is at an all-time low.
what the headline of the New York Times business section
thats lying on the conference
table next to Jack says. Noticing me looking down at his paper,
Jack stares at me with his hung-over eyes. They look more hazy
than usual this morning.
break contact when Luann asks a question regarding the portability
of the system, and I respond quickly, drawing a look from Ralph
that usually means he wants to answer the question. The uncomfortable
moment passes, and I look back down at the paper. Underneath
the Times rests the Daily News, where all I see
is the word JAILED and the name S. DANIELS. Jack decides now
(the middle of the presentation) is a good time to get up, stretch
his legs, and walk to the back of the room to refill his coffee
mug that reads VP IN CHARGE.
tired atmosphere in the room, the name Daniels, and the lack
of appreciation reminds me of a movie I saw three years ago
with my ex-girlfriend Ashlee. Straddling the Corporate Ladder.
like to thank everyone for the good job they did today.
The line I remember from the adult classic. The movie starred
Dolly Buster (Secretary #1), Ginger Valentine (Secretary #2),
and Stormy Daniels (Arrogant Executive). The particular scene
that sticks in my head is the one where Stormy enters and questions
Dollys and Gingers work ethic.
skills are you bringing to the company? Stormy asks, followed
by Dollys sultry reply: Well, why dont we
show you? That leads to a funky music bassdriven sex scene
that entails Dolly having to pleasure Stormy, keep Ginger involved,
and at one point balance her right foot on a desk chair and
left foot on a lamp.
point is that Dolly was forced to manage people, multitask,
and understand her role.
job description of Corporate America.
similarity between the porn industry and corporate world is
uncanny. Were all just one scene away from having our
the end of the sex romp, Dolly is exhausted and lying on the
desk while Gingers spread naked body is sprawled on the
couch, both covered in sweat. Stormy gets dressed, and just
before he leaves, he says, Id like to thank everyone
for the good job they did today. These are the things
I think about during these mindless presentations.
wearing a gold chain. Hes staring at the projector instead
of looking up at the screen where the demo is taking place.
Not to worry. If Jack wants to get my attention, hell
make a gun signal with his hand, his way of saying Ive
got a question for you.
like to thank everyone for the good job they did today.
The phrase you hope to hear often from your superiors. Im
presenting our new system to the Senior VP of Sales, the VP
of Sales, and my boss (who aspires to be a VP). This system
will bring millions of dollars to our company. Of course, none
of this will be lining my pockets, despite the success of the
system being my responsibility.
project is about streamlining. This is what I tell them in between
sips of my extra-large coffee. I tell them how this will not
replace jobs but enhance their positions and make them more
valuable and more marketable.
wearing my favorite blue and white-striped tie. Three times
this morning, Ive caught Ralph staring at my tie. Each
time Ive looked over at him, hes had a disappointed
look in his eyes.
corporate environment is similar to the porn industry: a lot
of acting, a lot of role-playing, and a lot of commands issued.
During school, I worked at Xcitement, a video porn shop in the
East Village, where it was my job to watch and be able to speak
intelligently about movies involving kinky toys, anal penetration,
and target markets. Now its my job to analyze systems
and speak intelligently about system integration, efficiency
patterns, and target markets.
name of our company is ICONNECT, Inc. We bring inventors and
investors together. The new system, EVOLUTION (given this name
for reasons God only knows; the creativity in the finance department
never ceases to amaze me), will differentiate us from classic
investment houses and banks by linking the investors directly
with the inventors they choose. This system will allow real-time
monitoring from the investor side. I know this sounds boring,
but implementing such a project
is an amazing opportunity. Id compare it to appearing
in a porn movie with Jenna Jameson. Definitely a
fires the gun at me, which is the Ive got a question
signal, but then hes quickly distracted when Luann, the
VP of Sales, needs to know if the printer schedule has been
adjusted to allow her to use the printer in the morning. You
see, Luann likes to print off her emails in the morning, but
sometimes its difficult when others are using the printer.
Jack assures her that the printer situation has been taken care
of, and Im relieved because despite the millions of dollars
the system Im demonstrating will bring in to ICONNECT,
Luann being able to print her emails is clearly a higher priority.
While this conversation is happening, I feel like the proverbial
third guy in a porn movie, the guy who is
in the scene but not actively participating because its
not his turn. He just stands there, watching and waiting.
look over at my boss, Ralph. He gives me a you can let Jack
ask his question now look. Its my turn. Thanks, Ralph.
got concerns, says Jack. Of course he does. Jack has many
concerns. Hes concerned that hes not showing enough
chain, concerned that Luann will find out that he was the one
who was monopolizing the printer in the morning, and rumor has
it, hes also concerned about the well-being of the Canadian
lumberjack. Jack has a lot on his plate. Jack works about sixty-five
hours a week. Jack looks pale. The fluorescent light above him
is shining a little off his cheek, reflecting off his unkempt
the immediate payback? You knowthe bang for our buck?
How do we use this system to entice customers?
looks over at Luann, who then has the embarrassing job to inform
Jack that there are already two major investors on board, and
there are many more waiting to invest.
dont I know about this? asks Jack.
all detailed in the forecasting report. You didnt receive
it? Luann lowers her voice and leans toward Jack. I
put it on your desk yesterday.
room remains silent until I decide to walk them through EVOLUTION.
I actually say system, but Jack gives me a quick
look, so I call it by its proper name. Jack is impressed with
the name EVOLUTION. I can tell, because every time I say it,
he shakes a little, causing his gold chain to glitter a little
the next thirty minutes, I walk them through the system, occasionally
receiving the gun from Jack followed up by either a question
Id already answered or something totally unrelated to
this project or our company, for that matter. Each time I answer
his wellcrafted questions, he writes something down on the agenda
using his black Scripto pen. He should be wearing a Genius
at Work shirt.
finish with a live walkthrough of the system. Luann is quick
to question the one missing piece of
can we see the interface? she asks, right on cue.
interface is the piece that actually gives the investors a dashboard
to monitor the inventor and his progress. I inform her that
I am showing them a demo using version 2.45 and that the interface
is in release 2.46, due out next week.
man of the room, Jack, speaks up and asks the obvious. Didnt
you say were going live with this system next week?
I say confidently. We have been assured by ISOFT that
the release will be available with very little administrative
time, allowing us to go live next week.
seems content with this answer, and this ends the session. Before
I leave, Ralph tells me that he believes the demo went well.
He then reminds me that there is a stress seminar being given
over lunch tomorrow and that maybe I should go see what its
tell him I feel okay, and he says, Trevor, you should
go. Theres an awkward pause as I head for the door.
Dont forget, your review is next week.
reconsider attending the seminar tomorrow.