Thursday, May 31, 2007

Life in the Dilbertopia -- Drinks are on Me

I was scheduled to have my mid-year performance review tomorrow (now mercifully postponed since I didn't send it to my supervisor for his input until late afternoon) and it reminded me of the latest bit of corporate zeal.

We had one of our periodic all group off-site breakfast meetings last week. These typically consist of coffee, carbohydrates and lots of PowerPoint slides. The most highly touted stuff is usually bullshit, and the really interesting stuff is the stuff they try to slide by as "oh, by the way." It operates on the same principle that professional magicians and card cheats use -- misdirection.

One of the perks provided to us in the salt mine is free sodas. It sounds stupid, but gosh, I'll admit it: I can be bought for a 12 oz. can of Diet Dr Pepper. Last week's "oh by the way" moment was when they flashed the slide showing the cost of our free sodas doubled from last year to the (projected) cost this year: $50,000. Never mind that our staffing has roughly doubled. So it was with a heavy heart that "Beanie" Countwell, our CIO (Chief Irritant Omigod) announced the End of the Free Soda era.

Yeah, yeah.

This bit of bad news came right after the announcement of a new Employee Incentive program that will be slinging out $25 gift cards to the deserving. You didn't have to be that bright a bulb to see where the financing of this program was coming from. Certainly not from our CEO's $29 Million Dollar salary.

To lighten the blow of the missing colas, we will soon have drink machines installed in the break room that sell sodas at a subsidized cost: 25 cents a can. I don't know what made me think of this (perhaps the fact that our health care plan went from pretty good to shit this year) but as we were walking out of the room it occurred to me: we now have a co-pay for our drinks.

The notion just seem so right.

Cracking wise the other day, I said that if I ever got one of the $25 gift cards I'd go out and buy $25 worth of sodas and stick them in the break room refrigerators. One of my equally disgruntled coworkers observed I'd probably get fired for insubordination.

I decided then and there I could think of no more noble reason calling than to be fired for treating my peers soft drinks.

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