So the alien has scheduled an appointment with the American in order to compare notes about work life on their respective planets. This is what they said.
Alien: On my planet, we have ‘companies’ that occupy physical spaces known as ‘office buildings.’
American: Yeah, we have those too.
Alien: Also. On my planet, we have ’employees’ who work in ‘official buildings.’ These ’employees’ file what we term ‘reports.’ They go to ‘meetings’ held in ‘board rooms.’ Some of them ‘make schedules’ and ‘field inquiries.’ We used to call them ‘secretaries,’ but now, after all the fucking PC bullshit, we have agreed to refer to them as ‘subspecialty-executive administrators-in-subservience-training-for-perpetuity.’
American: Yup, we’ve got them too. Sort of.
Alien: But listen, friend. I am not finished. On my planet, we also put some in charge of ‘examining budgets’: ‘accountants.’ And some we put in charge of ‘efficiency’ and ‘productivity’: ‘managers.’ And some who are in charge of hiring new ’employees’: ‘alien waste management.’
American: OK, yeah, OK, yeah. I follow you. But who are the aliens who run the show? I mean, how do you call them?
Alien: Oh, yes, them. Them we call ‘assholes.’
American: Well, yeah, this is, ya know, really interesting, really really enlightening because I can see that we really have a lot in common. I mean there’s a lot of common ground here between your people and mine, between you and me, right here, right here between us. I see a lot of convergence.
Alien: I sense that too, friend. You have a halo of ethereal shit hovering high above you, and it puts me at great peace. And let us not forget that it is always important for collaborators like you and me to work toward a common vision for the sake of maximizing stakeholder returns.
American: Um, yeah. Exactly. And–right–so what I was about to say was that I think the main difference is essentially linguistic. You see what you call ‘accountants’ and ‘managers’ and all that we call ‘laptops.’
Alien: Ah ha. Very interesting.
American: And what you call ‘board rooms’–well, those we refer to as ‘Skype chats.’
Alien: I am taking notes as you speak, so please bear with me. You must know that I’m totally with you, bro.
American: Now then: what you used to call ‘secretaries’–the ones who get the coffee and make the appointments and, well, do all the scut work around here–on our planet these people, who by the way usually wear these really sexy hip glasses even though they have near-perfect vision, also work for free in exchange for ‘resume building’ and a couple of useless college credits–I’m referring, of course, to ‘interns.’
Alien: Ah, I see. That is very, very interesting. The Martians call that ‘exploitation’ but don’t mind them. They’re out there on the fringe left. In the mainstream political process, they have virtually no pull. But now aren’t we missing something? Something basic. You haven’t told me what you call an ‘office building.’
American: Oh, right. That’s ‘Starbucks.’