Thursday, September 18, 2008
But What Would Centauri Say?
Ignoring the fact that the art crosses the axis in the third panel (a no-no in filmmaking), I'm quite pleased with today's Sally Forth. That's because over the years I've made and kept numerous friends from years of employment in the corporate world, some who now populate the world of the strip ("Jeff Jowdy," for one) and many who I frequently go with to movies, comedy shows, concerts and dinner. So to me it makes perfect sense that Ted would find a like-minded, likable coworker who grooves to the same Gen X callbacks as himself (speaking of such, for those who can't wait until tomorrow's strip the quote in the second panel--and the reference in this post's title--come from The Last Starfighter which, believe it or not, was also made into an off-Broadway musical.)
Still, others feel that such true friendship is not possible in the dog-eat-dog-eat-eat-Chipolte's-for-lunch-back-to-eating-dog world of Corporate America. Take this quote from Gabacho over at Comics Curmudgeon:
There’s no such thing as an office friend, merely an enemy who has been temporarily neutralized.
Sally knows this and she should tell Ted. Look at Sally’s office friends - Ralph who openly despises her and wants her out of the way and Alice. Yes, Alice.
Remember when Sally laid the blame for a failed project on Alice? Instead of Sally saying, “I did a poor job of managing this.”, she pointed the finger at Alice.
During the faux pregnancy scare, who was it who told the whole damn office - Alice. She was probing to see where Sally was weakest.
Alice is biding her time.
There is only one real way for Ted to make office “friends”. Find a common enemy, play it up, and then crush his friends.
Since Ted is in Strategic Sourcing, the natural enemies are Sales, Accounting and Human Resources. Pick one and then start trash talking them to your coworker. Your coworker will now start to like you.
Then when his guard is down, set him up.
For example, if Sales is pushing Strategic Sourcing hard to get Indonesian made Massage Chair and just doesn’t understand that Strategic Sourcing can’t change scheduling immediately, suggest to your coworker that he propose substituting the Chinese made version.
Coworker will bring that up to Sales as his idea, only to find out that nobody wants the Chinese made chair since furniture made by soon to be executed prisoners is not nearly as comfortable as that made by 8 year olds who still have some illusion of hope.
The coworker will be humiliated and demoralized, but won’t blame you as you sympathize and aren’t even mad that he stole your idea.
Now go to Sales and quietly say, “I’ll handle it.”
Soon you will be the King of Strategic Sourcing and have many, many friends.
More information about corporate careers and backstabbing can be found in books.
On the other side of the coin we have this Curmudgeon comment from one evil_bacteria:
It appears Ted is about to make a friend, but since we can’t hear the mysterious person’s voice, we can’t tell if it’s a man or a woman. Could it be a woman? Could Ted have an affair with someone who, rather than emasculating him, shares his love of things that happened twenty years ago? You might scoff, but if this could happen anywhere in the comics, it would be Sally Forth.
So where do you stand on this, the most volatile issue of our times? Do you think true friendship can be found in the workplace?