Monday, July 11, 2011

Murderers, Rapists and Corporate Executives

Murderers and rapists are not nice people. They are used as the most odious reference when you want to define a certain situation. For instance - "He got busted for possession of one joint and he got thrown in with the murderers and rapists."
Or - "That is a serious prison, man. Ain't nothing but murderers and rapists in there." Or - "There are more murderers and rapists in American jails than any other country. America must be a cesspool of humanity."
It makes sense. Killing and raping are not sociable things to do. Although I have a three page list of people I would like to kill. In a completely lawless society it would be so satisfying to snuff these people out, act on my grudges, and serve them a cold dish of revenge. But things being what they are, if I did execute these Joe-offenders I would be thrown in with murderers and rapists. I can't have that. I am delicate.
The phrase is time honored and well worn but it is time for an update. "Poor Butch - he stole thirteen cents from the cruelly vindictive NHSLC, was thrown in prison and now he is at the mercy of murderers, rapists and corporate executives." "Oh my god - corporate executives? He will never survive."
Corporate execs are ruthless people. They have to be. Being an executive in a corporation is no different than being a capo di tutti capi in the mafia. I used that phrase because I love the way it sounds. I love the Italian language, love the beauty of it. Started learning it seven years ago and stopped learning it seven years ago. Apparently I wasn't committed. But I do INTEND to learn it at some point. It is my heritage. I practiced with a woman I worked with who had previously spent seven years living in Italy. She said my pronunciation and inflection were excellent. I'm a natural, baby. Capo di tutti capi means boss of all bosses.
Mafia execs are actually much more versatile than corporate execs. Corporate execs start out with a skill, say accounting. They study it, get a degree in it, and become expert at it. They can manipulate spreadsheets with the best of them. The next skill they pick up is sucking up. That, combined with their accounting expertise,gets them promoted through the ranks of management. Once they become a manager their accounting skills erode because they are no longer practicing them. The new skill set revolves around managing people. Inspiration, intimidation, rewarding, punishing, lying to them to keep them complacent and get results. Being a good accountant or being good at any particular skill does not guarantee a good manager. In fact most managers are terrible at it. You have to have an element of humanity to be a good manager. 'Nuff said.
Your perspective changes as a manager; it's hard to look ahead because there is always an ass in front of your face that you have to kiss.
Mafia dudes might start out as leg breakers or numbers guys or drug entrepreneurs. They get good at it because practice makes perfect and it so much more fun than sitting in a cubicle. These activities are rewarding in and of themselves. You might continue to perform them endlessly even with no prospect of promotion. But eventually, their precision is noted in their performance reviews, they  achieve their quotas and they move up. It must be so much more rewarding to be a mafia exec as opposed to a corporate exec. One of your subordinates gets out of line, you can punch them in the face. Corporate execs want to do this but they must remain politically correct. So they have to stab you in the back (figuratively), get sleazy and weaselly, and maneuver the subordinate into a corner career-wise where they can then play with them like a mouse. Much more time consuming.
As mafia dudes become execs they do not lose their specific skills. They can still shoot you, or extort from you or beat you, even as they manage their subordinates. So obviously their skill set is much more complete than a corporate exec's.
Anyway there can be no doubt that corporate execs are horrible people, the very dregs of society, leaches that suck it all up and give nothing back. You can tell just by looking at them. Don't they always look kind of sleazy, kind of snake-like? They have a pseudo criminal aura about them only without the intelligence. The only reason they don't end up in prison is because they can afford to buy "justice". Murderers and rapists can't. And if a corporate exec does get convicted they get sent to "prisons" where their biggest sacrifice is having to play tennis with a wood racket rather than a graphite version.
If you feel compelled to commit a crime go right ahead. It really is the only way to get ahead in today's society. But if you get caught and the judge sentences you to serve your time in a white collar prison, get down on your knees and beg. You want Folsom. The inmates there are more honorable.

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