Magic

Can the Arrondissement get any more outre? By Willow.
This type of “my name is” sticker makes my stomach contract, connected as it usually is with team building brainstorming work events where some vaguely hippie woman will turn up with butcher’s paper, and coloured pens that inevitably stop working after three letters and first there will be an icebreaking activity that will make every fibre in your being curdle with revulsion such as make an origami bird with a partner, then there will be an invitation to get into fucking groups and sit next to someone you don’t know. Ahhh fuck no, work drones and strangers, what could be bettter? And someone will have to be the one to write down the moronic ideas that nobody is interested in anyway, particularly those listing where management is going wrong, and then the next marker pen will fail after one word. And then you will be asked to stick your pathetic pieces of paper together at the front of the room and some poor cunt will have to mumble their way through your list of crap. And then you will be asked to return your non working pens to the moderator who puts them away in a white platic bag to fail next time they get paid $1000 to do this shit. And then there will be an anecdotal inspirational story about someone who never gave up and reached their goal like Justin Langer, and then there will be a buffet lunch which is actually surprisingly nice but of course there is no piss, which is the only thing that would make this thing bearable, and then you’ll find that while you were at lunch, the moderator has switched everyone’s seats around so that you are sitting next to some other dork who, becuase you are feeling drowsy after lunch, you can only grunt at and then the afternoon session goes by in a stuporous blur and you find the only bright spark is that you -as always, finish half an hour early, and then you fill in the evaluation sheet and down as many free crown lagers you can and go.

About The Lazy Aussie

Commended Haiku writer. A lover of The West's Worst. Perth stand-up comedian, photographer and writer.
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98 Responses to Magic

  1. David cohen says:

    Mind you, there’s sometimes the joy when the moderator accidentally farts.

    Like

  2. JaneZ says:

    You forgot that the convener woman has dyed red hair and wears an art teacher necklace and constantly slips in references to the massive success of the team building consultancy business she established since leaving a public service HR department.

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  3. Bento says:

    The coffee is usually instant, too.

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  4. The Legend 101 says:

    Where is this and where did the sign go?

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  5. langhorne says:

    Good description of the public service where they have the time and money to waste on such consultants inflicting pain on the minions.

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    • Bag O'Turnips says:

      These corporate bonding sessions seem to be the domain of private industry and increasingly, the Third Sector (a.k.a. the non-profits, charities and religious outfits), in trying to soften the blow prior to bringing in something particularly odious and unpalatable, such as deteriorating workplace conditions brought in by unsavoury industrial relations reforms and/or retrenchments and (often entirely misdirected) rationalisations.

      And have any of you noticed how these events seem to be upon the advice of one of those MBA cuntz from either the CCIWA or AIM, who have held sway the last quarter century and the efficacy of their implementations has shown to be most detrimental over the long term (the first long-term consequences are being seen in the shambles of the GFC and the near-bankruptcy of the USA).

      Having learnt something in that time about how people react, they twigged upon the idea of these corporate bonding sessions in order to provide the mirage of a sense of humanity and concern for their worker underlings…if there’s one thing I hate more than openly ruthless corporate cunts, that’s those supercilious corporate fucking cunts who pretend to be making love to you all the while rogering you up the date with their herpes-infested dodger, to use a metaphor, using their beguiling manner to seduce you, then use you and finally unceremoniously dump you, yourself riddled with their HSV1 pox.

      Makes me glad that I was unwell that day a few weeks ago when I was supposed to sit in on one of these…I remember the one two years ago being especially turgid…I had prepared a few copies of “Bullshit Bingo”—which is a game you play to both prevent boredom and take the piss, where you spot the buzzwords and hackneyed aphorisms they are so besotted by and you check them off on a sheet, with a few different versions distributed to the colleagues you know are fellow cynics and reprobates, then the first one to get ten words or phrases identified has the privilege of shouting “BINGO!” to a mightily bemused facilitator and lightly amused general audience (fellow staff). Just as well I didn’t go, for everybody’s sake, for the ones addled by the Kool-Aid would’ve found the nearest legal reason to sack me, despite my high regard amongst most of my peers!

      The last time they held one of these ballyhoed dos, it was prior to the fait-accompli introduction of a biometric-based logon time management system, which caused some controversy (why not use magnetic swipe cards?). Now it’s a prelude to the incorporation of existing Disability Services Commission (DSC) group homes, which currently are run by the State Government, when they are privatised in the near future…the real reason for privatisation is purely ideological; beyond the belief that government have no need for a place in service provision in a field otherwise serviced by Third Sector organisations, the DSC social trainers earn nearly $15k more than the privately employed ones, and earn about $20k more than those of us (like me) qualified as social trainers, but paid as support workers (a.k.a. carers—only in limited circumstances are those so qualified paid in recognition) and the DSC STs only need to perform their direct roles in their homes, whereas the not-for-profit employees are multitaskers, which includes cooking and cleaning; the DSC employ contractors to conduct these specific tasks. They solely see this as an opportunity to slash the benchmark wages, while the privates see it as an instant growth spurt to fuel their management’s ego about the size of the organisation.

