Hannibal Lecter Wants To Have You For Dinner.
That there are two very different interpretations of the same phenomenon, about who or what is the dinner: specifically, the current state of the corporate employee.
In the chilling end lines of ‘The silence of the lambs’, Hannibal Lecter says to Clarice Starling: “I do wish we could chat longer, but... I'm having an old friend for dinner. Bye.”
Of course, the old friend would have had NO idea that he WAS the dinner.
I sometimes get that feeling when I see two contradictory streams of content on LinkedIn. That there are two very different interpretations of the same phenomenon, about who or what is the dinner: specifically, the current state of the corporate employee.
Here is the contradiction I see.
On the one hand the HR boys and girls seem to (or at least want to) treat employees like fragile, delicate new born chicks whose every need and comfort must be looked after with care and who must be smothered with love. On the other hand, there is a relentless stream of surveys that suggest that the working pleb (even if (s)he is a whiz in Silicon Valley), in spite of all this smothering, is actually very stressed, worried sh$&less out about burnout, and essentially about as happy as a cat caught in the spin cycle inside a washing machine.
It seems to be that perhaps the HR blokes have forgotten why companies exist in the first place: and that is, that they exist to reward the shareholders. That perhaps to the majority of shareholders, the ‘employee happiness’ stuff is just PR-worthy baloney. Or, to switch meats, that employees are no more than the geese you need to keep fat to produce foie gras.
Or at best, no more than a necessary evil.
Why else the paradox: the widespread human misery in the ‘Age of the foosball table’?
Perchance in this limerick lies the answer.
HR gives massages, free food and all manner of sop
Still, employees are stressed and ready to drop
HR wants to pamper the 'human flock'
But to investors they're only 'livestock'
And right now the investors are the ones who're on top
I look on and wonder as I see the miserable looking guys walking out of the fancy office building with the unpronounceably named La Pain Quotidien on the ground floor.