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Be Prepared for the Murkiest Scam - The Book of the Celestial Cow

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December 11th, 2006


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02:57 pm - Be Prepared for the Murkiest Scam
This morning, our company unveiled the Core Values that had been worked on for months. Members of the Executive Team went through the values and described what they meant to the company and to us as employees. We were asked to share our thoughts. The first two values brought up were "Integrity" and "Personal Fulfillment and Satisfaction." I had an anecdote in mind to share for Integrity, but I was afraid to speak up because I'm really not that great at public speaking. Or speaking in general. My heart starts beating really fast and I get really nervous and I trip over my words even though I had worked out in my head what I wanted to say and it's all very scary. The anecdote also worked for Personal Fulfillment, though. There was a slight digression during that section, however, and they almost went on to the next value, and I quietly said, "No, don't go on...okay, go on," but someone did notice, however, and let me have my say.

I had been reminded of a conversation I had had with upanashad a couple weeks ago. I told her I worked at a pharmaceutical company, and she responded, "Oh no, you're the enemy!"

I said, "No, we're a good company! We give free drug to patients who can't afford it!"

I related that bit of dialogue because it fit with both the Core Values the CEO had just described. "It made me feel good that I could say that with confidence," I said. "I like that I can say we're a company whose bottom line is treating patients, not making money. It makes me feel proud to be a part of this company, and I can't imagine working anywhere I don't feel that."

The people in the Board Room applauded. "Good job, Sunil!" said a couple of my co-workers.

It was actually an epiphany I had during that meeting, with the discussion of values. That sense of pride I got from working here, and the fact that once I had tasted it, why would I work at a company where I didn't feel like that? Money is great and all, but I now really understand why someone would take a job with lower pay if they felt better about a company, because you can't buy that.

Later on, I wanted to commit my anecdote to tape since they were filming some sort of video about the values. I wished I'd shaved. And put on a better shirt. The one I had on was so...green.

Which was a big problem when I went in and found out they were filming in front of a greenscreen. I would be a floating head! Luckily, I had a jacket to cover it up.

I sat on a chair, and they micced me, although there was also a boom mic. As it turned out, I had to answer a bunch of questions about the values and the values process before I could get to what I wanted to say, so I winged it. They probably won't use anything since I talk too fast and break up sentences and basically suck. They even had to dab a little makeup on my shiny nose and forehead. And I had to rework my anecdote on the fly to incorporate more of the values stuff since they would only be cutting me, not the questions I was being asked.

As I walked back to my cubicle, I ran into the VP of my department. I remarked upon my having to fend off invisibility by putting on a jacket, and he said, "I'm sure you looked great." I told him I had recorded what I'd said in the meeting.

"I'm glad you said what you did," he said. "I think people really appreciated it, and it was very meaningful."

"Well," I said, "it's the truth."
Current Mood: hopefulproud
Current Music: Lily Allen - Smile

(39 memoirs | Describe me as "inscrutable")

Comments:


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From:truemyth
Date:December 11th, 2006 11:08 pm (UTC)
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Sounds like a great experience. I'm glad you've found such a fulfilling career!
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From:darlingviolenta
Date:December 11th, 2006 11:19 pm (UTC)
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That anecdote made me smile.
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From:cerulgalactus
Date:December 11th, 2006 11:25 pm (UTC)
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Well done, you magnificent floating head of truthiness.
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From:amberlynne
Date:December 11th, 2006 11:27 pm (UTC)
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Hiring marketing writers by any chance? Heh. You are very lucky to work at a place where you can say that! I'm glad that you are smart enough to appreciate that. ;)
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From:spectralbovine
Date:December 11th, 2006 11:33 pm (UTC)
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Hiring marketing writers by any chance? Heh.
Heh. I don't think so, but if I hear of anything, I'll let you know!

You are very lucky to work at a place where you can say that!
Aren't I? It feels too good to be true.
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From:allthelivesofme
Date:December 11th, 2006 11:31 pm (UTC)
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"I like that I can say we're a company whose bottom line is treating patients, not making money. It makes me feel proud to be a part of this company, and I can't imagine working anywhere I don't feel that."