      Problem is though, when this eventuates, many current DSC employees will not wear a fifteen grand pay cut, which is what they’ll face even if contracted solely as STs rather than SWs, thus walk away from the industry. This on the surface to the average punter as a good thing, as it’ll seemingly bring down costs in a chronically underfunded sector. However, DSC staff work usually with the most difficult clients (of whom usually possess extreme challenging behaviours and to handle violence is not unknown for the staff) that the privates had little interest in housing, for it was often beyond their scope, thus the most experienced workers will simply walk away from the industry entirely and look for similarly or better remunerated work in other sectors…their depth of experience will not be easily recovered. And recruiting quality staff is already a struggle: out of the 90-or-so inductees brought in each year, only about 20 stay on beyond three months, and of those 20-odd folk, only about a third of them are any much good; the others are merely timeservers who’d rather be somewhere else and promptly depart when that somewhere else presents an opportunity.

      Oh, I did go off on a protest tangent there, but I just couldn’t help but illustrate the nefarious ends that these supposedly folksy and affirmative workshops (which have little to nil bearing on actual training expertise) are set to accomplish my mollifying the masses from agitation.

      I see right through this mumbo jumbo hoohah for what it is and it’s a waste of valuable resources: the only one getting any worth out of these is the smarmy facilitator cunt who walks away laughing with their appearance fee.

      A fucking sham. A Fucking Worst, if there ever was, but sadly not limited to the Metropolitan Regional Planning Scheme boundaries of Greater Perth.

      Like

  6. Bento says:

    Thank god for sexual harassment paranoia, or you could add that ‘falling backwards and trusting the team to catch you’ to the list of excruciating exercises.

    Like

  7. pete says:

    I can’t believe the only graffiti on this blog not to feature a penis is the one by someone with penis in their name.

    This wouldn’t have happened when the 2010 Magik Penis Kids were running the gang.

    Like

  8. slaadi says:

    I was at UWA yesterday for In The Pines and apparently MPK have been to the toilets there too http://instagr.am/p/DfVRK/

    Like

  9. NF#1 says:

    Great write-up TLA. My other half attended just such a training day recently. The fact that it adhered in almost every point to your description raised a chuckle or two ’round here. You did however forget to mention the usual orgy of comic sans on printed handouts. I’m informed that one “learning experience” guru “discovered that people attending conferences/workshops preferred coffee breaks and lunchtimes more than formal presentations and planning sessions!” Wow. Also reminds me of some bullshit “Breakout!” course my brother had to do a few times while working at a certain large bank. At one point the course convener, detecting my bro’s scepticism, announced to the group that he was a classic example of someone with too many “withholds.” They have ways of dealing with the sceptics – you’ve got a negative attitude, not a team-player, etc. From what I’m told, $1000 is probably on the low side of what these charlatans earn per day. Time to get my “Opportunities Seminar” into swing I think.

    Like

    • No he was “Toxic” to the group. Yes, I forgot the comic sans and clip art.

      Like

    • An organisation I know of had to resort to having them on river cruise ferries, otherwise everyone left at lunchtime.

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    • There are compulsory groans at two points, when the butchers paper comes out, and when the call to get into groups is made. Also often making its eveil appearance, the electronic printable whiteboard. The cunt that invented those better have had many a cancer scare.

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    • Snuff says:

      Despite the fact that my day job at the time involved team teaching with Japanese teachers whom my then company had explicitly stated were solely responsible for classroom management, once I arrived at a training seminar to find that one of the “presentations” was on precisely that.

      So, after the butcher’s paper and marker pens and group allotment blah blah blah each group shuffled up to present their ideas. Our group got the Classroom Bully category I recall, so after my colleagues had muttered through their suggestions, it was my turn. In my best Steven Wright I deadpanned, “Not our job. Do not get involved, or you’ll only make things worse. Japanese teachers do not appreciate the implication that they’re not doing their job properly, particularly in front of their students.”

      Awkward.

