Sometimes, The Wheel is on Fire

Sometimes, The Wheel is on Fire

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Deer-Spangled Banner

For at least the past week and a half, my company’s flag has been at half-mast. This isn’t altogether unexpected, since Veteran’s Day was last week. However, during this same period of time, the American flag next to it has flown at three-quarters mast. I’m not quite sure what sort of message management is trying to convey.

Of course, that didn’t stop me from coming up with a few possibilities:

  • It could be translated as: “We care more deeply about our veterans than the United States of America does.” And sure, my company recently came in at #67 on the list of the top Military-Friendly Companies for 2010, but that’s kind of the wrong way to go about touting that fact.
  • Perhaps they’re saying: “we’re weighed down by the $3.4 billion in TARP Funds we accepted” or “we’re slow to recover from a downturn,” though I have trouble believing that after its tumultuous past year, my company still trusts the old maxim “any publicity is good publicity.”
  • Or, maybe all they’re trying to say is: “We’re too busy looking at the big picture to sweat the small stuff.”

Of course, you’re probably thinking it’s obvious: my company hired an imbecile to take care of the flags. I won’t argue that, but I will point out that the meaning is exactly the same as that third bullet point.

And maybe they don’t sweat the small stuff. How else could you explain the design of our bicentennial logo? Back in May, we started replacing the logo on all of our websites and printed materials1 with a redesigned logo containing the slogan “Trusted 200 Years.” This is all fine and dandy, except that back in May the company had only existed for 199 years, and we were in the midst of a recession, so no one had really trusted us much during the previous eight months.

I understand the reasoning behind it. This way, we gets to celebrate the company’s bicentennial (and hype it in the media) for two whole years. Also, “Trusted 200 Years” rolls off the tongue much more smoothly than “Trusted Almost 198½ Years.” After all, compared to the big picture of two centuries, what’s one or two measly little years?

Don’t sweat the small stuff... we have a legal team for that.


1 Yet not on our buildings, or on our more-half-masty-than-Old-Glory flag.

1 comment:

  1. I think your company needs to go back through its entire history and come to a conclusion as to how long it has really been trusted. And then you can all get "Trusted 157.3 out of 200 years" t-shirts.

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