Keep Your Soul

Embrace the Tornado

My feet eagerly awaiting the descent into the tornado shelter.

My feet eagerly awaiting the descent into the tornado shelter.

By Courtney Kotloski

Just like you, I have always dreamed of working at a creative agency in a tornado shelter three levels down in the bowels of a pharmaceutical company. That picture up there? That’s the first thing I see in the morning before I make my way into a corporate abyss of beige. As far as I know, there has never been a tornado in our area; but then again I wouldn’t know, because there are no windows in tornado shelters, at least in the tornado shelter I work in.

My actual work-space is a box, but I’m asked to think outside of boxes. I haven’t been able to articulate this paradox, but I hope to by the time I retire and get a cake in the break room. I’ll weave it into my one-minute speech that spans my 30-year career.

Many of you might have similar corporate surroundings. Maybe it’s a disgusting cube mate (mine is lovely), or a culture campaign that insults what your mother taught you, or just the corporate language where words like “synergy” and “pillar” get abused to make things sound fancy. We will cover these topics and more. I will give my take on how to keep your soul through all of it. Because, let’s face it, we’re lucky. We have jobs. We have a false sense of security and we have unlimited K-Cups; we’re not going anywhere.

As a legal disclaimer, I’d like to quote myself as saying, “I love what I do. I get to write for a great company and I work with amazing people who all have their own story and talent that humbles me. But, it’s corporate, and, ya know…it’s corporate.” – Me

Until we meet on this page again, be kind and know that people will never remember what you did, but they’ll always remember how you made them feel. Yes, I stole that from Maya Angelou, because she never lost her soul no matter how fierce the tornado.

CORPORATE PHRASE OF THE DAY: “I have a hard stop.”

Someone who thinks they are so important they have to tell other people at the meeting that they have to stop the meeting when it’s scheduled to stop. So in effect, nothing with the meeting time changes except your opinion of the egotistical maniac who has time management delusions.


check out Gnat & Corky