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Saturday, June 15, 2013

Acquisition and maintenance of a band of minions

Sometimes I put on my "evil hat" and think of ways to use my ideas for nefarious purposes. Trying to be good all of the time is boring. It can be far more interesting to see just how far into the weeds I can take something.

One idea from a while back involves hiring. I've already written about certain things which I would like to do in order to find out things about the candidates, like paying attention to how they behave in the lobby, or hearing if they mistreat the receptionist. This is not quite about that. This is about building a workforce of minions instead of independent thinkers.

I'd want to find people who could follow the One True Way and would never deviate. These would be those individuals who have the set of personality traits which make them slot into a certain track and then never deviate. Give them that track and they will follow it anywhere. Unquestioning loyalty to the plan is a must.

Another important thing would be to make sure they didn't have any sort of "real world experience". The real world would only serve to give them ideas. It might even encourage independent thought and serve to sow the seeds of rebellion. I can't have that in my perfect evil scheme. Those individuals must be removed from the process.

I think I'd want to grab people fresh out of school. I could identify the ones who would thrive in a rigid environment with adherence to arbitrary guidelines and standards by looking at how well they did. What's more, it's possible to see just how committed they are to this notion of "coloring inside someone else's lines" by finding out how far they went. Did they get a bachelor's degree? Okay. Did they stay on for a master's? Now we're talking. Full-on Ph.D.? Oooh.

But, again, I need these people to not have any real-world experience. They need to have gone through college in one long pass. It's likely they had an internship or two and might have picked up some bad ideas there, but I can counter those by painting those places as "for the unwashed". After all, my lair of evil is only for winners.

I need to keep these people in that same "school" mindset. When they show up, they are to be given backpacks, laptops, and branded merchandise. They need to see the company logo at all times, and need a physical attachment which will hang in their closets and on their backs.

For the illusion to work, it must be a brilliant illusion of campus life. Schools frequently have food programs, so I must also have them. Anything which could take away from that illusion must be minimized, so all outlets which support it are to be funded. If this means shared laundry machines and pick-up hacky sack games, so be it.

That will get them in the door and get them to settle in. Now I need to figure out how to keep them for the long run. Ideally, they will fear the outside world. By capturing them straight out of school and by providing a continuation of that culture, I maintain the illusion that they can't make it in the outside world, for it is strange and different.

There's other stuff which can be done. My evil company can have enormous stacks of proprietary systems. All of it must be understood to have any sort of measurable achievements in the culture. Those who fail to adapt will be "penguin pecked" out.

Better still, by having my minions learn these tools which exist only on the inside, they will be too busy to find out what the rest of the world is doing. Their skills will atrophy, or if they never had them at all, will fail to blossom. They will become masters of the proprietary and yet will remain absolute novices when assessed on the systems used outside the company.

Sure, I'll lose quite a few every year no matter how hard I try, but the good news is that a fresh batch is no more than 12 months away. There's always a bunch of new people just waiting to be indoctrinated. They are far more flexible and agreeable than these oldsters who have gotten uppity and think their experience is worth something.

I can't just fire the ones who have had their eyes opened or otherwise have stuck around too long. That would be too obvious. Instead, I'll just "sour the milk" by making the environment such that neither sort of person would want to remain. After all, one dissenter can talk to a bunch of others and possibly turn them into dissenters, and then who knows what can happen: cats and dogs living together... mass hysteria!

The only right way is my way.


Yeah, that's about how I'd roll if evil was my thing.

Does any of that sound familiar?

June 16, 2013: This post has an update.