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 pants off.
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
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
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
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 mustache.
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 more.
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 all
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.