Talking to the Wall

This post will only have relevance to a small group of people, my little clique, but I hope to express my thoughts as clearly and concisely as I can because I feel everyone needs to know what is going in our world–maybe everyone will see and understand what I just went through? I submitted my proposal on Thursday to a unnamed corporation, (basically I’m with-holding their name from fear of being sued) and what transpired from that meeting really got me thinking as I prepare for my next attempt. My proposal was shot down, but that’s OK because I was really aiming high, and I knew that there was a good degree of failure, and there is always another opportunity to try, try and try again.

Corporate committees are, by far, the most difficult committees to work with. The “bottom line” is the sacred ground and the common reference point that everyone looks upon when dealing with applications to committees that fund programs and steering ventures. Corporate committees don’t have to explain themselves unlike public governmental boards. Unfortunately, the direction that we [Canada] seem(s) to be moving towards is privatizing our public programs to the highest bidder, or cheapest, as the case maybe. I now see programs that are of interest to me now up on the private corporate stage, and unaccountability reigns supreme. Aw-yes, accountability?

Myself and four other colleges submitted a proposal to a company that was creating a security branch for their international offices around the world. They were asking for people who were specifically knowledgeable in most aspects of International Law, thus setting up screening and assistance programs for their managers. As the meeting wound down, I saw what they were up to? They, the corporation, were really looking for cheap lawyers/solicitors, and security guards/officers, not advocates or security administrators which is what were are proposing. It was all semantics and trickery–smoke and mirrors–which we saw through as the closing statements were made.

I guess the best way to explain this situation is to use the diagram. Myself and the rest of my colleges are “A.” “Program,” represents the Corporate Board, consisting of Ten members, mostly pencil pushers and share holders. “B” is the legal advisers to the corporation, and “C” is the special corporate subcommittee that steers the main board in the right direction according to the corporate mandate. As you can see in this diagram, we don’t have contact with “B” or “C” throughout the process, so talking is like talking in a courtroom without talking to a judge, just ten blank faces. We spoke, they listened, and it was over. There was no applause, or Q & A, just the sounds of closing of briefcases and snapping of overcoat buttons. The meeting adjured–indefinitely.

So I hung up the tie, and laid my laptop to rest till the next meeting. It was fun. I learned a lot from this adventure, but it served as a wakeup call too for me because what the company wanted spoke volumes as corporate globalization spreads. It’s a weird thought–a man in a suit and tie has more authority than a police officer with a taser in our society…. I got the email today, Saturday, saying that we have an answer regarding the proposal. No reasons, no questions, just a short twenty word email.

For those of you who were wondering whether we got the proposal or not, the answer is no. It never made it to first draft. I guess we were just too hung up on legal aspects of accountability in our domestic package. The idea that we contract our rights away just wasn’t appealing to us–not for the money they were offering anyway. heh heh heh…

[ADDED] Brian the Brain, (or was it Brain the Brian) just told me that he to got the same email. Brian is our contact/source man in our little group. He is also a Criminologist and is currently doing extra curricular activities up at Simon Fraser University, and is our spokesperson for this venture. He is opening a security consulting firm in Vancouver very soon now that this project is sunk. He wanted to pass this news on to me because of the new legislation in Canada, that security is getting tighter with anyone dealing outside North America, and that specialists are needed in this ever growing industry. He wouldn’t be surprised that we get a call back from them soon…. “You snooze, you loose,” I say!

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