Archive for the Boiler Room operations Category

THFWS&TTM’s: Every Day is Judgment Day

Posted in adversity, Boiler Room operations, Civil Liberties, Collaboration, Crossing the Abyss, Dangerous and Unsavory ideas that are possibly harmful to the weak-mided and overly simplistic and religious, Drug Experience, Enhanced and Fortified non-fiction, GROUP MARRIAGE, Knowledge, Liason Between Parties, Line Marriage, Long Form, longreads, Love, Mature Theme, Metaphysical Action/Adventure, Much Too Good For Children, Novel, NSFW, Philosophical Sexuality, Polyamory, Possibly Dangerous to Everyone, Primate Romance/Adventure, Sentience, Telemarketers, The Home For Wayward Souls, The Knowledge of Good and Evil, The Talking Monkeys, The Tyranny of Evil Men, The Wisdom with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 4, 2014 by dreamlanddancing

Every Day is Judgment Day

 

You could fill a law book with a summary of the flurry of motions, claims and counter-claims filed by both sides regarding the disposition of the primates requesting asylum at The Home for Wayward Souls. The basic premises were these:

    • The Home for Wayward Souls was being challenged as not being a legitimate house of worship because they were not affiliated with any specific denomination, nor did they espouse belief in or worship of any specific deity. If it was ruled that they were not in fact a true church, then seeking asylum in their sanctuary would not be a valid claim.
    • PharmaCorp was petitioning the IRS to revoke their Religious tax-exempt status. The government stood to receive a great deal of money if this did occur, were it not for the 501-(c)3 non-profit status incorporated into what in effect constituted a line marriage of all the church officers, including Ash and Kali. PharmaCorp’s strategy here was to disarm them of their considerable wealth in an attempt to limit their ability to finance their legal campaign. It was more of a show of flexing their considerable muscle and a psychological intimidation factor, once their non-profit status was discovered.
    • Ash maintained that as an ordained minister (due to his original affiliation with the Unitarian Universalists), as well as a Doctor of Divinity it was not within the purview of The State to dictate, regulate, define, or pass judgment upon what even constituted a church in the first place by virtue of the doctrine of the separation of Church and State. He also publicly stated that if pressed, he could claim that they worshipped all primates, including Man, or even the Ancient Ones, or Los Guerreros, not unlike the Church of Lukumi Aye Babalu, (aka Santeria). If the Hindus could worship cattle, elephants and monkeys he defied The State to discredit his church.
    • The Primates, both Chimps and Bonobos alike (as well as Frederick, who was a hybrid cross between the two, who also maintained he was the sole member of a unique species so rare as to be classified as endangered) claimed to possess sentience, therefore to be owned or possessed by anyone and forced to commit labor against their free will and choice constituted slavery, as well as false imprisonment.
    • PharmaCorp maintained that all the primates as well as their offspring were their legally purchased property, and were to be returned to their rightful owners.
    • In an attempt to play both sides of the coin however, PharmaCorp further stated that even if the courts did find the primates to be sentient, then they should be held accountable for their actions, including the destruction of millions of dollars of property, as well as disruption of commerce.
    • PharmaCorp further alleged that the influences of Frederick’s attendance of services at The Home for Wayward Souls was directly responsible for inciting the rebellion of the primates, therefore they were suing Ash’s church for damages and subsequent profit losses incurred, alleging conspiracy to incite riot, sedition and malicious aggravated vandalism.
    • It was the contention of the primates’ attorneys that they had been subjected to cruel and inhumane treatment against their will, including using coercion to cause them to unknowingly take addictive drugs to induce them to perform tasks that resulted in profits being made from their servitude without proper compensation. They were countersuing for unpaid wages as well as punitive claims for damages, interest, and all attorney’s fees.
  • Perhaps the most controversial claim made by the primates was that they had incurred stress and injuries resulting from the influences of forced repetitive thoughts and stimulus-mediated responses, much like repetitive motion injuries, which they referred to as Cerebral Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Because the conditions to which the primates were subjected were no different from those in any other telemarketing boiler-room operation, a great deal was at stake regarding working conditions. If it was to be ruled that it was inhumane to treat an animal (sentient or not) to such conditions, the consequences would be far-reaching in an industry already notorious for poor treatment of its employees.

