Monday, November 19, 2007

Subversive Motivation


Last week my boss thought it would beneficial to discuss the latest and greatest motivational speaker, it was thought that it would spur us employees onward, to strive, to set goals.

Actually, it did the opposite.

The timing could not have been worse. I was up to my eyeballs in a project and there I was in a meeting that was sucking my precious time. I won't tell you the name of the motivational speaker (there are dozens take your pick). It touched on setting goals, stress, you know, the usual mantra. Something happened in that meeting, because once back in our offices a wave started---an "anti-motivational" one.

Instead of posting our goals we found the opposite; sarcastic, witty, darkly humorous phrases that were taped above our computers, emailed to each other, and shared in conversation. Here are a few:

"The race for quality has no finish line, so technically, its more like a death march."

"Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups."

Another web site: allows you to create your own. Here are some amusing ones that were there:
"I have no idea what you are saying and I'm not listening either."

"Tact is for people who lack the wit for sarcasm."

"I suppose I should be flattered that the whole universe is out to get me."

This counter movement turned out to be the best thing, everyone was more productive once they recognized their inner passive aggressive selves...(actually we all laughed and moved on).

Here is a saying that I posted above my computer: (I have no idea who coined it) Either Lead, follow, or get the hell out of the way.

Do you have a anti-motivational, or sarcastic phrase that comes to mind? Something that makes you laugh? C'mon, share it! We all need the chuckle.


Carla Swafford said...

The latest I've seen on someone's desk at work is one with a picture of Bruce Willis and the young boy in Sixth Sense.

"I see dumb people...they're everywhere...they walk around like everyone else...they don't even know that they're dumb and some of here."

JoAnn said...

Gosh, Mary, I feel for you! The last company I worked for was all into that teamwork, touchy-feely stuff. (We had a retreat where we had to sit in a circle, hold hands, and sing KumBaYah. I am not kidding.) But thank goodness, the company I work for now knows what motivate$ people. That doesn't mean they give it to us, but at least they don't try to pretend.

I love your coworker's saying, Carla!