EDITORIAL: Massages? Not a Good Sign

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Sometimes this industry is so trivial, it's an embarrassment.

Just check the paragraph below from a recent press release bragging about how, while most of us are straining to retain talent, one company has had only one defection in a year and a half.

"Perhaps it's the annual retreat to Disney World and the Universal Theme Park, or the recent team-building staff outing at Chelsea Piers featuring competitive sports and rock-climbing. Maybe it's the daily free lunch and dinners. Monthly birthday parties, a Halloween costume contest, an outing to the Opera in Central Park, a Wellness Fair with free massages, baseball games and a school cleanup for New York Cares are just a few other activities added into the mix."

Perhaps these people should get lives and realize work is called work because it's not always fun, and that companies aren't built on trips to Disney World and free massages. They're built by people who understand that the world doesn't revolve around them. Just picturing these people falling backward into each other's arms as a "trust-building" exercise makes you want to join in just long enough to yank your arms at the last second and let one of them hit the ground.

To be sure, business associates should be treated with respect and dignity, but the associates at this company belong on a playground, not in a business that is about to enter the treacherous terrain of a slowing economy.

If it survives, maybe we'll get to see a press release like the following:

"Perhaps it was the daily slaps to the back of their heads and reminders that while these little twits had yet to experience a recession, not everyone is entitled to $75,000 per year straight out of college. Maybe it was the realization that building a business is an arduous process where the most important people are the ones who write the checks, not the ones who cash them."

I've got a feeling the rest of us will be stuck whipping these people into shape when Wellness Fair Central's free massages come to an end.

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