The Not Quite Adventures of a Professional Archaeologist and Aspiring Curmudgeon

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Great Place to Work

I recently came across the short piece pasted below while clearing out my email. A company I used to work for hands out these "Great Place to Work" awards every fiscal quarter. Because of some surreal experiences I had when I worked int he tech industry, these sorts of "morale boosting" programs always make me a bit leery. Nonetheless, the other archaeologist and I though it would be funny to nominate me because I was in the process of leaving for another job at the time, so I wrote the following essay for the nomination letter...

To: The Great Place to Work Committee
From: Cultural Resources
RE: Nomination for the Great Place to Work Award

In order to explain how Matthew Armstrong is making this office a better place to work, it is necessary to describe a bit about Matthew himself. Matthew has earned both a Bachelor's degree and a Masters degree from the University of California, as well as certifications in archaeological technology and business administration from other institutions.

If you needed any, this is proof that standards are slipping throughout California.

Indeed, despite how impressive such laurels appear, Matthew's success demonstrates that even a poorly-trained monkey with a pervasive developmental disorder can now earn credentials that were once reserved for those who had more than simply a brain stem with which to think. In case you need any further evidence of this, we have trained a monkey to earn these same credentials, his name is Bobo and he is a Rhesus monkey. UCSB managed to place him in a management-track position with IBM's accounting division.

In Matthew's favor, however, unlike the monkey, he doesn't have to wear a diaper at work.

However, Matthew has other attributes that should be discussed here. On the subject of Matthew's breath, the kindest thing that can be said is that so long as he is spewing fumes from his mouth and nose, we needn't worry about having to fumigate for insects. As such, his lack of acquaintance with the toothbrush or Listerine is probably saving us money on pest control bills. Likewise, his general odor might be greatly improved had he ever heard of that most marvelous invention known as soap.

Though Matthew's tendency to drool may disgust many of his coworkers, it is likely that it has saved this company from being sued when documents were late due to Matthew's failings – after all, what client can fault a man who is clearly incapable of keeping his jaw shut for not producing a complex document on time.

Matthew's tendency to be resolved in his views and his ability to take action based on such resolve would be a great attribute if it wasn't for the fact that he is so wildly misinformed about the world in general that his actions are often incomprehensible, ridiculous, and just plain stupid. Who amongst us can forget the time that he took it upon himself to demonstrate that a tribe of 12" tall neandertals once lived in he Santa Barbara Airport, or the time that he laced an EIR section with comments such as "if appropriate mitigation measures are not taken, then resources will be irreparably damaged – those same resources that the reptilian overlords who really rule the Santa Barbara County Office of Planning and Development want to siphon off – so you'd better be paying attention to this document!"

Given this, it might be fair to ask why I am nominating Matthew for the "Great Place to Work Award." The reason is simple: he is leaving. While his leaving may not necessarily make this office a great place to work, it will make it significantly better

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