Corporate Psych 101

Right before the holidays my company got some new artwork for the office. Perhaps it was meant to be motivational, like that kitten hanging in there…

kitten motivation

Always spot your landings!

Or the frog that never gives up…

Never quit frog

Are they telling the stork, or the frog?

Or, perhaps it was just artwork…  But it isn’t working for me.

Here’s the thing, you should never put up artwork behind the front desk of your office, that place that everyone HAS to look when they first walk in the door, and that half of your company has to walk past every time they need to pee, or grab tea, or coffee, or eat or…

If it has a message like these…

dream crushing poster

Just another soul crushing day at the office.

Demotivational poster quit

Sure it's important to know when to quit, but your boss shouldn't be telling you that.

get to work don't dream

Bad poster to inspire your creative team with...

Now these aren’t the exact posters that are up at my office, but the sentiment is the same.

The posters that went up right behind the front desk, right where I have to see them every morning as I walk in, every time I have to pee, or get tea, or eat lunch, or come back from a walk, or…  This is what confronts me.  And everyone else on my creative team.

These posters bothered me as soon as they went up.  Then I took a vacation.  I read Blink by Malcolm Gladwell and realized just how influential these small things can be in how we approach the world.  A small negative thing that barely registers can fuck up your whole outlook for the rest of the day.  Now, knowing this can help you combat it.  Which is good since the posters aren’t going anywhere.  But even the small act of ducking my head so I won’t see them when I walk in fills me a feeling of defeat.  Not the best way to start a day at a soul-sucking corporate jobby-job.

All I can imagine is that this is their way of culling the herd to make room for the new hires they say we can’t afford.

Some people will, undoubtably be unable to resist the negativity of the posters and quit. It will save on future layoffs, unemployment, and as I said it will make room for the new hires.  Not to mention that any future applicant who makes it past those and still wants the job will have proven just how serious they are about working for The Man.


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