Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Corporate Clones

I learned yesterday that corporate culture has a smell. It's expensive perfume, coffee, and pretentiousness all mixed into one. I wanted to gag as one person after the other came in, fouling the room's air with their personal scent. My nose tickled, and I rubbed it to keep from sneezing. The man sitting next to me at this corporate "presentation" wore a Rolex watch, the woman beside him with a 5 or 6 carat diamond ring. Everything about the people in that room shouted "I'm rich and you're not, therefore, I must be better than you." People mingled and lingered, posturing like peacocks looking for a mate. I realized at this "event" that I am SO. NOT. INTO. THIS.

I work at a corporation, but it's nothing like what I witness covering that "news story" yesterday. People at my office wear jeans and sweatshirts to work, and most have little ego. They are down to earth and love to joke. The preening is kept to a minimum, and they are kind enough not to wear cologne. There's nothing worse than being stuck in a radio booth with a heavy chemical scent.

I'm not opposed to people who have money, I'm opposed to people who feel that money makes them better than everyone else. I remember sitting at a bar in downtown Seattle once, these three guys telling me they worked at Microsoft and drove BMW's. Hmmm. Try again, boys.

All in all, I'm so glad I don't work in that "corporate culture". I don't think I could handle the pressure to dress up every day and wear Dolce and Gabbana shoes. I love that I can wear my North Face coat every day of my life, even though it has white cat hair stuck all over it. I love that I can wear my glasses without feeling self-concious. I love that I wear the same black boots every day, because they are comfortable. I love that my coworkers are the opposite of pretentious.

7 comments:

Paula said...

It is very true, anthropologically, that different businesses and even different lines of work have different "corporate culture" requirements. I, like you, prefer casual and authentic (and have created that vibe I hope in my small business). I have been involved with two large firms of different types - a large law firm (where at their parties people were into making materialistic 'I've made it!' statements), and a large architectural firm (where at their parties people have been more down to earth, jeans-wearing, all of their houses small but well done, even though this is also a monetarily successful group). When I worked at a law firm I had to wear nylons and heels. (I'm sure there are more casual law firms and more stuffy architectural firms.) When I did work at an educational R&D lab I could wear Birkenstocks (way back in the day when people wore those). Hopefully we all end up where we feel comfortable. Like you there are some environments where I feel like an alien, haha.

Lisa said...

I like you more every day.

McRiguez said...

But Kristin, how are we supposed to find a good man, if we don't hear them talking about their BMers and wearing Rolex watches? I'd have no idea if it weren't for that.

Travis said...

the life you describe is exactly the life I thought I wanted growing up... I couldn't get to college fast enough...then to graduate...to buy my first bimmer, buy a huge house, marry a trophy wife...and climb the corporate ladder.

Thank god I fell flat on my face the first time I set off in the world...and realized happiness and love were the most important things in life. Now I live the second life you describe and I couldn't be happier.

- A - C - said...

I totally quote you :-)

Neo said...

As a lawn technician I treat lawns in a wealthy part of Cincinnati, called Indian Hill, I have had the pleasure or call it displeasure to talk with some. What really gets me is the guy with the biggest property and I very nice mansion to go along is so down to earth and easy to talk with. You can tell who is stuck on the money and then there are those who know how to be sociable even with the wealth.

Paula said...

I think that wealth may make you just more of what you already are inside.