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Saturday, January 28, 2006

FOLKSY CEO/P/F

A couple times each year Andrew, the CEO/President/Founder (CEO/P/F) of the company I work for addresses the company in what he terms a "Town Hall Meeting." Why he calls it this I have no idea since the essence of a Town Hall meeting is to let the people have their say. Yesterday, we had the latest installment.

As I listened to his assessment of the company's past accomplishments, current endeavors, and future goals, I imagined Andrew drawing up an outline for his presentation the night before.



00:00 - 00:05
Have the employees assemble in a cramped corner of the building. Squeeze them awkwardly between fire exits and cubicle walls. It's important to make everyone uncomfortable from the get-go to keep them from prolonging the meeting with a lot of pesky questions. Position portable podium such that I have a clear sight line to every employee to facilitate a heightened sense of personal connection...also, to make note of anyone that tries to leave.

00:05 - 00:06
Commence folksy self-deprecation by way of the following reference:
"I hate to sound like Columbo. Anyone here old enough to remember Columbo? No? Well, if I said Dragnet, I'm sure no one would know what I was talking about."
Chuckle convincingly.
00:06 - 00:45
Mention each and every department in the company and commend them on something specific they have accomplished in the last year. IMPORTANT: MAINTAIN FOLKSINESS. Use of the following phrases is recommended:
"Pretty neat stuff. Y'all should be proud."
Note: use of "y'all" is specifically recommended. If anyone asks, tell them I used to live in the South even though the truth is I only went to tennis camp at Hilton Head for two weeks the summer I was 15.
"I'll tell you a funny war story..."
Follow with fabricated story of dinner with bank executives who were envious of our account portfolio.
"...like a duck on a june bug."
No one will know what this means but it radiates folksiness.
00:45 - 00:48
Wrap up by misquoting the old Virginia Slims slogan:
"It's like the old Virginia Slims ad. 'You ain't seen nothin' yet.'"
If anyone tries to "help" by pointing out that this is actually the name of a Bachman Turner Overdrive song, just chuckle (convincingly) and say something about Columbo rather than explain that the actual Virginia Slims slogan was "You've come along way, baby" which sounds too slutty to be folksy.
00:48 - 00:49
Ask if there are any questions. When there aren't, thank everyone for coming and remind them to fill out the questionnaire and return it to Alena by next week.



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