Friday, May 20, 2011

The Business of Doing Business

3-day conference: June 1-3, 2011

Location: overly-air-conditioned generic hotel in second-rate US city where when you look out the windows, you see blue skies, sparkling water and tree-lined avenues but it doesn't really matter because you won't have time to go outside

$999 Early Registration / $1299 at the door / $1599 on your fudged expense sheet

Learn how to:

  • Maximize the efficiency of your workflow
  • Leverage scales of economy to accrue buy-in from key stakeholders
  • Adopt the best practices of market leaders, monetizing your existing knowledge assets, targeting actionable items and reducing time-to-market
  • Utilize your team's core competencies to provide robust, out-of-the-box, scalable solutions to mission critical challenges, resulting in a take-home message of cautious optimism
  • Extend the branches of your decision trees so you can gather more low-hanging fruit from them

NEW! This year, a number of seminars will be held in English rather than business-speak. These include:

  • How to make meetings drag on for hours so that you don't have to go back to your desk and do actual work (Formerly titled: Dynamic Consensus-building in Group Settings)
  • How to dress just slightly less nicely than those whose ass you need to kiss, making them feel superior while not viewing you as totally unfashionable
  • How to strategically claim credit for projects that are about to succeed
  • How to regain your self-esteem after the company geek fixes the computer problem that's been perplexing you all day simply by turning Caps Lock off
  • How to determine which department has the best snack machines, and then have your desk moved there

With special break-out groups for...

Human Resources staff: How to kill three Equal Opportunity birds with one stone by hiring a disabled black female and featuring her prominently on the company web site and in the Annual Report to shareholders.

Project Leaders: How to use flow charts and PowerPoint presentations to convince executives that your inferiors are responsible for the project's failure

CFOs: How to donate .001% of your company's profits to charity, while spending 500 times that on ads notifying the public of your generosity

Call Center Managers: How to determine and implement the longest on-hold-time customers will tolerate before hanging up in frustration and choosing a different company for their product or service (Formerly titled: A schematic white paper on telephonic customer service efficiencies)

Office Drones: How to accept your place as an inadequately-oiled cog in the groaning machinery of capitalist society (Note: as of 5/20/2011, all seating for this seminar is reserved. Standing room only!)

Friday, May 6, 2011

Nontraditional Marriage Vows, Part I

Many people these days find traditional marriage vows sexist, overly religious, impersonal, or passé.  It's become increasingly popular for brides and grooms to write their own custom vows instead.  But writing your own vows can be time-consuming, andlet's face itmany people simply aren't very good writers.  

Below are some updated vows that better apply to the situations many modern couples find themselves in. Readers may use them free of charge; consider it NestFeather's gift to you for your patronage.

Traditional Catholic Vows:

Groom: I, ____, take you, ____, to be my wife. I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life. Bride: I, ____, take you, ____, for my lawful husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.

Junkie Vows:

Groom: I, ____,  take you, ____, to be my shoot-up partner.  I promise to be true to you except when I need my next fix (then, all bets are off).  I will tolerate you and wish I could get someone hotter all the days of my life.  

Bride: I, ____, take you, ____, for my awful husband, to shiver and puke with, from this day forward, in times when horse is plentiful and in times when the most reliable dealer has been jailed and not much is available out there, when we steal some rich guy’s wallet and when we only have begged change, in sickness and in even more sickness, til overdose do us part.

Vows for Dysfunctional Couples:

Groom: I, ____, take you, ____, to be my ball and chain. I promise to alternately love you and hate you, with no way you can predict what my feelings will be at any given moment, in good times when I forget what a cunt you are, and in bad times when you can't stop complaining until I want to bash your head in so you'll shut up, in sickness which you will constantly remind me I have caused, and in health, as though I could ever be healthy with you dragging me down. Even though I know I'll never hear a word of thanks for it, I will love you and honor you all the days of my life, except when you remind me of my mother, or when something good is on tv, or if I simply don't feel like it. 

Bride: I, ____, take you, ____, for my lawful husband, to cling to like white on rice, and to blame for everything that's wrong in my life, from this day forward, for better, for worse (though I know it's usually going to be for the worse; I should have gone out with that neurosurgeon when he asked me, my life would be so much better), for richer, for poorer (though I know it's going to be for poorer, because you're so lazy and unresourceful), in sickness and in health (you know my health has never been that good; why do you continue to stress me out the way you do?), until we can't stand it anymore and it all ends in a murder/suicide.

Vows for Homosexual Couples:

I, ____, would take you, ____, to be my (husband/wife), if I legally had that option. I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will discreetly love you and tastefully and unostentatiously honor you all the days of my life, so that most of our coworkers and family members don't suspect a thing--except for those we've cautiously decided might be safe to tell. When we're around them, I might occasionally  give you a peck on the cheek, or a brief hand-hold, making sure to back off if I seem to be making anyone uncomfortable.  

I, ____, would take you, ____, for my lawful (husband/wife), if I could do so; to briefly meet your eyes across a crowded room when we're out in public together, from this day forward, in states with somewhat less draconion laws and in states where the legislators make Deliverance characters seem friendly, when the cursed Republicans are in office and when the Democrats are in office and don't in fact prove to be much better for gay rights, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health.  And when death do us part, I promise to hold vigil in the lobby of the hospital when the medical personnel refuse to let me into your room to see you, while your asshole family with whom you aren't close at all gets to make all the decisions regarding your care and the final disposition of your body.