A satirical look at the modern workplace

Comedy writer CL Smith’s father died on Remembrance Day in 2021 at the age of 99. In Smith’s new book, a kind of sequel to “Tongue In Chico,” the Chico State graduate imagines his father, proud in his military uniform, and admits that he didn’t like the first book and wouldn’t have liked the second. “But,” he wrote, “I will always love him and miss him anyway. Semper fi.

As for the new book, it’s “a satirical look at current pop culture and the modern workplace, gleaned from my 30 years as a marketing executive in the fast food and telecommunications industries.” Think lousy puns (but I’m repeating myself), politically incorrect comments, naughty innuendos. And that’s only page 1.

“The Corporate Weenie Almanac” ($7.45 in paperback from Tenderfoot Books; also for Amazon Kindle), designed and illustrated by Randy Nowell, looks like Mad Magazine with a little more glimmer.

A corporate weenie is “a humanoid denizen of the managerial class, known primarily for embracing superiors while dominating their assumed authority over resentful subordinates in the modern workplace”. If you’ve ever had a desk job, you know one, but, of course, you’ve never been. So rest assured: this book is not written for you.

The food section offers “recipes for disaster”, including “The Bad Hire”. “Ingredients: (1) urgent need to fill a key position, (1) impending hiring freeze, (1) Yippee! The ideal candidate. Instructions: Skip the background check. Skip 1-3 sketchy references. Why? Frost is coming! Marinate and simmer. The newbie skips the new employee orientation. Call sick the next day. File a claim for long-term disability. To boil. Suing the company for emotional distress. The resume was wrong. It’s HR’s fault! Update your own fake CV as soon as possible.

Mix in corporate cliches, like “Let’s Circle Back on That” (a way to forget something); the wearing of the pandemic mask as pop art; politically correct classic rock (“I Saw Her Standing There by The Beatles. Pronoun issue. Change title and lyrics to “I Saw Her/Him/Them Standing/Assis/Lying/Chilling/Twerking There””); Tongue in Chico tips; and weenie cosmic astrology – and you have a recipe for a wonderful barbecue in your backyard.

To start the conversation, pages are great starter material, if you know what I mean.

Dan Barnett teaches philosophy at Butte College. Send review requests to [email protected] Chronicles archived on https://dielbee.blogspot.com

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