nd there will be pasta! From a top-end Italian restaurant!”
I’m still stinging from my corporation’s hi-jinks. On top of everything else theyve done wrong or badly over the last few years, they offered a buyout. Of course, it was phrased to sound like it was fair and equitable and dispassionate. But it turned out that they were just golden-parachuting a lot of their overpaid, underperforming execs, tossing handouts to forty-year deadwoods and picking off one or two incompetents.
So yes, I didn’t get it.
What I was to get was an “appreciation” lunch, a little thing put on by a corporate overlord from a thousand miles away (not to me, specifically – to the organization). And even though I know that there are many people who didn’t get the buyout (same as me), the thought of it being free pulled them right in. That you would feast in the corporate trough, would toast your corporate masters and clap at their dis-generous speeches just amazes me. Am I the only one?
Well, yes, so it seems.
And so I went to Wendy’s and had my own lunch. I just took it easy and read a book. But it came to mind the idea of the Iliad, of Agamemnon (the leader of the Greek army besieging Troy) screwing Achilles out of his own lawfully-captured slaves (okay, so points lost for political correctness). Anyway, once his bonus is cut, Achilles decides he and his team will no longer fight, leaving Agamemnon to slowly lose the war. So there is Achilles, sulking in his tent while Agamemnon groans for his return. And that’s a powerful image to me, that of the humble soldier “striking” against his employer, refusing to fight, bringing him to regret his greedy ways. It is a moment written nearly thirty centuries ago, that of a man angered by mistreatment, lashing back at his haughty superiors, making them regret their “corporate” policies. Homer caught my own mood in my far future, of sitting in my plastic seat, eating my plastic fries, thinking my dark thoughts.
Did the VP even notice I was gone? No. Did any of the people who traded pride for pasta feel any misgivings at their lack of principle? No. Did it make any difference at all? No.
Am I glad I did it?
And I’m not going to die on some Trojan beach with an arrow stuck out of my heel. Just sayin’.