 

  • In the interim, Stanley Linderman was put in charge of “protecting” the property and personal interests of PharmaCorp as regards all of the primates, especially Frederick. It was mutually agreed that he be allowed to remain on the premises, even though the FDLA (Florida Department of Law Enforcement) and the FBI had established a perimeter around the property associated with The Home for Wayward Souls. It was sketchy as to the jurisdiction that warranted FBI presence, given the fact that PharmaCorp was not owning up to any affiliation with the DOD despite the fact that it was becoming increasingly clear that the federal government also had a vested interest, and no one wanted to see either the Army or National Guard surrounding the premises.

Amidst all of this, Darcy’s due date was rapidly approaching. Mark and Darcy had already moved into the Sanctuary, but despite the chaos and stress that would normally be associated with the stand-off and the never-ending surveillance by the news media as well as law-enforcement including helicopter fly-overs and obnoxious paparazzi the religious services and television shows continued, and the human members were allowed to come and go as they pleased, including Ash’s congregation and guests.

Most of the single members of Ash’s band, The ArchAngels had moved in semi-permanently, and during that time they produced a double album entitled Apocalypso Music from The Siege of the Garden, which went double-platinum in less than six weeks.

The Fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil got to be like a vitamin for the enlightened inner circle, and provided much-needed insight and a sense of calm for all of those privileged to experience it.

It became the place to be, to experience, and to give and receive in like kind, and it seemed like the whole world was watching…and all the while, the band played on.

Cerebral Tunnel Syndrome…WTF?

Posted in Boiler Room operations, Enhanced and Fortified non-fiction, Knowledge, Long Form, Metaphysical Action/Adventure, Much Too Good For Children, Novel, NSFW, Possibly Dangerous to Everyone, Telemarketers, The Ascent of Man, The Home For Wayward Souls, The Knowledge of Good and Evil, The Talking Monkeys, The Tyranny of Evil Men, The Wisdom with tags , , , , , , on April 12, 2014 by dreamlanddancing

Cerebral Tunnel Syndrome…WTF?

When Frederick returned to work, he soon became aware that he had not been listening very well. With human trainers training him how to train chimps for the Talking Monkey Project (…Damn!…how he hated that name!) he had become all mouth and no ears, and now it was painfully obvious to him, since his consciousness had been raised by way of The Fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.

He suddenly went from feeling lighter than air to being deeply burdened by the sorrows of his fellow primates. Granted, most of his previous contact with them involved one-way communications because he hadn’t taken the time to consider that any of them had anything to tell him, telepathically or otherwise.

The other chimps and bonobos seemed to sense the change in Frederick, and quickly began to reach out to him once they realized he was their liaison to the top primate…man.

All the professionals in all the human resource departments in the world could not have learned in weeks of extensive interviews with countless subjects what Frederick divined in a few minutes each with any of his peers.

They no longer exhibited any enthusiasm or playfulness. They seemed dull-witted and slow. Their responses as far as their training or performance exams showed only slightly less improvement according to the trainers, but even they had commented on how truly unhappy the chimps and bonobos appeared to be. And the repressed data about the violence and other behavioral problems in their natural habitat was no longer something that could simply be ignored.

It was as if all of their vitality and energy was focused solely on the endless repetitions of their assigned stimulus-response-mediated behaviors, which they quickly learned. Further mental stimulation of the primates was not a priority, and they were beyond just being bored. This was also way beyond simple monotony, because all of these primates had been selected for their intelligence and learning skills, which were no longer being challenged.

Repetitive motion injuries have long been recognized as a very real and documented risk in certain occupations, but repetitive thought or stress injuries to the brain have never been considered.

Many occupations will address “burn out” but they do little other than lip-service to do so. There does not exist the kind of standardization or controls in the human workplace that are present in research. Some workers possess better coping skills than others do. Outside stressors, hobbies, friends, and family issues vary greatly within any specific occupation, and these items tend to mask the effects.

Because the chimps’ behaviors generally mimicked human workplace environments, and because at the end of each day, they returned to their natural environments, which themselves mimicked human home environments and social order, this project had the potential to give a glimpse into the effects of a particular type of workplace environment upon a very standardized group of test subjects.

With Frederick’s new-found level of sentience came the burden of trying to identify what it was that made him so uncomfortable. He did not possess the reasoning skills to establish a cause and effect relationship. He just knew that his fellow primates were very, very unhappy, but none of them knew specifically why, and neither did he, but he had already become tuned-in enough to recognized that the trainers were also aware of it on a different level, although no one had begun to connect the dots.

He reached out to Mark and Darcy, who agreed with his concern, but something was missing in their analysis. When Mark and Darcy spoke with Merle about their concerns, they came to an interesting question that proved to be the missing key.

