Wordless Wednesday – Two Photographs

The brainiacs in charge where my wife works had a problem. The company was spending too damn much money. They discontinued bonuses and froze wages (for non-management employees) but it wasn’t enough. Their next move was a stroke of genius.

Note the employee-killing spikes that have been thoughtfully left intact on the upper edge, standing at the ready to slice open the belly and spill out the innards of any employee intrepid enough to try to go over the top.

Only management can decide when dispensation of paper is necessary to the performance of one’s duties!

Photo credit: Mrs. Tom B. Taker (aka Mrs. Abyss)

Look carefully at the following photograph long enough and you just might spot the elusive Tom B. Taker himself, lurking in the bushes (like always) on a recent Easter Sunday. Is it just me or does this photo seem eerily similar to those famous pictures of Bigfoot?

Photo credit: ssc

15 responses

  1. The fenced in/off paper is amazing!


    1. Thanks for the comment. Isn’t it, though? It screams, “See how much we distrust you?”

      Never forget that your employees are the enemy.


  2. The fence around the paper is really shocking. Wouldn’t you hate to be the gatekeeper of the paper supply?! Now, that job would suck.


    1. I think they call it H.R. She’s also in charge of hand soap in the bathrooms and coffee grounds. The latter is admittedly a luxury item, IMHO, but when they put on the kibosh, they did it in the most insulting way possible. Never miss an opportunity to insult the help.


  3. You wouldn’t want to put money into things that motivate the people where the rubber meets the road. Where would we be if companies did that?

    Did you leave behind scraps of fur after that picture?


    1. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. You sound like the kind of boss I wish I could have. Maybe in another life! 🙂

      No fur, since I am a hairless, but I did leave behind some ambigious footprints!


  4. I think I saw some words in that “Wordless Wednesday” post! I can see the need to keep employees from swiping the office goods,(I’ve taken a few pens in my day) but it would have been nice if the paper had been kept in a Louis XIV chest (commode), although that might have been carted off, too. Chain link is just so tacky! http://www.museumfurniture.com/louisXIV/

    A friend owned a furniture store with a cafeteria for employees. The employees stole so much of the food, he had to close the cafeteria. He once encountered an employee hauling off a side of beef. They also stole furniture, too. And they were paid far above minimum wage with benefits.


    1. Clever. I was going to write even more words and include less pictures, but you know me. I always endeavor to be subtle. There are only 200 words in my WW post. 🙂

      I think chain link fence is the perfect accoutrement for the modern urban workplace. The symbolism is not lost on me.

      I hear what you are saying about employee theft. My first thoughts about hearing that (side of beef!) is that the employees must not care about the company very much. Yes, they are responsible for their boorish and criminal behavior, but it also flows from the top. I find it hard to imagine that happy, well-treated, engaged, fulfilled employees in a healthy partnership with their employers would behave that way.

      Your comment reminds me of a story. I once spent a three-year stint working at McDonalds. I was a burger flipper par excellance. I made more money than all of the managers, too, except the store manager. One day, the store manager had me stop by his apartment. Inside was a sight to behold. His wall unit was constructed from plastic milk crates from the store. McDonald’s towels hung from the door on the fridge. Inside the fridge were eggs, cheese, canadian bacon, etc. Humbuger buns were on the counter. In the freezer were chicken nuggets and beef patties.

      This guy was living the total McDonald’s lifestyle! His home was completely furnished by everything our store had to offer.

      My opinions of the world started getting formed at an early age. I had just the right amount of exposure and experience to form the basis of business and people that I hold so dear to this day.


      1. Actually, most of the employees of that store were very happy and all were well-paid. They even have employee reunions long after the store closed down and want the former owners there. But there are always people who take advantage and are thieves, no matter how well they are treated.


  5. […] Wordless Wednesday – Two Photographs (shoutsfromtheabyss.wordpress.com) […]


  6. I don’t mind the cage that much, but when I hop over to steal a box of paper my nylons snag. Damn spikes!

    Management also tried to take soap from the bathrooms and replace it with hand sanitizers. Needless to say, that one did not got over well at all. We have our soap back!


    1. Our budget for nylons is through the roof. You need to crawl and climb more carefully!

      At my work, when the hand soap runs out, management is more than happy to let it sit empty for three to six months at a time. This is after they’ve refilled the dispenser with water umpteen times. That’s why I have my own personal hand soap in my locker. You gotta look out for number one!


      1. Or do you mean, number two…


  7. Well done, babes. Your bring an important touch of elegance to the blog. You should comment more often! 🙂


    1. Catherine, I admit it seems odd that well-treated, happy, respected and fulfilled employees would treat their employer like that. Not to sound optimistic or anything, but I would expect that, in general, that behavior was an aberration. There must be some other factor that was causal in that situation.

      Again, my belief is that, in general, happier employees will do stuff like that less often. I haven’t done actual studies to back up that opinion, though. And I strongly suspect the inverse is true. I think mistreated employees are more likely to do some of the myriad of opportunities for payback that are more outside of employer’s control than they ever suspected.

      I worked at a place once that would shit on our 10-minute breaks as required by law. I used to add 15 minutes to my time card every time it happened to compensate. I was repeatedly called in by management and threatened with termination over the practice. You can imagine me there, red-faced, complaining indignantly about the “law” and stuff, all to no avail. So we did what came naturally. Just like Jurassic Park they weren’t in as much control as they thought. No 10-minute break would become a bonus 30-minute later. This always happened. That’s why I feel treating your employees this way may seem to be a power play in the company’s favor but inevitably fails due to human nature. Good managers know how to motivate and encourage true performance. Bad managers make decisions that, perhaps not immediately, bite the company in the ass. It’s the difference between fake gains and real gains.


Bringeth forth thy pith and vinegar

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