The memo is an important tool for any employer -- how else does one tell the interns to clean the wild badgers out of the break room? The problem is that the bigger the company, the more disconnected from reality the higher-up penning the memo is, and the more the outside world regards your management less as actual human beings and more as the praetorian guards of Candyland.
#4. Walmart Tells Managers What to Think About Unions
It probably won't surprise you to learn that Walmart isn't a big fan of unions, since treating employees like dog turds is apparently part of the company's motto by now. And while it's still illegal to outright forbid people from unionizing, leaked documents reveal that Walmart gets around that little detail by teaching its managers how to make unions sound super lame. For instance, if you're a manager and someone asks your opinion on the matter, here it is. This is your opinion:
"You can speak for yourself, as long as you use our words."
If you're still having trouble explaining the carefully deliberated opinions that they told you to have, Walmart also supplies some helpful sample conversations that totally sound like real human beings and not brainwashed pod people:
"What if my name isn't Steve?"
"YOUR NAME IS WHAT WE TELL YOU YOUR NAME IS!"
And finally, if these foolproof talking points should fail, managers are told it's their "duty of loyalty" to report anything they think looks like union activity "immediately." If they still remember how to think, that is.
#3. Planet Hollywood Makes Its Staff Lie for Britney Spears
Last December, Britney Spears began her 96-concert run for Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas. For the next two years, Spears is going to shake her ass over the course of 96 nights for 96 sets of tourists who are going to go back home with the impression that American music is everything late-'90s MTV taught them it was. Naturally, given recent lip-synching accusations, a great deal of customers will have questions about whether Britney will be singing or not, and a leaked memo for Planet Hollywood employees instructs them to give answers like "Certainly she will be singing live!" and "No lip-syncing will happen at the show" (they can add "nosireebob" at their discretion).
Also in the same memo? "All vocals will be prerecorded."
"It says 'piece of me,' not 'whole thing.'"
Of course Spears' reps denied this. And of course she was totally caught lip-syncing.
#2. Google Teaches Its Employees How to Sound Like Smug Assholes
One of the perks of working at Google is that the company offers shuttles to transport employees from San Francisco to their offices ... and one of the unperks of living in San Francisco is that there are huge fucking buses with Google logos messing shit up for residents. To solve this issue, the city announced that they would hold a vote on new shuttle regulations, which Google saw as an opportunity to prove how awesome they are by telling their employees to show up and say things like:
"Make sure to mention how great Google+ is to talk to other San Franciscans somewhere in there."
The leaked email states that the employees "are not required to state where they work," but can admit they're Googlers if they "are so inclined." Extra points if they make it sound like they'd fill San Francisco with cars if the shuttles didn't exist, even though a recent survey revealed that nearly 50 percent of them would use other methods of transportation, or wouldn't be able to make the trip at all. Presumably in that last case, they'd just go to work at Ask Jeeves' garage/office.
#1. The WWE Is Very Precise About What Announcers Can Say
If there's any company you wouldn't expect to keep an eye on every little thing their people say, that's the WWE, the same industry that made screaming into a microphone about your biceps popular. However, from a recently leaked memo, we've found that, for instance, WrestleMania is no longer allowed to be called the "Granddaddy of them all," because apparently it makes it seem old and worn out.
Who would have thought?
Also, announcers are no longer allowed to say "choke" (presumably due to the sexual connotation) or that the "title changed hands" (same reason). They also can't say "five-star match" or "match of the year," since the other matches would get jealous, and when the heel performs something illegal, announcers cannot say that the referee didn't see it but are instead advised to say that the referee's vision was impeded. Why? Because the former makes the fans feel like they're being treated like idiots.
Yes, that's gonna be their first clue.
The third part of XJ's epic science-fiction novel is out now on Amazon. The first $0.99 novella can be found here, with Part 2 out here. Or leave a review and get a free copy! Poke him on Twitter and follow him on Facebook.