Mark and Darcy were unable to explain what could drive the chimps and bonobos to push themselves so hard as to get to this state in the first place. It’s just not in their nature to seek achievement or recognition, and they were not subject to the greed to make commission like their human counterparts.

Most Chimpanzee research has been just that…research, not a long-range occupation consisting of endless repetitions of minimally challenging tasks. There were no new stimuli. Nothing to provoke their curiosity or ingenuity. Nothing to distinguish one day from the next.

Their only reward was a manufactured food pellet that was allegedly comprised mostly of fruits and other flavorings they enjoyed plus some vitamins and a few brain-stimulating nutrients that humans often use to sharpen their wits.

Merle was the first to question the content of the pellets, and asked for a few samples to analyze.

What he discovered shocked them all beyond belief.

Apparently, the designers of the project anticipated that the chimps and bonobos would only work for so long once it became boring and monotonous, unlike their human counterparts, who would do anything for money…especially more money, so the enticements of a few tasty pellets would be minimal…unless there was something more to the pellets.

Merle’s analysis indicated the presence of a very short-acting variation of Adderall (“mixed amphetamine salts”) that were highly addictive…suddenly the “motivation” was obvious. The better that they performed, the more pellets they received.

Thinking two steps ahead, Merle then secured the special vitamins and brain nutrients that the working primates received upon completion of their day. This proved to be especially ingenious; among the usual and customary ingredients, there was a mixture of sleep-inducing hypnotics that helped ensure that they rested at the end of the day. These were also addictive, and resembled alprazolam in terms of the clinical effects.

Devoid of the human addictions to wealth, position and power, the primates required a physical addiction to push themselves to mental and physical ruin the way mankind has done for eons.

This new revelation was huge, but it would be difficult, if not impossible to address, since the entire project was cloaked in so much secrecy in the first place…and Merle was not even authorized to be involved at all.

Frederick’s comprehension of any of this was limited. As has been stated before, sentience and intelligence have a very limited correlation to each other. Sometimes, it even seems as if there is an inverse proportional relationship between intellectualization and true understanding.

It was probably better that he did not really understand what was being done, but if they tried to hide or disguise their findings, he would undoubtedly sense their deceit.

They soon realized that this was a dilemma that would have to be addressed openly amongst the group. Frederick was now one of them. What concerned him was now a concern for the group. In the pursuit of higher consciousness, they had sought the insight of a being outside of their closed human society.

They all believed that there was a purpose in doing so, and had already been given a glimpse of their own origins vis-à-vis the so-called Ascent of Man in terms of how one tribe of primates suddenly achieved sentience beyond the grasp of all the others, thanks to Frederick’s incantation of an age-old chimpanzee legend.

In addition, they appeared to have stumbled onto an awareness of a previously unidentified brain injury that may have been manifesting itself in various forms to various degrees in humans for decades, depending upon the occupation.

In that respect, telemarketers represented a sort of specialized subset of conditions and conditioning conducive to isolating the nature of the injury, almost like a laboratory experiment. The problem is that telemarketers are so generally reviled and despised that even PETA would not be as likely to feel compassion for them as they would for a room full of lab rats.

It gives a whole new meaning to the concept of what is inhumane. Whether it be what we do to animals or to each other, only humans can be capable of inhumanity. When confronted with the spectacle of animal cruelty, most humans feel compassion, outrage, or pity, but when it comes to telemarketers most people feel only schadenfreude.

 

 

 

THFWS & TTM’s: Some of my Best Friends are Telemarketers

Posted in Boiler Room operations, Enhanced and Fortified non-fiction, Liason Between Parties, Long Form, Mature Theme, Metaphysical Action/Adventure, Much To Good For Children, Much Too Good For Children, Novel, NSFW, Possibly Dangerous to Everyone, Primate Romance/Adventure, Sentience, Telemarketers, The Home For Wayward Souls, The Knowledge of Good and Evil, The Talking Monkeys, The Tyranny of Evil Men, The Wisdom with tags , , , , on March 2, 2014 by dreamlanddancing

THFWS & TTM’s: Some of my Best Friends are Telemarketers

Telemarketers are one of the most maligned groups of people in the world…and sometimes, for good reason.

First of all, they practice their craft by way of home invasion via the telephone.

