What do you get when you mix a whole lotta sausage with a whole lotta bullshit? Nope, not a McGriddle sandwich. You get my company's annual office meeting! Twenty-two dudes and three women - the 3 women being administrative assistants and the 22 men being engineers. It is, after all, the year 1957. We used to have a female engineer, but she quit after a dispute over maternity leave. Now we just stick with men.
Our meeting was held in the function room of a local restaurant so that all of the people arriving for dinner could walk by and be thankful that they weren't us. What they saw was the complete opposite of a Dave & Buster's commercial. You know, the one where some lady is shaking two fistfuls of prize tickets while buffalo chicken rains down around her, and her boyfriend is playing skee-ball with Cajun shrimp exploding out of the chandeliers. Yeah, no, we all just looked depressed as hell. Hands folded, eyes down, don't even think about whacking a mole or you're fired kind of expressions.
These meetings are always chock full of good sayings and reminders such as "give 110%" and "change is the only constant." But my all time favorite is when our branch manager refers to us as "bodies." He said, and I quote:
"We have a few more bodies in the room this year than we did last year."
"It's always nice to bring in some new bodies."
It's nice to know that we are the equivalent of a wheelbarrow full of interchangeable, re-animated, corpses.
Anyway, once the slogan "you make a mistake, you die" was thoroughly beaten into our brains, it was time to hand out service awards for a job well done! Particularly disturbing was the one handed out to an employee of 15 years along with the statement that he "knows where all the bodies are buried" (please see previous paragraph).
All in all the meeting wasn't totally terrible. It got me out of work at 3:00 p.m., a free glass of wine at the bar, and plenty of time to warn you that if you don't hear from me next week, please call the police.