Twenty-First Century Corporate Lifestyle Footage

June 3, 2010

alternate post title: “[Podium] Erica Is Still My Muse”

I’m going to level with you here.

When I saw Tim “Secs” Gavin’s Big Brother trading card seventeen years ago, the first thing that I thought was not “whoa, this dude is management material.” Indeed, the content of said trading card was highly workplace-inappropriate. Ironically, though, Gavin has forged one of the most successful post-skating careers out, founding DVS and continuing to manage Podium Distribution effectively. He displays his signature management style  in hilarious fashion in the recent Matix Industry Profile internet video, presumably arranged by Gavin’s newest hire–none other than [Podium] Erica.  The purpose of this short film? To show all the kids out there what awaits them should they score a “dream job” in the industry.

I worked in a shop for 2 days. It didn’t work out; right place wrong time or some shit like that. While there, though, one of my co-workers told me something I still think about often re: jobs/careers–that one never knows what a job–even a purported “dream job”–will be like until when actually begins working there. I was reminded of this recently when, while taking my oldest child to a birthday party, I got lost in an abandoned office park and engaged in some impromptu spot seeking (as per this t-shirt). I only found one highly questionable loading dock ledge, but the creepy vibe of the abandoned buildings–that were still being landscaped, by the way–left an impression on me. I mean, people commuted there every day for most of their lives, and they ended up carrying out their stuff in banker’s boxes, office furniture and cubicles liquidated…

Hopefully, the cubicles at Matix/Podium will not meet a similar fate.

I can, however, guarantee you that they ain’t cheap. The sales guy at my old job once looked into buying cubicles because, at the time, my co-workers and I did our thing in a bunch of desks in a big-ass room like Glengarry Glenross. It turned out that even the most economical cubicles–with that gray carpetlike surface that doubles as a bulletin board–ran about $600-750. Gavin never eludes to who works or is supposed to work in said cubicles. He has, however, mastered corporate jargon such as “no-brainer.” At least, in this particular internet video, he did not instruct anyone to “think outside the box” or “just make it happen.”

The sales guy from my old job is my primary reference point for management because he came off like a less infantile Michael Scott from The Office. A quintessential sales guy, he was also more manly than Scott, or just about any other sales dude out there; he was from West Virginia and knew how to work on cars and shit like that. He also worked on Wall St. in the Eighties, so he had TONS of sick stories. One day he told us about the club scene back then. According to him, the bartenders at The Limelight used to serve lines of coke right on the bar–indeed, an extremely high level of customer service. This story might not be completely true, because the sales dude at my old job also believed very strongly that “Everybody Wang Chung Tonite” is a genuinely good song within the context of a loud-ass club, such as The Limelight in the Eighties.

ANYWAY, the sales guy from my old job also related to us worker bees the following management strategy:

Increasing employee anxiety increases productivity.

Case in point: Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glenross. Or, if you will, Ben Affleck’s 90’s interpolation of that character from Boiler Room. Although Gavin uses inappropriate language in front of his employees–creating, according to many, a hostile work environment–his management style could not be more opposite from Baldwin’s/Affleck’s. I mean, does this look like a dude who fears that he will have to “hit the bricks” if he doesn’t sell enough pants with built-in shoelace belts?

In addition to racial and alcoholism-based humor, this particular industry profile has one other parallel with the The Office television program: attractive female co-workers. Along those lines, I don’t know why [Podium] Erica continues to be interest me. Perhaps it is my belief that she is one of a handful of females on the planet to whom I could casually mention “Yeah they linked my blog on Crailtap once,” and she would know what the fuck I was talking about. In all honesty, The Office is humorous, but the way certain people relate to it is disconcerting, as  if one’s unfulfilling corporate job is somehow legitimized by a television show’s romanticization  of such an existence.  Kind of like how The Hills romanticizes a life of hypermaterialistic, robotic, alcohol-fueled bitchery, and subsequently young ladies immediately began to aspire to such a  lifestyle because it somehow legitimized something deep inside their psyche. Or some shit like that.

ANYWAY, the Matix industry profile also showecases Marc Johnson’s 10th grade (as opposed to Tim O’Connor’s 8th grade) humor, in addition to the on-site full-court basketball facility. However, this industry profile overlooked the most sacrosanct area of any corporation–the supply closet.

Gavin probably delegates the purchasing of office supplies to the Podium office manager. If so, he or she undoubtedly faces one of the quintessential questions of our time–a question that I have often pondered while driving up and down the “main drag” in my town that hosts such retailers:

What is the best place to purchase office supplies: Staples, Officemax, or Office Depot?

Officemax, by name alone, aspires to be the biggest and best office supply retailer. This is facilitated by its frequent synergy with “Furnituremax,” presumably the biggest and best office furniture retailer. However, in the final analysis, Officemax comes off as pedestrian, doing nothing to set itself apart from its main competitor–Staples. This retailer sets itself apart by virtue of an existential slogan–“That was easy”–which presumably is the office supply version of the most notorious existential advertising slogan of all time, “Be All You Can Be.” Staples also offers all kinds of crazy rebates; for example, I once got a multicolored set of 12 Uni-Ball pens for free. You really can’t fuck with that.

just a fuckin' depot

Office Depot, on the other hand, offers nothing of the sort. It says to the prospective office supply consumer, “Look–what the fuck do you want? We’re just a fucking depot for office supplies over here.” As defined by m-w.com, a depot is “a place for storing goods.” Office Depot delivers on this promise. They store office supplies. Indeed, The interior could not be more austere, displaying goods on a series of white corrugated metal shelves, similar to those one puts in a closet to increase closet space.

I assumed that the particular office depot in the above photograph was closed due to its total absence of window display. Fortunately, a young lady at the Barnes & Noble across the street directed me there in my quest for some kind of faux-leather portfolio binder. The only previous time I had visited an Office Depot was when I got a coupon for a free spindle of CD-R’s like five years ago. None of them worked. However, this time I was able to obtain the office supply I was looking for. In conclusion, Office Depot isn’t that shitty after all.

The internet video concludes with Gavin closing the deal, signing Pudwill to an allegedly $2,000,000 contract. Using his recent coverage as an indicator of future value, two million dollars is a bargain at twice the price. Flip in/flip out has become de rigeur; it’s as if the dude woke up one day and said to himself “Hm–flipping out of shit is just too fuckin’ easy anymore. Today I will try flipping out of one trick into another.” And he just went ahead and did it. Theory into practice. The next few years, with he, Capaldi, and Kennedy riffing off each other, are going to be interesting to say the least. On some Sanchez/Carroll EMB type shit.

ps. @carbonite1994 . Yeah yeah yeah–It’s a process. At the end of the day, though, quartersnacks is right; mad people get content from twitter. HOWEVER, I’m mainly going to use it to follow DJ Envy, Don Cannon, dudes like that…

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One Response to “Twenty-First Century Corporate Lifestyle Footage”

  1. smorales said

    killin’ it.

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