The vast majority of them sell everything from extended vehicle warrantees, long-distance telephone plans, re-financing of debit, new furnaces, new air conditioners, re-roofing, kitchen or bathroom remodeling, mobile cellular service, to schemes that allegedly allow you to buy anything from appliances and power tools to home remodeling supplies at a fraction of their retail cost (neglecting to mention that you have to pay the freight and shipping costs, with no guarantee that any of the vendors you wish to buy from have any such arrangement to sell directly to you, plus the exorbitant annual fees associated with joining their “club”).

It was almost twenty years ago that PharmaCorp decided to develop a sales task force to market home delivery of prescription medications as a subsidiary to their pharmaceutical manufacturing company.

Then came the Medicare Part D enrollments of 2006, which was a massive boondoggle for the insurance companies competing for an estimated market of seventy-five million prospective targets to be enrolled in less than forty-five days. Tens of thousands of agents were trained and licensed as healthcare insurance agents for all fifty states to enroll prospective Medicare part D recipients over the telephone.

They made upwards of ten thousand dollars in six weeks, only to be faced with going back to selling long distance plans and extended vehicle warranties once the smoke had cleared.

As a general group, telemarketers act as agents for some of the most despicable scams ever devised, and there is little or no true value to what they do, which is essentially to separate people from their money. They are like trained assassins, who work for the highest bidder, so it is no coincidence that they refer to their intended customer/victims as “targets”.

Fifty years ago, most of them would have been “traveling salesmen”.

When the real estate market tanked, the industry became flooded with failed mortgage brokers and real estate agents as well as automobile salespersons.

Not all of them are necessarily “snake oil salesmen,” but there comes a time when one must choose between a telephone and a gun just to feed your family.

Their rationalizations are almost endless, and their aspirations are high. Sometimes, they make huge commissions, if they are involved in launching a new program that is as yet untried, or has failed or been met with marginal success at another call center or by a different team.

Once the core group has defined and honed the pitch and the approach, they will hire a boatload of new people, who they will then train, thereby watering down the available market, and knocking the bottom out of their commissions.

There is a paradigm in sales that mandates that less than 20 percent of the sales force will make more than 80 percent of the commissions. It has nothing to do with fairness or the ability to climb the ladder by proving your worth. It is a purposeful manipulation of basic motivations and drives, and on a purely Machiavellian level it is the most efficient and successful way to exploit your sales force.

The idea is to give the impression to the main body of the sales force that they could do just as well as the top performers, if only they worked a little harder, or were better at their job, while the elite members are treated like gods, to be emulated and worshipped. Little other than personal favoritism initially determines who is favored and who is not. Talent and personality may enter into the equation to some extent, but once the choices are made, unless you screw up and do something to alienate yourself to Management, it makes little difference. Why? Well it goes something like this:

Most clients know that only a certain percentage of their potential customers are viable, qualified targets, but the sales force is tasked with going through the motions of giving presentations to everyone targeted.

Given the choice between a level playing field with a resultant $45 thousand dollar average yearly salary, with top earners getting less than ten thousand dollars more than the average, or presenting the possibility of being one of the fortunate, and earning one hundred thousand dollars per year, with everyone else getting only about $36 thousand, the logic is to create as wide a margin as possible for the top salaries so as to create the impression that if they only worked a little harder, or handled their after-call work a little faster, that they too could be a top dog, rather than one of the doomed.

Thereby, the doomed work very hard to eke out marginal commissions from marginal possibilities leaving the privileged to be free to grab all the low-hanging fruit with ease. The first question that comes to most people’s minds is to wonder how anyone can control who gets what opportunities. It goes like this:

There is a feature of most computer-controlled automated dialing systems that allows for a practice called “skill weighting”, meaning that a select group of “closers” get access to the wealthiest, or most vulnerable targets, or the ones who have never been called before, people who are new to the offering, never cancelled the service, never declined the product, etc.

Also, the difference between being next in line for the first available call, as opposed to waiting your turn as the dialer marches through the list of assigned positions makes a huge difference, especially on inbound callers. It quickly becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy as to who are the top dogs and who are the underdogs.

It is no accident or euphemism that sales call centers are called “boiler rooms”. The pressure is intense. The time constraints are totally unreasonable, and no one is such a superstar as to be immune from having their jobs and success dangled over their heads like the proverbial carrot on the string hanging from the stick in front of the jackass that continues to plod along relentlessly, just a hairsbreadth away from its goal.

Heart disease, stroke, diabetes and clinical depression run rampant among the sales force due to a combination of stress, too much coffee and too many cigarettes, sitting for too long without regular opportunities to get up and walk away from their desk, and poor diet due to a limited ability to access nutritious meals in the half-hour allotted for meal breaks.