Since I wasn't there to hear that, I'll just applaud now. *claps* :-)
[User Picture]
From:tigeremme
Date:December 11th, 2006 11:36 pm (UTC)
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hmm. i posted a message, and it died. what it said was:

cheers, dude. that's what i feel like when i work for YMP.

and hey, name a night and we'll go have dinner in Berkeley. I'm free Wednesday night, Sunday night, and Tuesday night-and-beyond.
[User Picture]
From:tigeremme
Date:December 11th, 2006 11:37 pm (UTC)
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oh, and, do you feel like seeing ryan?
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From:spectralbovine
Date:December 11th, 2006 11:55 pm (UTC)
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I...suppose I don't mind, but I wasn't planning on it? Not in this context, at least. If it makes scheduling your time easier, I understand, though.
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From:spectralbovine
Date:December 11th, 2006 11:46 pm (UTC)
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Oh, awesome. This Wednesday night should be great. Send me an e-mail with time and place.
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From:erinkayehashet
Date:December 11th, 2006 11:38 pm (UTC)
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Wow, what a nice story. I'm so glad you have a job you both enjoy and can be proud of.
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From:jadelynx
Date:December 12th, 2006 12:16 am (UTC)
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I love that story. It's one of those things my business partner and I strive for. To do for people and not just make things about the bottom line. We obviously aren't shaking worlds by handing out free drugs, but I hope that what we do offer to those in need helps even a little.

I remarked upon my having to fend off invisibility by putting on a jacket

Ah, if only we could all hide our super powers that easily. ;)
[User Picture]
From:sterope
Date:December 12th, 2006 12:33 am (UTC)
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Icon! That was totally the best part of the episode.
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From:upanashad
Date:December 12th, 2006 12:40 am (UTC)
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It was actually an epiphany I had during that meeting

An epiphany during a meeting is much better than a nap.
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From:schnappycat
Date:December 12th, 2006 12:49 am (UTC)
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Unless you work for a sleep clinic.
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From:schnappycat
Date:December 12th, 2006 12:50 am (UTC)
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Yay for liking your job and company! That's fairly rare, among people I know, anyhow. So good for you!
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From:spectralbovine
Date:December 12th, 2006 03:20 am (UTC)
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I know! It's sad that it's so rare.
(Deleted comment)
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From:squaringkarma
Date:December 12th, 2006 01:32 am (UTC)
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Such a lovely story for this time of year.
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From:miniglik
Date:December 12th, 2006 01:46 am (UTC)
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At the beginning of this story I thought you were going to go all "The Office" mocking sitting around and dicussing the "Core Values" of the company. I'm kinda glad it wasn't that, as I think you're right -- being proud of your work (or being proud of your employer) is very important to your happiness. So, "yaay" for your job being good for you and not just mock-worthy. (Or, for the values of a company not just being lipservice.)

On an entirely different note: it's so jarring that you're socially uncomfortable in "real life" because you're so not in this medium. Your story reminds me of J, in that he usually has something interesting to say, but he doesn't get it out in time or no one will let him get it out, because they override him. (And his interviews never get used, even though he's frequently interviewed. Here's hoping yours IS used.)

[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:December 12th, 2006 03:43 am (UTC)
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(Or, for the values of a company not just being lipservice.)
Yeah, they really MEAN something! How fucked up is that?

it's so jarring that you're socially uncomfortable in "real life" because you're so not in this medium.
I'm bad at talking. It's a thing.

Here's hoping yours IS used.
Well, the lady said I looked really good on camera. Because my dark hair shows off my white teeth and I have a nice smile or something.
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From:soundingsea
Date:December 12th, 2006 02:45 am (UTC)
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I'm proud of you!
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From:glasseseater
Date:December 12th, 2006 03:06 am (UTC)
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I'm glad for you.
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From:idreamofpeace
Date:December 12th, 2006 03:37 am (UTC)
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That's awesome about your company. Which one is it? I agree about working at a place that you believe in. The law office I worked in? Not such a place. It made me sick to my stomach. So even though I'm just a nanny, I take pride in my work.
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From:spectralbovine
Date:December 12th, 2006 03:46 am (UTC)
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That's awesome about your company. Which one is it?
Send me an e-mail. (Not that it's a big secret, but it's best not to mention where I work in public, right?)

The law office I worked in? Not such a place. It made me sick to my stomach.
Yeah, and now I understand even more why you would quit. It's an important component.
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From:incidentist
Date:December 12th, 2006 03:40 am (UTC)
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I don't know what's more awesome: the sentiment you expressed, or that you expressed it without tripping up. Cuz I hear ya about the talking too fast and mungling words. Speaking sucks.
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From:spectralbovine
Date:December 12th, 2006 03:47 am (UTC)
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Oh, I tripped up a bit. Definitely didn't all come out the way I'd rehearsed in my head. Stupid speaking.
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From:incidentist
Date:December 12th, 2006 04:50 am (UTC)
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Do you find that some of the issues go away when you speak in an accent? I do. It's strange.
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From:alannaofdoom
Date:December 12th, 2006 05:38 am (UTC)
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The one I had on was so...green.

