Survivor: Corporate America

Living in a 6×8 company provided polyester walled cell, cube, work station for more than half of your waking hours can definitely wreak havoc on your emotional well being and makes it hard to function in the real world.  Many people say the real world is the work world.  Perhaps it is.  So, how do you survive in the corporate real world?

Those who spend their days toiling away in the prairie-dog hunting grounds of confined cubicles are consistently told to “play the game.”  In fact, it’s a lot like Survivor the TV series.  They’re there to play a game too.  They need to outwit, outplay and outlast their competition.  Kind of sounds like Corporate America.

Isolated in an off-the-map location, Survivor contestants lie, manipulate, strategize and plot for self-serving gain as they compete on teams – forming alliances replete with betrayals and backstabbing – in search of the prize; a million dollars.

Not to far off from the day-to-day elimination challenges many of us face in the rat race as we scurry through the laboratory cube maze in search of the 5 p.m. prize.  All part of the “game” peons play – strategizing for raises and promotions. Retirement – the million-dollar dream.

Choose your allies wisely.  Mistreatment may begin to manifest in a combination of humiliation or the withholding of resources and support.  Prevent the victim from succeeding at an assigned task and you can swoop in to save the day.  Win-win. Way to push that envelope.

Think about it.  The game we play is already part of the daily cube cattle call.  All part of the corporate buzzword jargon.  Make sure you “perform” and are a “team player.”

On TV they compete in various maze games to win immunity or some food.  In cube land you often set out from your camp looking for some mysterious conference room named after a tropical island – where is that damn Palau room? And, if you are lucky you may stumble across some executive meeting’s lunch leftovers – unless that dreaded IT guy gets there first.  How does he always know when and where the food is anyway?

Thanks to technology, the world is becoming insane.  And it’s only going to get more insane – insane squared, and in a few years with insane cubed right on its heels. Because we are the MTV generation with the attention span of a fruit fly, our gadgets become the fire of Survivor, it represents life.  “Did you see my new iPad 12? No one else has it yet!”.  No time to be nice!  Must win!

The ability of the overly caffeinated to send requests in a stream of conscious fashion via email, IM and text negates both the need and ability for actual interpersonal interaction.  This quite likely plays right into the Survivor villains ability to set you up and make you go down the path of destruction, otherwise known as having you voted off.

Two contestants walking down the beach in clothes they’ve worn for 12 days – they must be talking about me.  A VP and an HR exec in a closed office wearing the same corporate logo outfits they’ve worn for 12 years – they must be talking about me.  Clearly, I must work harder – I must outwit you, outplay you and outlast you.

But since you’re obviously already conspiring against me, I’ll share my game strategy: Trust no one.

Now where the hell is that hidden immunity idol?


About CubicleViews

Observations, thoughts & random bitching about cube life, food, beer, wine, whiskey and sometimes politics. Living the dream in a 6×8 doorless polyester walled cell.
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