      Like

  10. NF#1 says:

    Yeah, and the fact that this “street art” meme is directly ripped off from the site linked to by Snuff in the first post renders the whole thing even more pathetic than the usual sub-Banksy shite people evidently like to plaster about the place as part of some desperately misguided attempt to engineer themselves and/or the Perth urban environment as somehow “hip” or “cool” with some element of “twee” (the contemporary sugar-coating of capitalist and consumer rankness – see innumerable bank ads, Frankie magazine et al) almost never far behind. Oh shit, I forgot, it’s micro-protest – the only sort available in this post-modern world of ours where the multiplicity of voices and truths subverts monolithic grand narratives while the guerilla street artist similarly opens up chinks in the otherwise omnipresent prison-walls of commercial conformity to let through the light of individuality and creativity – in short, of freedom, and with it the ability to say “No!” to unethical coffee and top 40 music and Ed Hardy wear and instead begin to intimate, however vaguely, the promise of a hipper world free of contradiction, ugliness and thought.

    Like

  11. BRIK says:

    I had one of those recent group interview where you have to be more happy than Sunrise presenter on crack to stand out. One of the working together exercises involved us getting into groups and then making shit with Lego.

    Like

    • Lucky Star says:

      Sounds similar to a group interview I had for a public service job I went for. We had to do role play on how we would champion the cause of some freak with leprosy on his dick or whatever disease or disability they’d drawn for each of us from a hat and be extraordinarily happy doing it while two of the interviewers watched. It was torture. Lemon juice in a paper cut would have been more pleasurable.

      Like

  12. Lucky Star says:

    Sounds like every “team building” day at my previous job. You didn’t happen so also work for a certain Perth utility company did you TLA? All our team building days were run by an overly enthusiatic loud American woman with long hair that flopped in her face and the outlandish hippy jewellery. She brought the obilgatory non-functioning marker pens and reams of butchers paper and made us do lame off-the-cuff role playing where you had to be serious – having a sense of humour with it was greatly frowned upon. Being customer service based, she also made us listen to a lame Simon and Garfunkle song on a similar theme – repeatedly. Ugh!

    Like

  13. Snuff says:

    And while we’re at it, here’s the inimitable David Thorne’s take on the subject.

    Like

  14. Paracleet says:

    You people seriously need to get alignment with your synergies. Going forward at the end of the day. We need leverage.

    Like

    • Bag O'Turnips says:

      Have you read the trilogy of books by Don Watson that looks at this infestation of corporate-speak into everyday culture? The capricious overuse of these empty and soulless words is an abomination and needs to resisted at every turn.

      These are pox on the English language and its beauty. Down with them.

      Like

      • E.V. says:

        Yes, agreed, Bo’T. An equally horrid mutation to our language is that utterly senseless boganism- “Yeah, Nah” . Any bogan who talks like this should have his tongue removed.

        Like

      • NF#1 says:

        Your whole problem Turnips is that you must realize the importance of a streamlined object-oriented approach in all matters – in other words, think about how you might incentivize robustly harmonized future facing business process landscapes. Otherwise you’re simply exceeding your performance envelope. It’s a steep learning curve, I know.

        Like

      • orbea says:

        can I buy at amazon?

        Like

      • Rolly says:

        They are but words, B’oT.
        Used by the perfidious to avoid having to make the effort to build a case for their deceits, and by the followers of fashion who are unable to create original thoughts and ideas of their own.

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      • Snuff says:

        You can hear Don and AC Grayling in discussion with DFOC here.

        Like

      • WAtching says:

        You’re right. There is nothing worse than bloated and excessively wordy writing…

        Like

        • Bag O'Turnips says:

          There’s a distinct difference between “big” words that aren’t in common usage, but nevertheless roll off of the tongue beautifully, having great mouth feel. Nothing wrong with them at all, they’re what make English a language of deep beauty.

          On the other hand, words that serve to obfuscate and make obscure the true meaning, well, to paraphrase the selfsame author’s former employer (Don Watson was speechwriter for Paul Keating) they are pre-Copernican obscurantists.

          Like

          • Jaidyn-Jaxxon says:

            What I love is when vapid cunts like Craig Silvey apply the same principle of oblique expression to distinguish their product from non-‘literary’ trash that people who love the smell of second-hand books would never buy and it totally impels a rare moment of caprice in their readership. Great tactic, however used.

            Like

  15. pandn2010 says:

    I’ve seen the DFOC, Don & Grayling show, RN seem to like repeating it as I’ve heard it there twice. I’ll join the rest of you in having sat through these torture tests, made spider webs & safety devices out of straws to protect eggs (that one was next door to a pub – never again) Here’s something kind of relevant<.

    Like

  16. Paracleet says:

    The mobile version of this page is now headed by an add in French (in Belgium atm) for a team building course. I love the smell of irony in the morning.

    Like

  17. IZK says:

    MPK are famous woooooo lets all bitch about shit on the internet and take photos of signs FUCK YEAH! id rather hand out with fish paks and isor

    Like

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