World-Class Paradigms of Total Excellence:
I Really Mean Really Mean Business
Speech by David J. Huffenpuff
CEO and Chairman, Pointless, Inc.Given to grateful employees - and to the world - just last week.
First of all let me thank each of you for agreeing to give up some of your vacation time to attend this mandatory meeting. I praise that kind of selfless dedication. I called this meeting to update you on what's happening in Pointless, Inc., and to affirm our dedication and commitment to you, the employees, as a core value at Pointless. Like the stockholders, and diversity, and customer satisfaction, you, the employees, are the most important thing to me.
While things today are more like they are than they have ever been before, we must never forget the future, for that is where the future of this company is. Constant change is here to stay, which means that the future just isn't what it used to be. Not anymore, at least. And it's time we wake up to the fact. Those who don't move will be left behind in the dust of economic history - and the only way to move is up or out, or laterally, too. But Pointless will not be moved as we stand with our feet firmly planted in the bedrock of profit-centered stability, in spite of the floods of change that sweep over us and which have swept over us in past history. If you don't learn from the lessons of history, you will be forced to relive this speech, so let's get it right the first time. We must be the best and lead the rest, whatever the cost - as long as it's not too much. And more effective cost savings is certainly the key to our world class domination of the market.
In other words, Pointless stands out amid the bleak background of normalcy as a unique point of light among a 1000 lightless points. Pointless, as you know, is doing better today than it ever has, with more integrated infrastructures of empowerment, more advanced multifunctional team paradigms, more synchronized workstreams, and more stages and gates than any other company I've seen, with higher norms of diversity and higher levels of synergistic quality function deployment.
Specifically, thanks to relentless cost-cutting measures and a restructuring of pension funds, our losses last quarter were record lows. Two quarters ago our losses were 10% of sales. Thanks to my aggressive efforts and your dedication, we have reported losses of only 5% this last quarter. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to extrapolate that rate of growth for the next several quarters and to realize that were are soon going to be rolling in profits. Next quarter we should break even, then show a 5% profit the following quarter. Looking ahead a mere ten years, we can forecast profits to be 200% of revenues - a level of performance that no other company has ever achieved. Yet we are well on our way. All that stands between us and the future is a mere instant in time. Truly, today marks the first day of the remainder of the successive days that we can anticipate following today or the day after in the foreseeable future and beyond, to coin a phrase.
The new era of profitability that we face is not all due to my personal leadership. I'm serious about that. Your ability to follow my orders and emulate my teachings was instrumental. Now it's time for you, as employees, to benefit financially from the new strength of our corporation. During our Cognitive Affirmation and No-risk Encounter sessions last month, you were encouraged to openly and freely express your concerns to management in the spirit of partnership, empowered teamsmanship, and paradigm optimization. You spoke out, and we have heard. We have listened with our hearts and with our minds and with some listening devices installed in your cubicles. Some of you expressed concern about salaries and suggested that we show more willingness to help our employees financially. We appreciate that input - and we are taking action. The only way we can maintain and possibly increase our current competitive salaries, in the face of increasing market pressures, is to downsize once again. Please check your office after my speech for pink "Post-it" notes informing you of who is being out-placed. Or e-mail. And please don't assume that the selection of who to lay off had anything to do with who went around griping and moaning about inadequate salaries. There were plenty of other reasons, too, for those people being rightsized.
I mentioned the possibility of salary increases. Actually, I'm pleased to announce it has become a reality. All executives in Pointless will receive an average increase of 10% in salary, a gift made possible by the savings from our most recent layoffs. While the current downsizing was not broad enough to justify salary increases in the lower ranks, we can offer you a major expansion of your benefits program that will directly help your finances. Effective immediately, we are asking our in-house financial planners to provide two hours a week for personal financial consulting as a free service for all employees. This consulting will be done after hours, of course, on your own time, and theirs, in order to maintain a healthy bottom line. Please bring your own Tarot cards. We feel the free financial consulting and investment advice should do much to alleviate financial stresses. I think you'll be impressed at their proficiency.