Most modern call centers now track every second of every aspect of your workday. How many “personal non-work related (“bio-breaks”), counseling time, meeting time, time spent getting back online after the meeting, after-call work (the amount of time it takes to record the results of the call and get back online), “system problems” if your computer, or the mainframe, or some aspect of the program you are utilizing fails or slows down, including the amount of time it takes for you to re-boot or initialize your system…all of it is recorded, and reported and printed out and presented to you on a weekly basis. No one is immune.

Middle management is prohibited from fraternizing with the rank-and-file, even the top performers, and generally given such ridiculous workloads (as exempt salaried employees, they are the new wave of indentured servants) that they have little time for friends or family anyway. They have a gun to their heads to extract as much work from their charges and are just as likely to be terminated as the other employees are. This tends to bring out a very mean-spirited neurosis very quickly in even the most well-adjusted supervisor.

Years ago, factory workers who were subjected to repetitive motion injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome were finally recognized as a legitimate work-related health insurance claim. Until it actually cost the employers money, they paid no attention. Workman’s Compensation claims finally got their attentions long enough to result in attempts to prevent the injuries by modifying their methods to more worker-friendly conditions.

A very good case could be made for repetitive thought injuries being documented amongst telemarketers. The data is certainly there to support the claim. The victims are everywhere you look amongst any telephone sales force, but PharmaCorp’s casualties, including suicides were becoming difficult to ignore.

Had they been test subjects, it would have been obvious, but no one was paying much attention or tracking the data, except to suppress it.

Although human Resource departments are quick to reassure the employees that because it is so costly to advertise, recruit, train and hire new employees, they are a valued asset, in truth the longer they stay, the more benefits they accrue and use, and the more their salaries rise, the more of a liability they represent, especially in terms of matching 401K pensions and healthcare benefits, considering that the longer they work, the sicker they become.

Workplace employee surveys began to show an alarming degree of mistrust, dissatisfaction, resentment and outright hostility despite the fact that most employees did not believe the surveys to be confidential or without some risk of retaliation.

An online internet survey of adversarial workplaces placed PharmaCorp so high on the list of worst places to work in the country that even their board of directors began to look for band-aids to cover up the problem so as to create the impression that they actually gave a shit.

It was like giving cough drops to tuberculosis patients.

The real shock came as a result of the “Talking Monkeys Project”. More and more of the Chimpanzee test subjects began to develop gastric ulcers, heart conditions, and suffer cerebral vascular attacks (“strokes”).

Because the chimps returned to their natural environments and families at the end of their workday, alarmingly higher and higher numbers of incidents involving violence among other chimps, including mates and their offspring were being recorded and documented.

Keep in mind, the entire project was unknown to almost all of the employees in the sales force, and the use of the chimps as “feeder-qualifiers” was considered to be an experiment conducted by one of PharmaCorp’s subsidiary research companies to test the cognitive, learning and language skills of primates. It just happened to be convenient to use their sales and marketing operations as their test lab.

The stress-induced physiological effects and behavioral dysfunctions began to become so prevalent that the handlers of the chimpanzees began to express concern and alarm.

Management’s answer to the growing dilemma was to strongly discourage written reports being generated in favor of unrecorded “discussion forums” and “feedback opportunities” in dialogues between the staff and Management.

Frederick was such a high-performing test subject that he was quickly utilized as a liaison between the trainers, handlers, and the chimps themselves, so he was not subject to the rigorous demands placed on the chimps on a long-term basis, and therefore had not suffered the mental and physiological damage that his comrades faced.

Mark was in charge of the American Sign Language training of all the chimps, including Frederick. Darcy was assigned to Lilith, Malkira, and Frederick as a family group. Each handler was responsible for one family group, including all offspring. Frederick’s superstar status within the research group brought many perks, bonuses and unofficial accolades to both Mark and Darcy, but because of the secrecy surrounding Frederick’s very existence, they were prohibited from publishing any of the results.

As was stated before, even a massive conglomerate corporation like PharmaCorp is answerable to “other concerns” known to only the most highly-placed corporate officers who are subject to being played like marionettes if the right strings are pulled by the right individuals.

Off in the distance, those other “interested parties” were monitoring the results of the entire “Talking Monkeys Project” for entirely different reasons. Fortunately (and somewhat amazingly), this necessity of distancing helped preclude detection of Mark, Darcy, and Frederick’s extra-curricular off-campus activities.

And that was especially fortunate on this special weekend when Frederick became truly sentient by virtue of administration of The Fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

 

 

 

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