Get on the bus!
Due to the fact that I have resgned myself from the "corporate" world, this will probably be the last post that deals directly with Corporate America.
Prior to my departure from the company, it was announced that there was to be a leadership conference, which was mandatory for all management level employees. This conference was to be held in Orlando, Florida. This conference was scheduled for approximately 1 week after my departure date, so as you can probably already guess, I was none too concerned about it. We had been informed that there were buses scheduled to handle the question of transportation from Atlanta to Orlando. In the event that you did not want to get on a bus with your fellow employees at 6 AM for the approximate 8 hour venture into Florida, you had the option of driving yourself. You would even be re-imbursed at a cost of $50. This figure was calculated against what was the estimated cost, per person, for bus fare.Now, before you go getting excited about fitting 15 people into a rented van and pocketing some of that $50 travel fare, keep in mind that the money was only to paid out to the individual whose car was used. NOT $50 per peron, as one would be led to believe if taken from the cost of the bus ride.
Anyway, in staff meetings leading up to the big event, "bus captains" were requested. No one was really sure what the role of the "bus captain" was to entail, but in general, I'm sure it had to do with head count, making sure everyone was on the bus at the right time, and overall just being a jovial personality to help make the trip seem shorter.
An "official" email was sent out to about 300+ employees: Subject: Bus Trip To Orlando (Atlanta Employees) Importance: High Hello team members! I am working with on the 2006 Leadership Conference Trip. I will be coordinating the bus trip. At the present time we will carry 3 buses on this trip. On the 18th of May 2006, the buses will leave at 6:00 am sharp from West Peachtree St and 3rd . We anticipate the trip will take 7 hours. According to the DOT (Georgia and Florida), there are no major road constructions during the time of our travel ( no anticipated delays). I am working out the parking issues for the over night parking and our late arrival on the 19th. I need a head count ASAP for those who will be riding the bus. If we don’t need 3 buses, I will need time to cancel one of them. I'm sure that you are aware of the voucher amount if you plan to drive ($50.00). Fifty dollars might get you a gallon of gas! : ) If you are riding the bus, please let me know (via email) by COB on Monday April 24, 2006. This head count will also help with parking issues. I will need 2 or 3 bus captains! (depends on how many buses we will carry) The bus captains will be responsible for the good times and other stuff on the bus! I am open for all suggestions! More to come!
Well it would appear that not everybody was happy about this particular trip. And, it also goes to show that you should never end an email with the phrase "I am open for all suggestions!"
This next email response was definitely not expected. Subject: RE: Bus Trip To Orlando (Atlanta Employees) Why don't ya'll just cancel this conference! If we're so hardup for $$ we can't even voucher $50.00 if we carpool with someone else is crazy. You can have my $50.00 for bus fare! I don't care to go to the conference anyway. It's probably going to be a big waste of time and the money could be better spent somewhere else. Thanks, Tom *****
Now, being the smartass that I am, as well as feeling safe in the knowledge that I would not be around for the conference, nor further employment, I thought it would be a good idea to respond to all:Subject: RE: Bus Trip To Orlando (Atlanta Employees)So I guess we can take your name off of the "bus captain" list?
I got a number of responses to my jab at the definitely unhappy-with-his-job guy, none of which were a "reply to all", all of which were there to offer up congratulations on my quick wit.
That is to say, all with the exception of my director:Subject: RE: Bus Trip To Orlando (Atlanta Employees)Kevin,No need to antagonize an irritable employee. Please refrain from future emails of this sort.Thanks-George
Needlessto say, I wasn't worried about repercussions and it just illustrates yet another point regarding why I'm not quite cut out for Corporate America.