Sometimes You Pay For Bullshit

« June 2013 »


And you don't care about it either. Yeah, you. Over there. Pretending you give a shit that the IRS supposedly spent $1,600 on a conference video with employees line-dancing badly, or $60,000 for a pair of "Gilligan's Island" and "Star Trek" internal parody videos, again, for employee morale and conference bullshit.

You don't care. You may THINK you care, but you don't really care. And you know why? Because odds are, if you've worked in any organization, public or private, with even the slightest hint of white collar middle class career possibilities, you have benefited from, participated in, been the victim of, or at least been a bystander to, some bullshit like this.

The day-long seminar where the chain restaurant you kind of like brings box lunches in branded boxes that look and taste nothing like the food that's actually on their menu? Bullshit.

The thing where all the bosses fake-humiliate themselves to make them seem down to earth and relatable to the regular staff? Bullshit.

The presentation that starts twenty minutes late because everyone's fucking around with the wireless microphones on the rented sound system? Bullshit.

The free buttons or mugs or keychains or lanyards with the new initiative's half-assed Adobe Illustrator logo on them? Bullshit.

That plaque? Bullshit. That Powerpoint set to the Rocky theme song? Bullshit. Those USB fans and/or water bottles you left with? Bullshit. It's all bullshit. And all of it cost money. And that's OK.

Whether you like it or barely tolerate it or secretly seethe at your co-workers for doing it, it's a thing. Organizations do it. Groups of employees do it. You know why? Because they, like Soylent Green, are made of people. And sometimes, people need to fuck around and give it a thinly veiled excuse called "team-building" or "conference". Hell, sometimes things actually get accomplished at these things.

The Republicans say government should be run like a business? Fine. Quadruple the numbers "wasted" on IRS stuff. You're still nowhere near where private industry is on food alone. And don't buy into the $1,600 estimate on that one dancing video. Accounting is weird and it probably includes the salaries of everyone who was dancing, pro-rated for the length of the dance.

And don't try to pretend that a tax dollar is somehow more special or important than a dollar you give a bank in fees, or a dollar you give as a "service charge" to Ticketmaster, or the dollar in "handling" from an online retailer. They're all dollars you don't have anymore and may not have actually gotten something in return from.

Some of your tax dollars build roads, some of your tax dollars murder brown people, and some of your tax dollars go to rent Next Generation uniforms so that a few thousand bureaucrats' days aren't a constant smear of gray drudgery punctuated by raiseless paychecks and bouts of pension fear. That's how life works. That's how people work.

So stop pretending to care about piddly shit like this while saying at the same time that nobody's being hurt by the sequester. The people that used to get Meals On Wheels aren't interested in your fucked-over priorities.