I had some dreams ... they were klowns in my koffee.

(With apologies to Carly Simon)

This is my journey through job transition from a toxic environment to a better life. Join me for a few thoughts and a few laughs along the way.
What are "klowns in my koffee"? They are the factors large and small that make you less than you are. A "klown" can be a grossly incompetent boss,
a short-sighted policy or a moronic coworker. They won't kill you, at least not immediately, but they abrade the soul
as you scrape past them to get through the day. Sometimes it's best to dump them out of the cup.


At the dawn of the blog -- when we danced around the fire and beat each other with bones that became space stations when thrown high in the air  -- Porkus was uniquely and distinctly my former employer as eulogized below.  Due to the good graces of evolution, we came to realize that there's a little Porkus in many companies.  And that's not necessarily a good thing.

So, if you've never worked at 'THE' Porkus, odds are that you've worked for 'A' Porkus.

Signs That You Are Working for a Porkus

— The Marketing Department fabricates awards that the company has won.
— The turnover rate is highest in Human Resources, a department largely staffed by zombies led by a gargoyle.
— The CFO thinks that performance metrics are "a joke" that "most companies don't bother with."
— Publishing an org chart is cause for disciplinary action.
— Education, higher or technical, is viewed with suspicion since management is fully capable of teaching you anything they decide you need to know.
— Conference calls are frequently muted to allow the opportunity to ridicule the customers.
— The technical salespeople wore blue vests at their last jobs.
— Managers are not told their department budgets or the salaries of their employees since it might cause them to try to actually manage something.
— The key strategy for avoiding sexual harassment suits is refusing to hire physically attractive employees.
— No one thinks it's questionable that the production staff all share one social security number.
— The most enduring upper management position is "Toady."

So, if you've ever gotten a review criticizing your writing from a manager who doesn't speak or read in your language, then you may have worked for a Porkus.

The Original Porkus
Porkus Computer Systems, Inc., my former employer, is an assembler of nonbranded automated abaci that uses the products of industry-leading component manufacturers to create goods of varying and often underwhelming quality. Not that I didn't try.

You've heard the phrase, "Garbage in, garbage out?" Not hard to fathom how that works, right? Porkus takes generally good subcomponents and tries to create an output as mediocre as the customer will accept. The motto should have been "From silk purse to sow's ear."

The name 'Porkus' is a corruption of 'porcus' from the Latin for pig. This is a nod to the company's origination as a franchise of Piggy Computers. The split of Porkus from Piggy is the subject of a Missouri lawsuit that makes great reading if you are into allegations of employee theft and corporate espionage. Porkus won the suit because the judge thought the plaintiff and the defendant looked just alike.

Porkus had a number of great employees, most of whom are now working someplace else. Some good friends still work there and I light candles for them regularly.