Monday, October 24, 2005


Corporate America

Why I will never fully trust them...

Ok, blogger wasn't letting me post this morning, which is good, because in the interim I read this article and had a recovered memory episode. I think you'll enjoy it.

This this morning I'm scanning the news and I stumble across an article on CNN's webpage discussing the "World's Wierdest Office Attire." Suddenly, a repressed memory flooded my consciousness, one that will give you a better understanding of my politics and one that explains why I sometimes side with the worker bee over the corporate overlord. Here it is.

Back in the 1980s, in the Midwest (at least in the part where I lived), it was generally considered somewhat cool to have a job at McDonald's. Shocking as though it may seem, this was the culture at the time. So, me and some of my friends from high school ensconced ourselves at a nearby outlet, enjoying the fruits of capitalism (an hours work in exchange for $3.35 in hard cash). Anyway, it was a good gig, or so we thought as the cash could be exchanged for various types of acid washed jeans(Merry-go-Round), Van Halen cassettes (Camelot Music) or numerous hi-tech Atari cartridges.

Then one day, circa 1987 or 1988, some Wharton School grad at Corporate headquarters had a brilliant idea to add some exotic lure to the otherwise stale and greasy Chicken McNuggets. The marketing concept was called "Shanghai Chicken McNuggets." Customers could choose from one of several themed dipping sauces and the program was accompanied by store decorations to promote sales.

Unfortunately one of those decorations was a large, conical, styrofoam Asian hat that the management required the staff to wear. (Since this time I have learned that in Asia, these hats are only worn by women)...So you can see where this is going. For the grand sum of $3.35/hr, for several weeks, we were forced to wear these styrofoam hats while at work. They looked ridiculous, we're probably insulting to Asians, and were terribly uncomfortable. In fact, as the promotion dragged on, the hats became saturated with the grease that permeates the air behind the counter. The hats were slippery. So, stirring the pot, as I was wont to do at the time (no surprise I eventually became a lawyer), we began a campaign to break the styrofoam hats. Within two weeks or so they were gone, as my fellow worker bees and I were liberated...

So, while I am a big fan of Capitalism and tend to give businesses the benefit of the doubt, lurking in the background is a slightly greasy, tired 17 year old in a stifling styrofoam Chinese hat. Consciously or unconsciously this probably has given me the tendency to question authority and remain skeptical of corporate America. Of course, in such a situation, could you blame me?

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