Stonk Market Confessions

Stonk Market Confessions: “I was once blacked out for a full week of work and when I came to on Monday I had somehow been promoted”

I can’t pretend to be a grizzled vet, but four years was more than enough to know all that is worth knowing about Corporate America. The inner workings of it are frankly some of the stranger aspects of a country that has a list of oddities longer than a traveling circus.

At my former company, one brave soul brought in bagels on Tuesday, instead of on bagel Wednesday, and heads rolled. You thought people were pissed at Robinhood? It got so contentious bagels were banned from the office for nearly three months until the conflict was resolved.

Or how about corporate training for example. Most companies will ship off new associates to a Hilton—or some other 5-star hotel to indoctrinate them in the ‘company culture.’ A kool-aid fest to the umpteenth degree.

My company was no different. 40 twenty-somethings. Straight out of college and ready to get paid.

They put you in a classroom setting for eight hours a day to teach everyone the fundamentals of working at the company, then give you an expense card and set the kids loose on the unsuspecting city.

The only true responsibility is to make sure you get to class on time the next day. Most everyone does, but there are always one or two people that get fired on these trips. My class was no exception.

Glenn, if you are somehow reading this, I warned you not to mix substances on night one.

In fairness to Glenn, I wasn’t perfect either. In fact, far from it. The classes were excruciatingly boring—and so many of the people were too. After the first night, I found it challenging to stop drinking. It proved impossible. So, I sat there blitzed all day, sneaking to the bathroom to refill the whiskey in my coffee cup—and drank and drank while the corporate trainers overcomplicated a very simple business model.

It quickly got out of hand. The rest of that week is hazier than a dive bar in rural Colorado.

So, while nursing my hangover that Sunday, I was panicked to receive an email from the Regional VP Sunday. I began to sweat.

Monday morning, I sat down in her office somberly. Expecting the worst.

She handed me a piece of paper. I looked down and to my surprise the corporate trainers had voted me ‘Class MVP’ and I was going to be fast tracked towards a management role.

The simpletons were “wowed by the empathy” I showed during situational role plays—and felt I saw the business and the people in a way that few associates did.

“News to me, but the company knows best.” I told her, happily accepting the bump in pay. Then it was back to solitaire and Twitter for the next four years.

For all the structure and stability, it can provide a young professional, it is hardly conducive to growth. Exercise caution. Too much time in that system can distort your sense of sense.

But that being said, the bland chaos on the front lines of Corporate America does have its perks—and every once in a while, it will surprise you.