In the face of our recent waves of downsizing, some critics ask why I gave myself a 20% increase in pay. Fortunately, we have listened, and the controversy about high CEO salaries has largely been solved: those critics are no longer with the company. You see, their whole argument was one big lie. The truth is, we had budgeted a 50% increase in my salary, so by only taking a 20% increase, there was in effect a 30% cut compared to what was projected. Any CEO willing to take that kind of cut for the good of his company deserves some kind of a raise. That raise, of course, will result in more money spent to stimulate the economy and to provide more jobs for people like you - a win/win situation.
Let me be absolutely, unmistakably clear about the issue of my allegedly high salary: in the world of Corporate America, anyone who can downsize as fiercely and as broadly as I have is a Corporate Superstar, and Superstars EARN big bucks. Michael Jordan gets paid millions for the work he does - not because he's unfair, not because he doesn't care about little people, but because he's a Superstar and earns it. Michael and I, we're two birds in the same pea pod, just with different strokes, or feathers of a different color. He earns his pay, and you're darn right I earn mine.
Some Wall Street analysts have compared me to Al Dunlap, the famous former CEO known for downsizing corporations. I'm flattered, but also ticked, for Al stole every idea he ever had from me. His book, Mean Business, paints him as the savior of corporate America, when I hope you'd all agree it's really me. But let him have his day in the sun - he'll just get skin cancer, leaving me as the only game in town. Pointless, Inc. will continue to grow in fame and glory long after Al Dunlap has been forgotten. Someday analysts will admire Pointless as one of the top 5 world-class companies in the U.S., and will speak in tones of awe about the man who caused such growth by the systematic gutting of his corporation. If he's Chainsaw Al, I'm going to be Doomsday Dave.
But enough about me. Let's talk about you, the employees of Pointless, Inc., the employees who are helping me move this corporation toward the future one day at a time. Pointless is a great place to work, as you know, because we have great people. There is greatness in each of you, and in each applicant who wants to take your job for less money. That's why you work so hard - because you know your years of loyalty could be thrown out the window anytime in order to hire someone less expensive. That's called competition, and it's the secret to our success. As they say, if you don't like the heat, then get out of the incinerator.
Now Pointless Software Products Announced
Now let me tell you about some of the new products that we are unleashing in the market place, products which will turn up the heat on our competition and allow us to seize market share like it was going out of style. We've put our years of business expertise into powerful new software to solve your greatest business challenges. In fact, we hired a programmer recently to put all our expertise into Windows 97 programs, highly powerful programs called "Wizards" that integrate perfectly with Microsoft products through the wonders of OLE, API + ODBC/ODC, PDQ-VIP and ICU2.
Our biggest hit is the new Layoff Wizard. Layoff Wizard eliminates all the guilt and hassle of layoffs by making those tough decisions for you, automatically, so it's hardly your responsibility any more. All you do is "seed" the software by providing criteria for the layoff in a convenient Excel spreadsheet. For example, you might wish to target white males over 50 years old or anyone whose middle name is "Elmer." Layoff Wizard then accesses your corporate database and creates the list of people to layoff, automatically sending them e-mail or voice mail messages to inform them of the decision. The Wizard then uses Microsoft Word to create and print a press release giving lofty reasons for the layoff to totally obscure your real motives. This may be the most valuable software your company could ever own. We've already used it for our last three layoffs - without a single valid complaint.
Layoff Wizard was scheduled to ship this month, but we are facing slight delays since laying off our programmer to increase profitability in our new Software Division. We are currently out-housing our programming to Edison Middle School, where high-tech kids in the School to Work program are getting real world experience while providing free manpower for our software engineering needs. By the way, if any of you would like to donate any kind of a computer and some programming software to Edison Middle School, we'd be most appreciative.
Other soon-to-ship software products include:
- Pension Seizing Wizard to show improved paradigms for healthy management of previously unused pension funds.
