Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Evolution of the Corporate Vice President

The Corporate Vice President, or Corpus Evictus-cya, has a strange evolutionary history. Its appearance on our planet began about 20 years ago, although the exact date is still unknown. Records back in those days were somewhat informal, and largely incomplete. However, one thing is clear: The species began as what many believe to be real, live, human beings, before evolving into the familiar jellyfish we all know in today's mutated version. But how did it get here? Is it going to continue evolving; perhaps grow a spine; perhaps have a useful purpose in Corporate America? Don't count on it.

However, understanding the evolutionary history of the Corpus Evictus-cya will help us prepare for whatever it has in store for future generations of backstabbing victims. With enough knowledge, perhaps our children's children will live in some better world; with no budget deficits, bailouts or government subsidies. We can only hope.

For the purposes of this particular study, the "Corporate Vice President" will simply be referred to as the "CVP"; those they undermine will be referred to as "us", or "we"; the hard working business people in Corporate America who try to be productive in our jobs; and who try to engage employees in being productive, as well, with no hidden agendas. Despite the insidious nature of the CVP, we aren't on the verge of extinction - yet. Strangely enough, we outnumber CVPs by a wide margin, although they possess the lethal backstabbing capabilities which can be unleashed at any moment; preparation is our best defense.

The most often asked question I've encountered is simply, "Where did they come from; why are they here?" From my research, it appears the CVP originated sometime around the end of the Reagan Administration, although there is no direct link between politics and Corporate America, as far as the early stages of CVP development is concerned. Early forms of CVP appeared friendly; even useful. They demonstrated human characteristics, seemed to have a logical thought process, and showed no signs of malice. Certainly, they possessed tremendous strength, and were capable of killing us at the drop of a hat; but they were good-natured and friendly; they liked us and wanted us to continue our evolutionary journey, just as much as we wanted to keep going. It seemed to be a good balance of nature.

Then, sometime in the early '90s, something happened to our common sense; it seemed to go away. It all started with the legal system; wrongful termination lawsuits started proliferating, along with sexual harrasment lawsuits; then, it seemed like everyone was being discriminated against, in one way or another. This was good news for the attorneys in America; and whatever is good news for attorneys means bad news for the vast majority of honest, hard-working people. Even businesses that had good intentions were becoming victimized by the malicious attorneys looking to score a jackpot for their scumbag clients; soon, most big businesses in Corporate America were being run in a climate of fear and loathing; and that's when the CVPs began losing their "human" characteristics; early forms of CVP resembled rodent-like animals in the wild - the badger and the weasel were the most common forms of CVP; they were dangerous but were so hostile, or slovenly that they could be warded off with a clever approach. Some forms of CVP were amusing, but you could tell that they had devious intentions by listening to their diatribes; they spoke in riddles; corporate speak. It sounded good, but the recipients knew it was for show.

The CVP knew the game had long since evolved into a matter of "kill or be killed"; they knew their best chance for survival with the CEOs of Corporate America was to stay out of harm's way, while throwing others under the bus. That's when their spines disappeared; and that's when they became even more lethal - they lulled their victims into a false sense of security by disappearing into their cubicles, and slithering around the corporate office, trying to avoid any contact with the CEOs or their agents of doom - the second or third in command.

Of course, eventually, the CVPs had to come out of hiding and make their presense felt with those they "supervise"; to justify their existence, they knew they had to start creating problems - which only they could fix. The problems, were of course, "us". "We" were somehow screwing something or other up; it didn't matter if the problems were fictitious; all that mattered was the problems needed to be addressed.

When "addressing" the problems; or the "issues"; the CVP's lack of a spine comes in handy; it enables them to deal with all that stress from the CEOs without sustaining any damage to their organs; and because they're so flexible, they fit almost anywhere, and are easy to care for. They never complain; and they never say anything that will cause the CEOs any aggravation. In short, they've evolved into the perfect life form for survival in Corporate America.

Is it any wonder we're in the shape we're in today? The solution is simple; but who's going to do it? Who's going to get rid of the spineless jellyfish known as the Corporate Vice President? It's going to take the enlightened CEO with enough sense to realize this species should be extinct by now; they're no longer needed.

In fact, if the CEOs don't realize this very soon, they may find themselves becoming extinct, as well.

For my first hand account of life in Corporate America, buy my book: Life Under the Corporate Microscope on Amazon: http://bit.ly/b2pBY or visit my author's webpage: www.outskirtspress.com/LarryUnderwood

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