The invitation arrived several weeks ago: “You’re invited to a Romance FUN Party.” The accompanying image showed four impossibly attractive women with perfect hair toasting each other with glasses of champagne. “Bring 3 Guests and Win a ‘Date Night’ bag!” we were promised. In a separate email the hostess pointed out “ladies only!”
Yeah. You know what this was all about. As did everyone who responded “yes” on their RSVP.
The gals arrived with handbags in tow and quickly set about consuming wine and cupcakes while checking out the dizzying array of merchandise on display. After 30 minutes of readiness (alcoholic lubrication as it were) the hostess gathered us all together and the Personal Romance Consultant took over.
We introduced ourselves by playing a game – “Hi! I’m Debbie. My porn name is Fluffy Bayridge and my secret bedroom name is ‘Tiger”!” More games followed; some using props. There was a slide show.
Then we got down to business. There were stories and demonstrations. The jargon flowed freely; no need to sugar coat what this was all about. As we were indoctrinated into the world of “Romance” the Personal Romance Consultant was very clear to point out that the greatest romance you have is with yourself (“You are ALL beautiful!!”).
“Can you explain again the 4 different ways to use that product?” asked Debbie.
“Let me show you again,” said the Personal Romance Consultant as she deftly manipulated the merchandise she held in her hand. “I use this myself; it’s my favorite.”
And with that the store was open for business. Purchases were made in the privacy of the hostesses’ spare bedroom.
Debbie left the party with a sizable credit card bill and a smile on her face.
The letters arrived several weeks ago: “Welcome to our company!” The accompanying glossy brochure displayed four impossibly happy looking ‘employees’ (age, gender, and race diverse!) kicking back on colorful sofas in what appeared to be a common work area. “We’re so pleased you’re part of our team!” the brochure stated. “Employees are our most important asset,” began one sentence, “and we demonstrate that by living our values of communication, transparency and personal empowerment.”
Yeah. You know what this was all about. As did the eager new recruits, or so they thought, who had just landed a job.
The new employees arrived on day 1 and quickly set about consuming coffee and donuts while looking askance at the piles of paperwork and binders placed at each seat. After a brief period of strained chit chat the HR Representative quieted the group and the day began.
New employees introduced themselves by playing a game – “Hi! I’m Carla. I have a 12 year old son and a 14 year old daughter. My hobbies are playing bunco and working in my garden.” More games followed; some using props. There was a slide show.
Then they got down to business. There were stories and demonstrations. The jargon flowed freely. It was an indoctrination into the company with the HR Representative taking great pains to point out that the company was committed to providing a great work environment (“You are ALL important!”).
“Can you further explain the company’s flexible work policy listed in the brochure you sent me? asked Carla. “The recruiter told me about it but he didn’t have all the details.”
“Your manager will determine if your position qualifies,” said the HR Representative as she deftly shuffled the stack of I-9s on the conference room table. “You’re eligible to be considered for flex scheduling or telecommuting once you’ve been here 12 months and have received satisfactory performance appraisals with no disciplinary actions.”
And with that the new job tenure began; clarification of company values and policies to be made in the privacy of individual managers’ offices.
Carla never did manage to find that common work area with the colorful sofas… before she resigned on day 65.