- Buzz-Mantra® Mission Statement Generator to automatically and rapidly generate classic mission statements using the latest, most popular buzzwords and paradigms, with free monthly updates.
- Online Purchasing Wizard to help you develop a user interface for your online purchasing system. The goal, of course, is to control expenses by making it virtually impossible for an order to be entered. Literally dozens of opportunities for failure, stress, and humiliation can be created - and Online Purchasing Wizard shows you how.
- Offshoring Genie - a powerful program to help you get rid of expensive American workers and send their jobs overseas, where skilled offshore employees are willing to work (or simply forced to work) for pennies a day. This program can help you offshore almost everyone except senior management, whose skills are known to be irreplaceable (contrary to the scandalous allegations of that despicable executive off-shoring firm, Off the Top, Inc., whose Website I urge you to avoid).
- Enronamatron® Accounting Wizard - to make you more profitable than any sane person could have imagined, using proven tools from Arthur Andersen, Enron, and other leaders of advanced accounting.
- Acronym Wizard to ensure your company incorporates powerful acronyms in annual reports, financial statements, sales brochures, advertisements, Web pages, and coffee mugs. SCADA, QFD, MMI, MES, QPC, TQM, OLE/ODBC, etc., are just a few examples. Acronym Wizards also works with Mission Statement Wizard as a buzzword database source. Plus, Acronym Wizard can generate new acronyms for projects, processes, and products in your company in order to impress others and keep management confused.
Plus, we have plans for a Bankruptcy Wizard, a "Truth is Relative" Advertising Wizard, and a Hostile Takeover Wizard.
All of these planned products are ready to be ordered now and virtually ready to be shipped.
Pointless is Going Green!
I'm pleased to announce that Pointless is becoming a totally green company. To show our respect for the environment, we are recycling all our waste by dumping it into an advanced compost pile in the ravine behind our main office building. This not only returns valuable materials back to nature, it saves us garbage collection fees. We've also saving water by charging employees per flush for bathroom use and by removing water coolers. Energy wasting coffee machines are gone as well. Plus we're taking carbon offset payments out of your paycheck starting next week to make generous donations to the carbon offset exchange fund that we've just created as a lucrative new green business model. Being green is now one of our highest priorities. Any concerns? Because if you do have concerns, we want to know who you are. We only want supportive, green employees.
MIS at Pointless: a New Paradigm of IT Excellence
We also have exciting news about our MIS department. (MIS, of course, stands for Management Information Services - sometimes misnamed IT. Our IT-oriented MIS group is not to be confused with Manufacture of Invented Statistics, which is now part of our Marketing Division.) In an effort to create a new paradigm, MIS will now be more human centered. In the past, MIS was often perceived as machine-like, inhuman, and self-centered, but we have changed all that to focus on the human or "anthropic" element. All MIS people and programs are now restructured to be anthropic or human centered in all they do. To emphasize this, even the name of the department has been changed from MIS to MIS-Anthropic. Thus, all corporate computer and information needs will be handled by the MIS-Anthropic department. Employees in that department are now called MIS-Anthropes to reflect their interpersonal skills and their improved attitudes toward their corporate customers. Prospective employees of Pointless, Inc., can look forward to working with the ultimate MIS-Anthropic Department and to being served by genuine MIS-Anthropes who take great pleasure in keeping all our employees on the cutting edge.
The Emotional Wrap-up
As you can see, Pointless is a cutting edge corporation, and we need your help to stay that way. We ask all of you to keep on giving us your best, giving us your time, your energy, your weekends, your sick days, your holidays, your lives, your wives, and your loyalty. In return, we plan to keep on cutting for the good of all of us. Remember the motto that made Pointless who we are: "Building for Tomorrow by Downsizing Today." Now get back to work in your synchronized workstreams - and no bathroom breaks for the rest of the afternoon. We need to boost productivity immediately.
Curator: Jeff Lindsay (the alter ego of David J. Huffenpuff), Contact:
Last Updated: Sept. 30, 2010
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