Posts Tagged ‘corporate communications’

St. Corporate Day

Posted in General, On This Day on October 25th, 2013 by Eugene Finerman – 3 Comments

October 25, 1415:  The Battle of Agincourt

Henry VOn this day in 1415, a beleaguered CEO offered these team-building thoughts to his “stakeholders”:

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he today that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother …

Stirred by such speech, you too might well overlook the fact that your newfound brother makes 300 times more than you, and that he is the buffoon who put you in such a desperate plight.

In fact, the battle of Agincourt was decided by French incompetence, not English poetry. Outnumbering the English by approximately three-to-one, the French could have used any number of tactics to win the campaign: flanking, envelopment, siege….There was only one possible way that the French could have lost the battle of Agincourt. That would be a full-frontal cavalry assault in constricted terrain, leading to an impassable traffic jam of horses and easy shooting for English archers.

Of course, who would be that stupid? Oh, oui.

However, I will concede that Henry V could not have made that glorious St. Crispin’s Day speech.  First, it would have been in Middle English–which no one ever understood.  Furthermore, the speech–in that form–would never have survived the departmental approval procedure.  Before delivering the St. Crispin’s speech, Henry–or his speechwriter–was required to submit a draft to the legal department and human resources.

In 1415, that editorial inquisition was in the hands of Lord Chancellor Beaufort and the King’s brother, the Duke of Bedford.

Beaufort:  “We few, we happy few…”  Too many pronouns, too many adjectives.  “We” is too vague a term, too easy to misinterpret.  A positive and specific identification is necessary, if only to avoid trademark disputes in future treaties. “Few” has a negative context, as if the English army were conceding an inadequate number for this campaign.  If Henry survives the battle, he would never survive the litigation.  Come up with a more positive description of our army’s size.

Bedford:  And “Happy”?  Really, that is unprofessional and inappropriate to a war.  If we must have an adjective, let’s make it a serious one.   And “band of brothers?”  I am the king’s brother and I have no idea what that means.  Is he promising everyone can be a duke like me?

Beaufort:  Carried away by alliteration, completely irresponsible.   There has to be a concise and practical definition of the relationship between the king and his soldiers.

Bedford:  “For he today that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother …”

Is he criticizing our healthcare policy?  We certainly do cover wounds–at least battle-related ones–and the men will receive appropriate bandages rather than this unsolicited affection.  You know, that could actually be viewed as a form of harassment….

So, on October 25, 1415,  Henry V assured his beleaguered men:

“This adequately numbered English army, this proactive English army

This armed association

For anyone who, in this specific time period, should acquire a work-related decoagulating condition

Would be entitled to appropriate coverage from this association.”

And if Henry said anything more, no one was listening.

Das Korporation

Posted in General on September 1st, 2010 by Eugene Finerman – Be the first to comment

Coordinator Loyalty Addressable Marketing Communications 
Corporate (Sears, if you must know) 
The Coordinator Loyalty Addressable Marketing Communications reports to the Manager Loyalty Marketing Communications and in partnership with the Addressable Marketing Manager assigned to Loyalty. 

 

 

  

A Day in the Life of a Coordinator Loyalty Addressable Marketing Cordinator

Today, as I planned, was “Bring Your Child To Work Day.”  Of course, I never promised that the children could leave here.  And even if I had, so what!  This really is a wonderful test of the employee’s loyalty to the company.  It was not as if I asked every parent to strangle the child.  (  As for the ten who did, I am recommending the managerial program for the two fastest.) Of course, I fired every employee who objected to their child’s shipment to our plant in Indonesia.  It was not as if we were selling the child to some other corporation; Sears has a sense of loyalty, too. 

p.s.  Let’s not forget the historic significance of this day:   http://finermanworks.com/your_rda_of_irony/2009/09/01/2529/

 

   

 

 

 

Historical and Rhetorical Revisions

Posted in General, On This Day on October 26th, 2009 by Eugene Finerman – 4 Comments

Last year, on the anniversary of Agincourt, the New York Times decided to disillusion us.  According to the newspaper, a  number of modern historians are disputing the hallowed account of the battle.  In the traditional account of Agincourt, a dog-weary English army–outnumbered five-to-one–triumphed over the haughty French host.  However, the revisionist historians have researched Michelin receipts and so deduced that the French force was no more than twice the size of the English.  So the English victory hardly counts.

