Blinkered lives

Sub: Emergency meeting

Dear Non-HR employees no.57 to 86,

This is to inform you about an emergency meet that’s scheduled to convene in 15 mins in conference room no.3 (Barbados). We’re aware that this will eat into your lunch time (no pun intended) and we deeply regret the short notice/inconvenience.

PS: Don’t panic, no one’s going to get laid off.

HR employee no.23

Boss no.1 (pensively): Used to be that numbers went off the charts whenever our latest product was promoted on Facebook. It’s no longer the case. We can’t afford this becoming the norm. You’re all here to offer some suggestions to stem this decline.

Boss no.2 (interrupting): Giving our products titles that don’t intimidate and perplex our target audience might help.

Boss no.1 (amused): Are you saying the launch would have gone off much smoother had the product had a different…and slightly less eccentric name?

Boss no.2 (glad): Precisely, calling “Tony gives birth to a catholic rabbit; hijinks ensue” eccentric is putting it mildly. It’s convoluted and needlessly complicated. As a leader of a publicly traded organization, you should work on reining in your eccentricity. Limit your eccentricity to that personal blog of yours that you write under a pen-name. As you’re aware, our shares took an almighty hit after that botched roll-out. Eccentricity will prevent you…us from reaching a wider audience.

Boss no.1 (defiantly): What if I don’t want us to reach a wider audience? What if I only want our customers to be of the selective and high-brow type?

Boss no.2 (smugly): I know that isn’t what you really want. If that were the case, we wouldn’t be having this crisis-meeting, would we?

Boss no.1 (resignedly): Yeah, yeah, you’re right. Goddamn share-holders. I have to ask you this though. Do you think the customer is getting stupider by the day?

Boss no.2 (challenging): By stupid, do you mean less well-informed?

Boss no.1 (impatiently concedes): Yes.

Boss no.2 (aghast): Now why do you have to recklessly throw the word stupid about? It’s a PR disaster waiting to happen. Do you want John Oliver making fun of us? I guess you’d like that, wouldn’t you?

Boss no.1: But seriously, don’t you think people are getting dumber by the day? You certainly don’t need to be smart to roll in the dough anymore. Just the timidity to suffer boredom.

Boss no.2: I disagree with that. Just because they don’t have the free time to widen their knowledge-base or whatever doesn’t mean they’re getting dumber.

Boss no.1: If it’s important to you, you’ll find the time. The thing is they just aren’t curious anymore. All they care about is doing the bare minimum. They lead blinkered lives and call themselves successful!

Boss no.2: Blinkered lives, I like that.

Boss no.1: Maybe we should call our next product that. Or do you think that’s too complicated for our audience as well?

Boss no.2: The word ‘lives’ is suitably simple. People are drawn to stories, which the word ‘lives’ promises. Think it’ll work.

Boss no.1: This better work. Thanks for coming everyone. It was a good talk.

(The thirty non-HR employees begin to walk out. Most of them are wondering why they were even asked to attend. One of the employees who isn’t leading a blinkered life says, “we were the meat in the room.” The other employees don’t get it. Have none of you seen “In the Loop?,” he implores. They ignore him.)

All creative pursuits are essentially narcissistic. Being creative, they say, means keeping in touch with your inner-child, a period of your life when you’re actually allowed to be narcissistic!


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