by The Inmate
. . . the production of a tractor is the result of men who know about tractors actually producing them and then selling them to men who actually use them. . . . management methods are, at best, marginal facilitators.
—John Ralston Saul, Voltaire’s Bastards
December 12— Management of INC Incorporated, the nation’s largest corporation, has threatened to strike at midnight on the 31st of December. Of the many demands listed in the 967 page document, authored by 213 committee members and 60 outside consultants, the most prominent include higher salaries, larger personal staffs, two quarterly retreats to recover from managerial stress and the complete elimination of crude comments and criticism by workers. “Our employees receive the highest degree of respect from management. It’s time we expect the same from them,” said INC Inc.’s CEO, Bill Livingston, who appealed to workers, nonetheless, to strike on management’s behalf.
December 31–INC Inc.’s management will strike tonight despite a full page ad in The Wall Street Journal paid for by dozens of convention centers and hundreds of men’s and women’s clothing stores asking that management’s demands be met for “the welfare of the country.” INC Inc.’s President of Human Resources said, “A strike at this level will have a profound economic effect on the nation.” Throughout INC Inc.’s infrastructure workers celebrated the coming of the new year with hundreds of office parties. Inside sources say these have been the best attended, jolliest parties in the 59 year history of the company.
January 1, Day 1–INC Inc. management picketed at offices nationwide today on the first day of the nation’s first strike by management. At INC Inc. headquarters in New York workers easily broke through the picket lines when management formed a task-force to decide if they should link arms creating a human barrier, throw rocks or reason with the strike breakers. Before a decision was made workers had exited the building for lunch which seemed like a good idea to the strikers who spent the rest of the day at local restaurants to discuss strategy, cars, relationships and the NFL playoffs. “Hardly seems like we’re on strike,” one anonymous executive stated.
January 2, Day 2 — When asked why the strike had little impact on the operations of INC Inc. a manager replied, “No impact yet. When it comes, it will be devastating.” Workers also spoke out about the strike: “No meetings, no interference, more work done. It’s that simple.” Another worker said, “It’s horrible! We can’t function out here!” This was followed by a loud, unnerving outburst of laughter.
January 17, Day 17 — Life without management at INC Inc. has not been without its problems. Paperwork piles up daily. Workers have pushed most of it into unused conference rooms and there is still some fear that several missing employees are trapped, immovable behind boxes and boxes of computer printouts. It is also true that statistical information is, for the most part, unavailable. Yet, despite these facts customers note that they receive INC Inc. products in a more timely manner, that the products are of a higher quality and that workers are more pleasant. Though there are no INC Inc. daily reports the machinery still functions, workers continue to work and consumers are buying. Several colleges of business intend to research this highly mysterious phenomena.
February 5, Day 36–Stocks at INC Inc. have quadrupled in price and annual dividends to stockholders are predicted to reach an astonishing 23%. An anonymous executive said, “I make more money now than I ever made at the office. If this continues I’ll never have to work again.” Hollywood also wants to benefit from these amazing financial gains. Several film companies are maneuvering for movie rights to tell the story. The bidding will start at 25 million–an amount to be divided equally among all workers. Management will receive certificates of recognition.
February 27, Day 58— INC Inc. stockholders voted to fire the remaining 3,000 managers who held out for 58 days in an effort to regain their positions. The rest of their colleagues, an estimated 12,000, retired early, found work elsewhere, or have been rehired by INC Inc. in nonskilled labor jobs. The former CEO of INC Inc, Bill Livingston, whose stock value hovered at 83 million before the strike and is now worth nearly half a billion, is now the CEO at a Fortune 500 company. His resume not only claims the strike was his idea, but maintains that he knew from the very beginning that it would be revolutionary and beneficial. At a press conference he stated boldly, “Would anyone have believed me if I simply said management was unnecessary? I needed a poignant event to prove it and this was it. I manufactured the strike for the good of the company.” Livingston will write a book about this management method: Managing Without Management. A seven figure advance from a major publisher is expected.
Executives at The Corporate Asylum would like to assure our readers that we have a lean management team. Please address all comments to me, the Assistant Human Resources Generalist in the Employee Certificate Recognition Department located on the 23rd floor of the Human Resources Division in building 96k on the Southern California management compound. Thank you.