Of course, you would expect French historians to downplay the dimensions of the French humiliation.  They might deny the battle ever occurred or somehow blame the Americans.  However, many of these revisionists are British!  Are they traitors?  Yes, but they also might be right.  Besides, historians are a desperate lot.  First, they have to come up with a fresh topic for their doctorate–“Flax production in 14th century Kent”–and then they have to keeping churning out NEW research if they hope to get and keep a decent niche at an university.  “Flax production in 15th century Kent–the sequel” is not a guaranteed claim to fame or tenure.  But come up with an iconclastic view of a cherished event–and you can make the New York Times and at least get a free lunch from The History Channel.

Now I will concede that Henry V could not have made that glorious St. Crispin’s Day speech.  First, it would have been in Middle English–which no one ever understood.  Furthermore, the speech–in that form–would never have survived the departmental approval procedure.  Before delivering the St. Crispin’s speech, Henry–or his speechwriter–was required to submit a draft to the legal department and human resources.

In 1415, that editorial inquisition was in the hands of Lord Chancellor Beaufort and the King’s brother, the Duke of Bedford.

Beaufort:  “We few, we happy few…”  Too many pronouns, too many adjectives.  “We” is too vague a term, too easy to misintepret.  A positive and specific identification is necessary, if only to avoid trademark disputes in future treaties. “Few” has a negative context, as if the English army were conceding an inadequate number for this campaign.  If Henry survives the battle, he would never survive the litigation.  Come up with a more positive description of our army’s size.

Bedford:  And “Happy”?  Really, that is unprofessional and inappropriate to a war.  If we must have an adjective, let’s make it a serious one.   And “band of brothers?”  I am the king’s brother and I have no idea what that means.  Is he promising everyone can be a duke like me?

Beaufort:  Carried away by alliteration, completely irresponsible.   There has to be a concise and practical definition of the relationship between the king and his soldiers.

Bedford:  “For he today that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother …”

Is he criticizing our healthcare policy?  We certainly do cover wounds–at least battle-related ones–and the men will receive appropriate bandages rather than this unsolicited affection.  You know, that could actually be viewed as a form of harassment….

So, on October 25, 1415,  Henry V assured his beleaguered men:

“This adequately numbered English army, this proactive English army

This armed association

For anyone who, in this specific time period, should acquire a work-related decoagulating condition

Would be entitled to appropriate coverage from this association.”

And if Henry said anything more, no one was listening.

Penury Saved is Penury Earned

Posted in General on February 23rd, 2009 by Eugene Finerman – 3 Comments

I just had some wonderful financial news.  One of my mutual funds can still afford postage.  Arriving in the mail was a reassuring brochure that the company was doing a splendid job and so I should vote for the emergency reforms it required.

The quality of the brochure reflected the dour mood of the economy.  In the affluent days,  the  publications were slightly more lavish than a Cecil B. DeMille production.  Doesn’t everyone want an annual report printed on zebra skin?  Now, however, the brochure demonstrates how serious the company is about costs.  Having closed the employees’ cafeteria, it is using the leftover napkins for mimeograph paper.

Why is the company even splurging on postage?  Apparently the Bush administration forgot to abolish a few regulations, so as an investor I am entitled to vote on certain company policies.  For instance, I am expected to approve whomever the chairman wanted on his board of directors…

Fitzpercy “Winky” Wappleshire: college roommate of chairman and always lets him win at golf.

The Hon. Nils Sipher:  former congressman, internationally recognized sycophant  and  professional board member.

Dr. Sejanus Freiboot: professor of sociopathic economics at the Heritage Foundation.

Now, however, my vote is being solicited for more urgent matters than whether or not the chairman needs a new trophy wife.  (The Uma Thurman lookalike is getting close to 40!)  The company wants my approval for “fundamental investment restrictions and revisions” on a number of  bewildering and deliberately obtuse  topics.  My vote may be required but my comprehension is not.  The company is convinced that the less I understand, the more complacent I will be.  The lobotomized must be very trusting.

Guess what: I am voting “No” on everything.  I won’t be avenging my diminished retirement plan, but at least I will be fighting for intelligible English.