Adventures at My New Company - Story #1
Technically speaking, this is story # 2, with the "Aunt Millie" Access 97 story being story # 1, however I feel like this might become an ongoing series, so consider the "Aunt Millie" episode the pilot.
"Explore Your Company!"
I mentioned in the previous story that this company has been around forever. The current CEO was not the original founder, however he has been with the company for quite some time (I'm thinking familial contacts, political manipulation, that sort of thing), and he appears to be in his late 50s/early 60s.
This genius of a CEO came up with the bright idea to launch a motivational company-wide campaign which had a theme which the employees were supposed to "discover" what it is for a prize. (WTF!) The CEO and certain high level cronies went around one night and placed different "clues" on each employee's desk. And the following morning we were supposed to put all these "clues" together to determine the overall theme.
I came in to find a printout of what looked like a cheap clip-art picture of a flashlight. My neighbor had, what I initially thought was a pile of crap, but turned out to be a "cave". Honestly it looked like crap or a pile of rocks. I didn't see too many other employee pictures, but there was a "trail", a pick axe, and a helmet with a light on it. Whatever, I thought.
No one in the company could put all the "clues" together. I personally could care less. I knew the prize was going to be something stupid, so I didn't even think about it.
At 3pm, all employees were called into the main conference room. We were greeted with the most creepy thing I have ever seen on a job. There was the CEO waiting on us, with a Halloween mask of "Dora the Explorer" on his face.
"I hope you all have enjoyed our little guessing game. Unfortunately, no one guessed the theme, so I guess the ballgame tickets go back to me!" (WTF!!!)
"So no one in here knows the theme. Look at the mask I'm wearing? Do you get it now? I'm an explorer!"
Everyone is looking around at each other, completely lost at where this guy is going with this thing.
"I'm explorer! Don't you get it? The clues: caves, searching, taking different paths..."
At this point the CEO tries to take the mask off but one of the cheap rubber bands catches on his glasses.
"Ow! Can someone...can someone help me take this off?!?"
One of the administrative assistants jumps up and struggles to get the mask off. Afterwards you could see how tight the mask was on his face by the deep impressions made by the cheap rubber bands...
"I want all of you...each and every one of you...to become an explorer. Explore how you think we can better the company...explore which direction to take it in the future!"
He then proceeds to go on about the company's original mission statement and how it is changing due to current industry trends. How he wants us (the employees) to be the driving force of change. I thought it was odd that he didn't mention software (i.e. Access 97 among others) and changing/updating that for the year 2007!
The major WTF for me is that this CEO is deferring his direction of the company to his employees. It's obvious he has no clue about current business practices or the internet for that matter (I'll explain about that in a future story). So he's in this panic mode and needs advice from his lower level employees. He can't seek advice from his higher ups because they're part of the same good old boy club that he belongs to.