Last Friday, in many countries around the world, millions were out on the streets to protest for action against climate change. In Germany, hundreds of thousands of people gathered in more than 500 towns. Over the weekend, newspapers and social media buzzed with photos showing large crowds in public places; many of my friends and acquaintances posted their own snapshots from the protest marches.
“Hellhound”, you whisper under your breath, “hellhound, ghoul, vampire, or skeleton. What kind of algorithm would that be?!”. You just got the results for the ‘personality under rigoruous examination’ (p.u.r.e.) test you took with the reputable Visionary Institute for Xpertise (VIX). You had hoped to get some indications for possible alternative careers once your current contract runs out, but somehow it seems these suggestions are not very practical.
“You are nominated!”, says a letter from the Union of Inspiring Wigbigwannabees (UIW). Surprisingly, you have been nominated for this year’s supercalifragilistic award for global expialidociousness (s.a.g.e.), a prestigious worldwide prize in recognition of outstanding leadership achievements. In the spirit of sustainability, the winner receives nothing but a ripe apple, so there are many stories about what past winners did with their award apples: some made apple sauce, some dried their apples, and one recent winner let it rot over months, posting daily pictures of its ongoing decay on social media.
“They’ve been stealing cattle from our giant competitor’s meadows”, reports Tiv, head of your company’s task force for what is stressing everyone (w.i.s.e.). “Who?”, you ask. “The guys and girls from the legal department”, Tiv says. “Apparently, they met offsite early in the morning before work to prepare some missing documentation for the supervisory board meeting. And then they were suddenly caught leading our competitor’s cattle backwards off the grounds”.
“Rage!”, exclaims Siu, “Black and murderous rage!”. Siu reports back from the first day of your company’s annual session for honoring all reasonable projects (s.h.a.r.p.). The session was established a few years ago to have all members of the top 200 present which of their past projects worked and which failed. The group is then supposed to jointly agree on the set of projects for the next six months. “They got into fights about everything. From apples to belts, from ships to horses – everything”. “I heard about it already”, you say, “but speak and tell the tale once more”.
“Horse whispering!”, cries Rit. “They want all female staff members to take obligatory horse whispering courses! On some remote Greek island! With evenings spent reciting Sapphic poetry! It’s going to cost us a fortune!”. Rit leads your company’s unit for effective regulations on spending (e.r.o.s.). “Horse whispering?”, you ask. “Yes”, replies Rit. “All female staff members?”, you ask. “Yes”, replies Rit. “Why?”, you ask.
“I come from a family of bull fighters”, say Qis, your newly established manager of extremely stressful intense situations (n.e.m.e.s.i.s.). “I look every challenge straight in the eye, no matter how many red herrings are raised. And then I shake my spear, I take aim, I point, and I stab. I never hesitate, I never lose, and I never run away”. You clear your throat. “Herrings?”, you ask. “Tis a gentleman here”, says Qis, “a plague o’ these pickle herring!”. You clear your throat again.