Friday, June 27, 2008

Gianni the Be-Gagger

There's a motivational video one of our staff members is interested in showing at a training session this October.

Yeah, ugh already, but it's worse than that. At work today, I watched a short video "inspired" by the actual video, which will cost you about 900 smackeroos on DVD - that's without the workbooks, profound moral extractions, and other training materials that are supposed to come with it. And actually the training materials only add another hundred bucks or so. Doesn't this imply that the makers of the video are afraid you'll figure it out for yourself? Even given the extremely high likelihood that you work in HR?! So you have to shell out a small fortune for it. You can also rent it for somewhere in the neighborhood of 300 bucks.

Okay, so I didn't watch the actual video, but I did sit and watch the awful, treacle-drenched, feel-good swill that was "inspired" by it. You can, too!

Maybe the questions raised by this short film are answered in the full version, but if you're like me, you'll probably have some trouble not blurting out "bullshit!" at several points during the movie. To name just a couple, I find it unlikely that grocery store executives shell out for high-profile motivational speakers to come in and energize their largely teenaged, part-time floor staff. And what are these little "quotes" that Gianni is giving out to his customers? Are we supposed to believe they're simultaneously inspirational and meaningful to everyone who receives them, without ever being offensive to anyone? Do they all work with the phrase "in bed" tacked onto the end? Also, the premise that customers will give up hours out of their day to stand in a longer line, and even make extra, unnecessary trips to the grocery store, just in order to get a slip of paper with some ill-thought-out cliche scrawled across it strikes me as a motivational speaker's masturbation fantasy. The notion that corporate management offices are encouraging their most temporary personnel to "be creative" and add their own "signature" to the way they do their jobs is perhaps the most far-fetched of all, but I'm not sure; it's got some pretty stiff competition (so to speak).

Well, we have until October to figure it out. As Voltaire says, "By appreciation, we make excellence in others our own property." In bed!

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