Working for a motivational company

I’m just back from Bintan, where my company had its annual year-end review – a day-long meeting where we all talk a lot about nothing in particular.

I’m back so late because it was a monsoon day today, which meant a lot of rain and wind, resulting in a choppy ocean and the ferry going slower than usual and also the difficulties in disembarking. There was only a single exit point off the ferry, you see, which allowed egress to only one nauseous and seasick company at any single time. And egress off a ferry rocking like an insane roller-coaster-to-nowhere isn’t easy, especially for nauseous little old ladies. Not that I was thinking very kindly of said little old ladies whilst queueing up behind them (as they missed chance after chance to jump the tiny half-metre to shore), since the queue area smelt like vomit and more and more queuees were succumbing to the side-effects of partaking in the amusement-park Ride-of-Doom the longer we stayed there.

Whenever I watch disaster movies and see the young or old get shoved aside by some young virile male desperate to save himself I feel it is impossible that anyone could be so inconsiderate as to allow the old, wek or sick go first, but now I’m not so sure what I would do myself, should my survival be compromised by the ability of some old lady who’s too afraid to save herself.

But enough of the ferry. I had intended to talk about work, actually. In broad strokes, if not in detail, in case I get found out and get dooced.

I hadn’t intended to stay so long in this comapny. I don’t fit in, and it doesn’t fit me. I’m not a particularly positive person (in the sense of the word used mostly to refer to people who give logical objections to your stupid ideas) and I don’t believe in being motivated by someone who screams and shouts at you. In fact, I have been known to have a cynical and sarcastic streak about me, which doesn’t make me the best kind of person to have standing saround muttering comments as participants cry about how tough and touching the last motivational activity was.

But really, this possibly could have been the best possible job I could have taken as a cynic. Nothing has reinforced my belief that motivational courses and all their ilk is bullshit than trying to sell them – or at least helping others sell them. Whilst I don’t discount the fact that some people (in fact, an overwhelming number) find these things useful to some extent, being able to see backstage has given me nothing but disgust for the entire process. I guess it might be like they say – if you want to find the meal tasty, don’t look at how the chef prepares it. Even within the company, there is a strong undercurrent of self-ridicule at our own product, even in the people who conduct the programmes.

If anything, I am more cynical about these things than when I first joined.

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