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 Loser's Guide to Life

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Hallmark Troopers 

Codename V talks about applying for a job at Hallmark Cards. Apparently, they make potential employees fill out some kind of evaluation questionnaire right there in the room:

Stuff like "do you get along with your parents?" and "how does your faith affect you in the workplace?" and "how did you pay for college?"

They want to discover if you are “Hallmark material”. You'd think what they should be looking for is someone with some new ideas, but perhaps that's outsourced to some crazy people who are kept at arm's length from the mother company by stringent contracts with none-disclosure clauses and so on. The company itself is staffed by a great army of squares whose main task is to promote the Hallmark Philosophy of Life. Every new greeting must first be checked against the Hallmark-appropriate greetings formulae. And then the serious work begins: Dictionaries are scoured to make sure that it doesn't sound like something obscene in Hindi, for example. Then it is run against a huge file of recent news clippings to ascertain that there is no coded political message. Finally—and most importantly—is it remotely confusing? This is of the utmost importance, because recipients of greeting cards don't want to have to work something out here.

They want a greeting, not a concept.

“You want be clever, go work for that pervert Andy Warhol,” young Mr Hallmark used to say, kicking people out of his office.



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Watching TV is a good way to tear yourself away from the computer.