Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Welcome to the Sausage Factory

The only qualification he won't need for the job is a heart
The Squid has finally hired a new mouthpiece.

One’s first reaction is, “Poor, misguided slob.” But, upon reflection, one must admit that this Tin Man’s employment history reads like the résumé of a pathetic young striver who has been desperately chasing the poisoned chalice all his young life:
  • humanities graduate from an obscure vocational school in the slums of New Haven, Connecticut;
  • first line of defense to a serial philanderer from the Deep South;
  • counselor to a known tax evader and professional wet noodle;
  • and, in between, bag carrier for all the worst jobs imaginable at a company known for abetting the most appalling scourge possible upon the life and spirit of the modern age: aluminum siding.

I ask you: Communications? Human resources? Business development? The soul shudders.

This is someone clearly unafraid of the dirty jobs whence an ordinary, respectable citizen runs screaming in the other direction. Like giving pedicures to Courtney Love. So perhaps it is a match made in heaven, after all.

Certainly Mr. Siewert has large shoes to fill. It is perhaps too much to hope that he will be able to fulfill his role with the same magnificent Victorian aplomb his predecessor did, spitting fire and nails at slow-moving journalists and regulators alike with the withering condescension only our long-sundered brethren across the ocean seem to manage. If he does not naturally dream in sepia tones and expostulate “egregious,” “febrile,” and “chimera” in the workplace cafeteria line, however, perhaps it is best he not even try.

Then again, some less interested in spectacle and more interested in returning his new employer to its previous obscurity and mystery—like the management, employees, and shareholders of Goldman Sachs itself—might wish that Mr. Siewert succeed by failure. I venture to imagine his employment would not be viewed unfavorably if he succeeded in rendering his institution as interesting and newsworthy as congealed oatmeal again. I think the denizens of 200 West Street have had quite enough public attention for the present, thank you very much.

So welcome to the sausage factory, Mr. Siewert. I suspect your colleagues have provided you with copious briefing materials to aid your communication of the actions and intentions of your firm to the pigs plebeians outside. In the spirit of friendship, I have included a few backgrounders of my own, in order to limn the dimensions of the task ahead of you. Feel free to reach out to me directly with any questions or issues of your own.

I promise not to laugh too loudly.

Corporate Communications briefing materials:
The Mouth of Sauron (February 17, 2010)
The Fish Stinks from the Head (June 30, 2009)
The Dirt Bag Chronicles (January 22, 2009)
Overheard at 85 Broad Street (June 18, 2008)

UPDATE, March 14, 2012: Oh dear. Dearie, dearie me. I am sure this is not how Mr. Siewert wanted to start his new position. I wonder if PepsiCo are still hiring...

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