The Time I Nearly Brought A Corporation To Its Knees

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Nice Move

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With some connections and a bit of dumb luck, I started in upper management, right below the top exec. Now, to be fair, I never really had a job before, but if I’ve learned anything in life, it’s not about qualifications. Just make it happen. There were 40 or so of us, but sectors of the company were always changing and moving. Fortunately, my position was relatively obscure — nobody really gave a fuck or knew what I was doing most days, so I’d fill my time with books and research, figuring at some point if I was going to Jordan Belfort this place, I better prep a bit.

Finally, after what seemed like forever, opportunity struck: The top exec was stepping down. I knew it was my time. At this point I was one of 44 people in upper management, having worked with each of them for years, I figured I was a shoo-in. But for some reason, things weren’t so easy when another manager submitted her paperwork for consideration, even though she knew I had already made it my mission to reach the top. She had to be squashed like the roach she was. I started with the 42 remaining regional managers, all of whom I considered my friends and colleagues. We had worked together, played softball, and even traveled across the nation for business. All I needed was their support, or so I thought.

Somehow I was met with extreme resistance. People I thought cared deeply for me sided with her. Basically all of them. She must have had something on them, or bribed them, or fuck I don’t know but it was a pain in my ass. After that, I decided it was the district managers that really matter. They were much larger in number (200 or so) and actually dealt far more with the customers themselves. I told them all about my plans for the company, my experience, my vision for the future. Somehow, however, she must’ve gotten to them. Damn, this fucker must have bribed the whole place. Out of my 244 closest colleagues, I couldn’t get any to officially support me to the board of directors, yet somehow she got basically them all. To this day, I have no idea how she pulled it off. I needed a new angle, and fast.

After much thought, and a little more self-doubt than I care to admit, I finally found my opening: the custodial staff. The deliverymen? The mechanics? The secretaries? There were so many more of them in number; they were really the backbone of the company, the people I could get to support me on my climb to Patrick Bateman level success. Best of all, most of them had no idea how the company worked. I could tell them anything. Again, I met resistance. They just didn’t seem to care. It was like they had just accepted my coworker would get it and didn’t give a fuck about me. Then I realized: I need to make them care about me, because they care about themselves.

I sprang into action. Instead of telling them about why I should get the position, I needed to show them why they wanted me in charge. I started with pay increases across the board, even though, to be honest, I knew the managers would never approve it (the company required a board vote of approval on basically everything.) Next I showed them how much more the managers and execs had been making than them, and how wildly they spent their money. They started to listen. How about free day care for everyone? Sure, why not. An extra month paid vacation! By this point, I had them in a fucking frenzy.

My opponent didn’t know what the fuck to do, just totally overwhelmed. We both knew I couldn’t actually deliver any of this bullshit, but how the fuck is she going to be the one to tell everyone these great things could never happen? I had her right where I needed her. I kept at it, establishing her as a puppet of the highest execs in the entire corporation. “Of course she doesn’t want you to know we can raise everyone’s pay 200%” I proclaimed. “She’s working for the owners, not for you!”

By the time the quarterly board meeting rolled around, I had erased essentially the entire deficit. I packed the boardroom with supporters and friends, ready to incite a riot if I was denied my opportunity. Frankly, I didn’t care if we took the entire company down. The corporation would collapse if they went against the will of this many employees, and they couldn’t possibly replace us all. We chanted, we marched, we threatened to burn the place down. Tweet about us, see what happens, we’ll come back ten times harder. I had created an army. We were starting a revolution in this company and we couldn’t be stopped.

And then I lost. I did well, they said. I really made some changes in the company, they said. I entered my office one last time, boxed my possessions and made a beeline for the door. I had nearly achieved the American dream, almost reaching the pinnacle of success without real qualifications, work, or accomplishments. It was nearly the greatest TFM ever.

Walking out the door for the last time, the valet stopped me: “So what now, sir?” he asked. “I guess I’ll go back to Vermont.”

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