April 03, 2006

Tell it like it is.

"Godin is fetishizing the bossman - the love of the Corporation trounces all other loves, including the crass love that is born of the declasse need of filthy lucre. This is the clean, self-enslaving hard love of White Respect from the guy who drives a Sunday car worth more than your mortgage. This is love of the workplace, of the Gaze of the fellow citizen of the corporate state, which has no citizens, the burning endless gamed homemade shitforbrains give-it-to-me-one-more-time Amurikan Maleasshole. Takes all that respect home and mows his lawn."

--tom matrullo

That's so good i can't leave it in quirky Blogger comments.

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Anonymous said...

Hi. What does that all mean in english for those of us who aren't US Netizens? Thanks, Bruce http://www.atomicdesignstudio.com.au

George said...

Does Bruce want to know what a fetish is, or the meaning of "mows his lawn?" Probably both pretty interesting discussions...

tom said...

I guess what burned my arse there was Seth giving us the Universal Flippant Marketing Bullshit Premise:

People who really and truly love their jobs are in every single industry. And people who do great work because they love their jobs are paid at every salary level.

Then rescuing it with the miracle manure of:

What they have in common is a boss that gives them respect and freedom and responsibility

What this a little too much reeks of is Fantasy Cartwheels - nothing grounded in any exploration of actual people and worlds; no acknowledgement of diversity of relations and complexities of institutional dynamics vis a vis work, labor, capital, corporate ethos, varieties of human life. A "listening boss" transcending all facts and categories of time, place, value, labor. God's in his Oven and all's right with the working world. It's not about the money, just as long as saying that will sell Mr. Godin's brand of schmalz. Maybe the listening bosses will buy his book and pass it on to the verbalizing workers, and make it the next Who Moved My Cheese?

Jeneane Sessum said...

I say it's as bad as yelling "Fire!" in a crowded theater. Talk about irresponsible journalism? Have a marketing-department-near-you-endorsed Cuntsultant telling management their people should be incented by the mere opportunity to create more stuff for the company to sell, as long as they have a nice boss.

Put that in a book with a $29.99 pricetag on it and everyone's in on the joke but PEOPLE WHO WORK REAL JOBS.

I'd burn his book if I owned one. Quote me on it.

seth godin said...


Would you read it before you burned it?

Are you guys upset with what you thought I said, what I said or what I've written previously?

My point was that trying to manipulate underpaid and underappreciated people with the promise of a bonus doesn't work. Do you agree with that?

That in fact, most people choose not to be Wall Street tycoons, moving money around 22 hours a day, instead choosing to do a job that gives them more than just money. Do you agree with that?

If Wal-Mart management started giving the employee of the month $200, would that make Wal-Mart a better place to work?

I think you picked the wrong messenger.

Jeneane Sessum said...

I would read it so help me god.

Seth, you didn't say the promise of a bonus. You said bonus. You said that it's not about the money at work. You said it has been shown time and time again money is a demotivator. You are using the word "bonus" and talking $10 and $50. You said that you would let your employees try a small project "with no strings (or bonus) attached" rather than giving them an extra $50.

I disagree with all of those things for all of the reasons I said, and I'm pissed because you said them, and following your sweeping statements is how many corporations fancy themselves cool and current.

The rest of the world will take the $50 (let's aim a little higher, shall we), and if you want to tie it to an innovative project, then tie it. But give it up.

seth godin said...

But what about the clerk down the aisle who doesn't get the $50?

Or the clerk who gets $10 and is sure it's not because she didn't close a sale but is because she didn't flirt enough with the boss?

Businesses with true bonuses (like real estate, where the bonus is called a commission) and where there is no salary make people uncomfortable. Worse, businesses with random or seemingly personal bonuses almost always underperform more egalitarian workplaces--that's in studies done by scholars, by unions, by management. You can look it up.

In my experience, bosses that rely on cash to do their managing for them are pretty lousy managers.

Over and out, and thanks for reading.

tom said...

False dichotomies do not a good marketing book make. Money vs. job satisfaction: is this an opposition worth soundbiting?

What you are actually contrasting, if I read you aright, are two entirely different cultural approaches to work and labor and management, to pay and value and ultimate goals, shared and individual. Large, complex systems of differences behind what seems a simple idea. The Wal-Martians are not about to offer their part-time associates leadership positions in creative shelf stocking. And it's a pretty sure bet companies that have developed a culture of respect and freedom and responsibility aren't going to suddenly dangle $10 bonuses to employees who open new vistas on their realities.

Ken said...

I wouldn't piss money away buying the book. I could buy 2-3 good cigars and burn them instead. If I were gifted the book I could use it to start the BBQ or a campfire.

Sorry, I don't read Seth or care to pounce on him. Irrelevancy doesn't warrant much reaction. I've never heard him say anything worth my time. Interesting following the comments though. ;-)