December 11th, 2006


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

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."