Demotivators and motivators

It was the day that I saw one too many “Teamwork” posters that I was happy to discover Austin’s own Despair, Inc. Perhaps teamwork is falling out of favor as a workplace theme, because once-ubiquitous saturated photos of a crew on the water from a low overhead perspective, or even any parodies of that sort of poster, are less often to be found in those places where people earn their daily bread, if anecdotal evidence beyond my own experience is to be trusted. Even the Despair people have just one teamwork image that I can find, and the locale is not near the water. The current NYT Sunday magazine calls national attention to the Despair people, focusing on the “Worth” concept (“Empowering by Disempowerment,” byline Rob Walker, 4/27/08).

There are those who still believe in self-improvement as a personal conscious endeavor and, if the account in the local daily (byline Sarah Coppola; see links under photograph for itemized lists) is to be believed, one of our council incumbents is among them. An opponent made a public information request and now has used the results in an amusing four-page full-color mailer that displays images of selected invoices discovered among materials elicited following the PIR. I don’t know how I’m going to vote yet, but I’m not overjoyed to know that taxpayer dollars went to buy 20 copies of “Now, Discover Your Strengths.” And fish food?

Thanks to a new initiative by the Despair people, while feigning to look deeply engaged in the proceedings of meetings that are boring in the extreme, you can occupy yourself by mentally designing your own demotivational poster (which image should be accompanied by which heading and which “inspirational” language?).

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