Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Minitour

This is something that should be repeated every time upon waking from sleep. For treatment purposes.

Anyway, most employers are now already familiar with Tourette Syndrome, a rare inherited neuropsychiatric condition that causes sufferers to express 'tics' in seemingly random fashion. HR departments already know that these 'tics' are not necessarily always profane. They know that if, say, a person had declared this syndrome during an interview, they cannot just 'count him/her out', citing that this person would disrupt the common working environment with expletives.

Everybody knows all this by now. What nobody knows is that I suffer from a milder variant of Tourette, as yet officially unnamed but typically referred to by the uninitiated human population as 'being an asshole'. I want to stray away from this crass term, however, and renomenclate [sic] my condition. I will name it the 'Mini-tour Syndrome'. This is a clever way to express that the condition is a *mild* variant of Tourette Syndrome, while bringing an aspect of Greek mythology into the bargain (Greek mythology is always important when injecting terms into language) in the form of a 'pun'. 'Mini-tour' is like 'Minotaur', a Greek mythology that comes in the form of a man with a cow's head, geddit?

Being a Minitour is always very difficult. Everybody accuses you of 'always taking the easiest way out', or that 'you do not *really* care about anything do you?'. We will focus on 'really caring' in a future lecture, because there are some very salient topics therein, but today I want to try and help organizations and companies understand Minitours from my perspective -- the perspective of actually being one. Let us start with a simple example: Philosophy.

Philosophy is just one of the subjects that properly illustrates a Minitour's predicament. Minitours have trouble remembering all the philosophers' names. You could say "Bertrand Russell" and the Minitour could very possibly get a picture of Jean-Paul Sartre in his/her head. Names are meaningless to Minitours. What is interesting, however, is that the philosphical concepts that come into the Minitour's mind are, in fact, those of Bertrand Russell, not Sartre. You can see how this translates to almost anything. So while the organization or company is trying to get the CEO's philosophy across to all employees, you may often find that the Minitour appears to deliberately sabotage everything. The Minitour stands up in the middle of the speech and shouts an expletive very loudly. He then sits down again, calmly waiting for the CEO to continue his speech. These days, of course, such impartings of corporate wisdom are usually not done through in-person elocution, but via advanced tools such as corporate or organization-wide email. The email may even have a sound-clip or video embedded *inside* it that plays the message. The Minitour syndrome's adaptation to this new feature would, for example, be to manipulate the soundclip or video (through freely available software), injecting his/her 'tic' into discreet frames, then mass-send this content, company or organization wide.

This also happens with movies, movie actors, pop-bands, various commercial products and flowers. Minitours easily confuse things like 'Inception' with 'The Matrix', or Leonardo Di Caprio with Matt Damon. They just, honestly, don't give a shit. I mean, they know what the experience is. They may not have a clue what Lady Gaga or Lindsay Lohan actually look like, but when you invoke these terms, they do have a sort of picture of what you are saying. Of course, their understanding of these things may very well not be the same as yours.

My - my handler is saying I have to go now. I'm sorry that I cannot entertain any of your questions tonight, but surely there will be some time later. If not, well, speak amongst yourselves. I just want to leave you with the thought that, as an HR resource in a company or organization, you should never strike a person from prospective employment just because he or she is a Minitour. This person may turn out to be extremely valuable to the company, above and beyond his/her common drone peers. I mean, come on. Who doesn't like 'Philosophy and movies night'? I hope that everything that I have said so far has convinced you. Th-they're dragging me away.

Yes, you, I love you too.

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