Corporate Sadness

Fun used to be something people had when they were happy. It was spontaneous, playful, irreverent. But now it is a “Corporate Value”. I find that so very sad. But wait, sadness isn’t a corporate value, so snap out of it. This is a FUN place to work! Have fun. Have fun now!

I don’t know about you, but when I read (admittedly, well-meaning) value statements like this one, I cringe. If I stop to reflect I feel angry and even violated. Why do we put up with this? This is surely the worst kind of paternalism—the kind that acts as if it isn’t trying to control you as it sucks away your soul through institutionalized fun, oh and just the right level of weirdness. God help us!

How about we start to value sadness, confusion, unknowing and even hurt. How about we actually start treating people as human beings, complex, confused, often wounded. How about we stop being phony in our talk of fun and “diversity” with all its associated expectations of conformity, and start to embrace actual, whole people.

Yeah, it’s scary. It means we might not have fun in the office. On the other hand, you may be surprised to rediscover what fun actually is—something that arises from our spirits, not something that’s declared in a corporate mission statement.

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