“There's no requirement that jobs be meaningful. If there was, half the country would be unemployed.”
“That's the thing you learn about values: they're what people make up to justify what they did.”
“Elizabeth is smart, ruthless, and emotionally damaged ... [i]f Elizabeth's brain was a person, it would have scars, tattoos, and be missing one eye.”
“You come to work every day but you hardly get to know anyone. I don't even know the names of half the people I see in the elevators. They say the company is a big family, but I don't know them. And even the people I do, like you two, and Elizabeth, and Roger - do I really? I mean, I like you guys, but we only ever talk about work. When I'm out with friends, or at home, I never talk about work. The other day, I tried to explain to my sister why it's such a huge deal that Elizabeth ate Roger's donut, and she thought I was insane. And you know what, I agreed with her. At home I couldn't even think why it mattered. Because I'm a different person at home. When I leave this place at night, I can feel myself changing. Like shifting gears in my head. And you guys don't know that; you just know what I'm like here, which is terrible, because I think I'm better away from work. I don't even like who I am here. Is that just me? Or is everyone different when they come to work? If they are, then what are they really like? How can we ever know? All we know are the Work People.”
“Monday morning and there's one less donut than there should be.
Keen observers note the reduced mass straightaway but stay silent, because saying, 'Hey, is that only six donuts?' would betray their donut experience. It's not great for your career to be known as the person who can spot the difference between six and seven donuts at a glance.”
“Last month we had to sit through a presentation on eliminating redundancy, and it was a bunch of Power Point slides, plus a guy reading out what was on the slides, and then he gave us all hard copies. I don’t understand these things.”
“There are stories — legends, really — of the “steady job.” Old-timers gather graduates around the flickering light of a computer monitor and tell stories of how the company used to be, back when a job was for life, not just for the business cycle. … The graduates snicker. A steady job! They’ve never heard of such a thing.”
“Sales is a business of relationships, and you must cultivate customers with tenderness and love, like cabbages in winter, even if the customer is an egomaniacal asshole you want to hit with a shovel.”
“It is a building designed by committee: all they have been able to agree on is that it should be rectangular, have windows, and not fall over.”
“To succeed in sales, you need skills—not skills entirely consistent with moral integrity and emotional well-being, but skills nevertheless.”
“Verstehst du, im Grunde sind doch die Mitarbeiter das Problem. Du zahlst, wenn du sie einstellst, du zahlst, wenn du sie rausschmeißt, und dazwischen muss du sie auch noch bezahlen.”
“Warum wollen sie unbedingt, dass ich den Auftrag storniere?' Der Mann klingt auf einmal misstrauisch. 'Seid ihr überbucht?'
'Ich will Ihnen nur helfen. Wirklich, unsere Kurse sind grottenschlecht. Es ist immer die gleiche Teamwork-Botschaft, nur unter verschiedenen Namen verpackt.'
'Ich hab nichts mit Teamwork bestellt. >Leitung von C++-Programmierern im Rahmen terminsensibler Projekte< - das wollte ich.'
'Das ist der Teamwork-Kurs. Und alle anderen sind auch der Teamwork-Kurs!”
“Du weißt doch noch, die Leute beschweren sich immer beim Management, dass ihre Work-Life-Balance nicht mehr stimmt. Also, am nächsten Montag haben sie eine Personalversammlung zu diesem Thema angesetzt. Um acht Uhr früh.”
“Last month we had to sit through a presentation on eliminating redundancy, and it was a bunch of PowerPoint slides, plus a guy reading out what was on the slides, and then he gave us all hard copies.”
“Those who ask without fear learn to say two things, with or without words, to those they are facing: I deserve to ask and You are welcome to say no. Because the ask that is conditional cannot be a gift.”
“I really think I'd be better at, like, advanced napping techniques.”
“Every man-made thing, be it a chair, a text, or a school, is thought made substance. It is the expression of someone's, or some groups, ideas and beliefs. The two-hundred year old double hung, six light sash window in the wall opposite my desk, out of which I am looking at this moment embodies ideas about houses and how we should live in them, tools, technologies, standards of craftsmanship, nature and much else. It is a material manifestation of the collective consciousness of its time and place channeled through the individuals who commissioned and made it".”
“The fact that the universe is illuminated where you stand—that your thoughts and moods and sensations have a qualitative character in this moment—is a mystery, exceeded only by the mystery that there should be something rather than nothing in the first place. Although science may ultimately show us how to truly maximize human well-being, it may still fail to dispel the fundamental mystery of our being itself.”
“Maia screamed and woke.
'Serenity?' Cala's voice, Cala's angular shape outlined against the window.
' 'Tis an ironic title, in sooth,' Maia said feebly, realizing that the entangling garments of the nightmare were merely his bedsheets. His heart was hammering, and he was clammy with sweat.”
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