02 Jun 98

Paging Tom Peters

Corporate Structure

I got to work at 7. Alice was there, waiting. We needed to get some writing done by the evening, in the rush of other people's poor planning.

As she and I worked and chatted through the early morning, arrived. He said, "why so early, you two?"

"We were here at seven," I said. "Working on the [Major Media Conglomerate] proposal."

"If you hadn't wasted your time gabbing, you could have slept in."

There was an uncomfortable pause as the joke fell from his mouth, rolled over the cubicle edge, fell to the ground, bounced once, and broke into several thousand little joke shards. In the humorless vacuum, he shuffled off.

"Ow," said Alice, a few seconds later. "What should I say? 'I'm sorry I'm working so hard for your company. It won't happen again.'"

"Some real troop-rallying, there," I said. "Like Henry the Fifth on St. Crispin's day."

Later in the day, we spoke with another person working on the same project. She's in sales, very pretty and professional; neither Alice or I ever thought she'd want to talk with our goofish selves. She told us she'd spent part of the day crying over the proposal--she's been given a large, technical task and then half-abandoned, a bad habit in our busy company. We felt bad for her and empathized. She loves dogs, all animals, even the office poodle. She seems lonely in the company, isolated. I thought, "we should be her friend."

"If you're having trouble, come talk to us," I said. "I'm glad to help. I know all the doofy technology stuff."

Then we talked about dogs and veterinary schools, and other possibilities away from the 14th floor in the Flatiron district, and I packed my bags to go home.




Ftrain.com is the website of Paul Ford and his pseudonyms. It is showing its age. I'm rewriting the code but it's taking some time.


There is a Facebook group.


You will regret following me on Twitter here.


Enter your email address:

A TinyLetter Email Newsletter

About the author: I've been running this website from 1997. For a living I write stories and essays, program computers, edit things, and help people launch online publications. (LinkedIn). I wrote a novel. I was an editor at Harper's Magazine for five years; then I was a Contributing Editor; now I am a free agent. I was also on NPR's All Things Considered for a while. I still write for The Morning News, and some other places.

If you have any questions for me, I am very accessible by email. You can email me at ford@ftrain.com and ask me things and I will try to answer. Especially if you want to clarify something or write something critical. I am glad to clarify things so that you can disagree more effectively.


Syndicate: RSS1.0, RSS2.0
Links: RSS1.0, RSS2.0


© 1974-2011 Paul Ford


@20, by Paul Ford. Not any kind of eulogy, thanks. And no header image, either. (October 15)

Recent Offsite Work: Code and Prose. As a hobby I write. (January 14)

Rotary Dial. (August 21)

10 Timeframes. (June 20)

Facebook and Instagram: When Your Favorite App Sells Out. (April 10)

Why I Am Leaving the People of the Red Valley. (April 7)

Welcome to the Company. (September 21)

“Facebook and the Epiphanator: An End to Endings?”. Forgot to tell you about this. (July 20)

“The Age of Mechanical Reproduction”. An essay for TheMorningNews.org. (July 11)

Woods+. People call me a lot and say: What is this new thing? You're a nerd. Explain it immediately. (July 10)

Reading Tonight. Reading! (May 25)

Recorded Entertainment #2, by Paul Ford. (May 18)

Recorded Entertainment #1, by Paul Ford. (May 17)

Nanolaw with Daughter. Why privacy mattered. (May 16)

0h30m w/Photoshop, by Paul Ford. It's immediately clear to me now that I'm writing again that I need to come up with some new forms in order to have fun here—so that I can get a rhythm and know what I'm doing. One thing that works for me are time limits; pencils up, pencils down. So: Fridays, write for 30 minutes; edit for 20 minutes max; and go whip up some images if necessary, like the big crappy hand below that's all meaningful and evocative because it's retro and zoomed-in. Post it, and leave it alone. Can I do that every Friday? Yes! Will I? Maybe! But I crave that simple continuity. For today, for absolutely no reason other than that it came unbidden into my brain, the subject will be Photoshop. (Do we have a process? We have a process. It is 11:39 and...) (May 13)

That Shaggy Feeling. Soon, orphans. (May 12)

Antilunchism, by Paul Ford. Snack trams. (May 11)

Tickler File Forever, by Paul Ford. I'll have no one to blame but future me. (May 10)

Time's Inverted Index, by Paul Ford. (1) When robots write history we can get in trouble with our past selves. (2) Search-generated, "false" chrestomathies and the historical fallacy. (May 9)

Bantha Tracks. (May 5)

Tables of Contents