are the more the corporate world will be kept on its toes. And the healthier the economy will be. And the happier a lot of people will be.

    And I think more people are born to work in start ups than we think. There’s an attitude that to be an entrepreneur you need to be kicked around enough that you become a fighter. Perhaps the entrepreneur does; I don’t know. But the rest of the team just needs to work hard and care about what they are doing. And that doesn’t come from fighting; it comes from doing work that is challenging, worthwhile, appreciated… fun.

    Corporate bitches don’t have fun and that’s why they are what they are.

    • mikecane says:

      Really, you should take that and also post it on your blog, Alan.

      >>>There’s an attitude that to be an entrepreneur you need to be kicked around enough that you become a fighter.

      Yeah, I can see that.

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