Saturday, April 20, 2013

More on brutality.

Years ago I abruptly quit the "biggest" job I'll probably ever have.

There were a lot of reasons behind my decision. But one was I realized I was working in a kind of place that for all its mandated HR-fomented-work-life-balance-politically-correct bullshit, was in reality a nasty, brutish place.

One thing that brought that fact home was when we were moving from an older office building to a newer one. As the co-head of the office, I had to "bless" our new seating arrangement. What struck me was the general manager referring to seating arrangements as a "stacking plan."

People are not ergs, or units, or talent, or fucking resources, or even personnel. They are people. And should be treated as you, yourself would like to be treated. You know, that Golden Rule shit.

I'm flying from LA where I gained five hours sleep in an airport Hilton, back home to New York. Along the way, American airlines has blared a video on their new branding.

I'm sorry "brand identity" people.

Identity is a coat of paint.

Most actual passengers, that is people, would trade a gleaming new logo for three more inches of legroom.

What's happened all around us is that clients (and agencies have been complicit, of course) see advertising and branding and all that other communications crap as cheaper alternatives to actually doing a good job. To actually treating their customers well.

McDonald's for instance says "We love to make you smile." But not so much that they pay their employees a living wage--so they might actually have something to smile about. (BTW, minimum wage leaves a worker below the poverty line.)

And so it goes.

And so it will continue to go.

As long as companies treat people as things to be stacked like cordwood or treated as they have the intelligence of a tree slug.


Anonymous said...

I usually do not leave a leave a response, however after looking at through a few of the comments on "More on brutality.".

I do have some questions for you if it's okay. Is it simply me or do some of the comments come across like they are written by brain dead people? :-P And, if you are posting on other places, I would like to keep up with everything new you have to post. Would you list of the complete urls of your social networking pages like your twitter feed, Facebook page or linkedin profile?

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Anonymous said...

The slavery image is in poor taste Mr.Tannenbaum. You seem to be tone deaf on these issues for such an "intellectual" guy.

I'd do some self inquiry if I were you.

Delfayo Johnson

Anonymous said...

Yeah, really George; a slave ship? How long have you worked in this business? ANd you call others clueless?

Howard Mandel

Anonymous said...

Oh check your privileges, you silly trolls.

Louis Armschlong.

george tannenbaum said...

I didn't think the slave image was in poor taste, but I removed it.

The post was on treating people brutally. It was the best image for that.

sheriffshooter said...

man, i have to constantly look up words you post here. (good thing). in this case, cordwood..