1. I could make a couple of guesses about what company that is, but they could well differ from yours. I’m sure most of us have nominees.

  2. I think it’s also a comment on how terrible casual Fridays are (which I don’t get, personally, but I’ve heard other people hate them).

  3. This is about how companies will often roll out changes in pairs (or groups), hoping to nestle the not-so-great-news with something the employees will like (like casual Fridays).

    That way, when the employees are discussing the changes, one will say, “Can you believe what was announced at this morning’s meeting?” and the other will reply, “I know! We can dress casually on Fridays now!”

  4. Olivier: I didn’t think about it until I read your comment, but yes, it does feel like a scene from Arthur C. Clarke’s “Childhood’s End.”

  5. My guess is that J-L is right in that the bad news is being rolled out in a pair with some relatively gossip-worthy good news, so that the staff after the meeting will chat about comfortable shirts. But the bad news is deadly sinister: the company, which might be one that presents a benign, green-worthy, employee-friendly “Do No Evil” face to the world, has always in fact been run for evil motives, and “going forward”, as business people sometimes have it, that evil will become more naked, vicious and destructive for the employees and the environment even if more profitable for the owners.

  6. The Childhood’s End devil-looking characters were rather sad – sent to help usher other intelligent species and now Earthlings into the next stage of evolution into the cosmic Overmind, but never able to make that ascent themselves.

  7. The presenter made a deal with the devil. He agreed to give up some amount of control over the company in exchange for success. Based on head count, he would certainly seem to be successful and until now the devil sat in the background. Now the devil is going to want his due.

    Seems like a typical deal with the devil type story to me. How many of us think our company must be being run by people who want nothing but to drain your soul?

  8. Hmm, I’m impressed by management devious enough to mix good and bad news as others have suggested. Never come across that; closest we came was a CEO who liked to start company meetings with “Change can be good, or change can be bad…” — which we VERY quickly learned meant, “Here’s some change. And it’s definitely bad.”

    30 years later, those of us who were there can say “Change can be good…” and another survivor will threaten violence.

  9. Phil Smith III – I have a saying – “change is never good” – I hate change, though I do like being home all day right now.

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