GREEN IS THE BEST COLOR EVER. TEAM GREEN FTW!!!!


Um... anyway. Good for you, and good for your company. Keep on not being evil!
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From:sistakaren
Date:December 12th, 2006 06:51 am (UTC)

WET BLANKET (sorry)

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Okay, if I don't say something this is going to bug me. Do you work for a large pharm company? Because if you do, then most of them give out at least some free drugs. Or give discounts or something. But honestly dude, I have a really hard time believing that your company puts the patient first. Not when they have some gigantic percentage of their earnings going to shit like "overhead" and "advertising". Pharm companies are the most profitable companies in the country, and that's because they charge so much money and have so many policies protecting their profits.

If you tell me I'm wrong, I'll totally buy it. But this smells rotten. I want you to be proud of where you work. So make sure that they aren't a company that's spending 35% of their profits on advertising or another 30-something percent on "overhead". And that your CEO doesn't make something like $500 million a year (that's not made up). I just had to bring this up.
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From:spectralbovine
Date:December 12th, 2006 10:16 am (UTC)

Re: WET BLANKET (sorry)

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I had a hard time believing it too, and I know that pharm companies are generally very profitable. We're actually a small biotech, although we're partnered with a large pharm company. Maybe I'm naive for buying into it, but everything that's come out of anyone's mouth sure makes it sound like they care about the patients, that they want patients to have the best treatment available to them, even if it isn't ours.

I don't think our CEO makes that much a year, considering we didn't even make that much as a company this year.
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From:aprilbegins
Date:December 12th, 2006 07:31 am (UTC)
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Money is great and all, but I now really understand why someone would take a job with lower pay if they felt better about a company, because you can't buy that.

*frowns*
*listens to Phantom of the Opera ballad*
*still frowning*

Money doesn't control what job I choose, precisely, but I sure as hell need it now to survive loan payback. And I'm still not happy at my mother's dirt-poor choices of jobs when I was growing up. I think it's one thing to choose happiness over financial stability when you're single, and quite another if you've got a family to support. But my mother is also a fucking moron in general.
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From:ora_wai
Date:December 12th, 2006 10:34 am (UTC)
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Yay! I want to work for a company like this one.

Also, Lily Allen? Smile? Really? I plan to avoid her at the BDO.
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From:harper47
Date:December 12th, 2006 01:44 pm (UTC)
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That is so great! I'm so proud of you for speaking up and then the whole interview and everything. It truly is vital to feel good about what you do everyday. (insert happy bouncing for you)

I work at a law firm during the day and so many lawyers have bad raps but I work for a great lawyer that never scams clients or insurance companies, turns away bad cases and gets great settlements for people who truly are in need. I know I feel good every day I come to work (and it goes without saying that I love my musical theatre jobs). So I know what you mean about working for a place you believe in.

So cool. And you know you don't need to be nervous about public speaking. Come to one of my classes and I'll have you confident and dramatic in no time. Hee!
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From:daynr
Date:December 12th, 2006 03:04 pm (UTC)
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Be grateful for you co-workers too; I technically have a fulfilling, helpful job but I work with someone evil and that ruins the whole experience. It's the combo of good company and good coworkers that is so wonderful.
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From:spectralbovine
Date:December 12th, 2006 05:00 pm (UTC)
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Oh, yeah, I love my co-workers. It must suck to work in a place where you hate your co-workers.
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From:soleta_nf
Date:December 13th, 2006 01:18 am (UTC)
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Aww, that's so sweet. I'm glad you work at a good company! You're lucky to have that at this point in your career, too.
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From:mutinousmuse
Date:December 14th, 2006 04:12 am (UTC)
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I couldn't work at a job wherein I didn't think I was doing something actual useful in the moral sense, so w00t for your company! :) Also, I watched the Avatar finale and am going to squee all over your reaction post this weekend. Because... dude. Avatar!
[User Picture]
From:mutinousmuse
Date:December 14th, 2006 04:16 am (UTC)
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And why oh why can't we edit comments? Actually useful. Grrrr.

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