Took an extra long shower this morning, in addition to bathing when I got home last night. And I needed it too. Had to cleanse my body, had to cleanse my soul.
Company pep rallies. Ever been to one of these things? Nightmarish event.
Particularly with [Shinra] the company I happen to work for. See, it’s not just the hokey holiday skits all the store managers dress up in foolish costumes for. It’s not just the horror of hearing Christmas songs in frickin October (while it’s still way hot out) although yes, that was rather unsettling. See, the fake enthusiasm (please God I hope it was fake, please let it be fake, don’t let those people be so into this company) exuding from the rank and file in the audience, which theoretically includes me was the most disturbing. Wild applause, excited squeals of glee, people thundering out the name of their store as though representing their 'hood (I bullshit you not), unison stamping of feet, people jumping out of their chairs to answer the pop quiz questions for raffle prizes. People who seemed to think this mandatory albeit paid informational meeting / company propaganda fest was FUN. Crowd and contestants really getting into a mock jeapordy game.
Having set my Bullshit Dectector to the maximum setting before I walked in the door, I was left alert and unhypnotized to experience the vibe coming off the rest of the room.
It was CREEEEEPY.
I felt like I mistakenly wandered into a cult gathering, or a klan rally where everyone forgot to bring their robes and hoods (except the district manager / Master of Ceremonies, who was dressed in robe AND pointed hat, sorta like Mickey Mouse in Fantasia but, given the undertone of the whole event, drawing a much more sinister parallel in my mind).
There’s a little bit of Nuremberg 1935 at the core of every pep rally, and I could taste it in the way the crowd let itself get whipped into a frenzy, booing and heckling the straw men representation of “how our competitors behave during holiday retail season” and cheering wildly when the representation of Our Beloved Company bringing a happy ending to the embattled holiday shopper. And the person parading across the stage with an “applause” sign in their hands, so that the masses would know when to <strike>stand up and salute Brother #1</strike> applaud the emcee.
Also kicking around in my mind was the surreality of this rally being held in the auditorium/cafeteria of an elementary school. Fitting then, I guess, that everyone save me and my tiny cadre of allies from my store got so caught up in this nonsense and acted like such children.