Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Spanish Inquisition

This institution is often misunderstood, most historians report it as a tool of persecution used against heretics and other enemies of the Catholic church, abolished due to its cruel methods and various other horrible things.

This is not true and no amount of 'evidence' or 'facts' will sway my mind. The Inquisition was nothing more than a forerunner to a modern day corporate phenomenon - the Performance Review.

In the early 15th century the Catholic Church got its head of HR- Tomas Torquemada - to come up with a strategy for making the CC the leanest, meanest purveyor of bigotry and fairy tales on the planet. Importantly they needed everyone to forget that the whole vow of poverty thing didn't apply, and that sitting in a palace full of treasure was really OK by God.

Torquemada pioneered what is today The Performance Review - where you are dragged over hot coals whilst being questioned in order to justify your existence (though in the 25th century there was less gift for metaphor and this was literally true). The process continues until the reviewer is told the things he wants to hear - The company is wonderful and all is right with the corporate strategy.

Torquemada and his successors were not ones to rest on their laurels and continued innovate throughout the ages. Dragging over hot coals soon became remarkably passé, though sometimes was used for nostalgias sake. Pokers, Iron Maidens - a whole variety of performance enhancing techniques were utilised in order to ensure reviewees got the best out of their performance review. Sadly, most did not survive the process in order to reap the full benefits but in a competitive religious market, the strong survive and....well everyone else does what they say or perish in a variety of unpleasant ways.

Torquemada's revolutionary techniques served to slim down the competition, keep the Church hungry and on their toes and increased market share of the Catholic Product. Sadly the Inquisition was wound up as an initiative in the 19th century - though practically this happened much earlier due to the ill fated arrival of the Enlightenment. As a result the Catholic Brand has suffered several blows to its credibility - things that would never have come to light under the inquisition come to the fore without its protections and general torturing reviewing of victims participants.

Happily for us, there are a enough twisted, soulless, maliciously minded people in the world to work in HR and take up Torquemada's legacy and keep it going into the 21st century and the Inquisition continues to evolve in the private world to this day.


Jo said...

I take it you just got a less than stellar perf. review? At least they reviewed you, whereas my massochistic boss insists that we review ourselves and then he review our reviews.

Horse hockey.

MattJ said...

Lol! No I think it went OK, but it will have no bearing whatsoever on my rating. We have to review ourselves, have other people review us and then have someone give us a performance review on the reviews that we have received.

It is in degrades in areas of knowledge too - basically everyone who knows and works with you gives you feedback based on what their experiences of you are. Then you get reviewed by someone you see once or twice a year, who has a vague idea what it is you do.
Then all of that stuff gets taken to a meeting of people who may have an idea on a theoretical level of who you are. Finally is normalisation where all of the previous work is shredded, burned and a random number generator gives you your final rating.

It's genius.

Jo said...

No, Matt, it's evil genius.

Damn corporations (full disclosure, I work for one).

Olivia said...

Hehe, listen to you two...!

Torquemada, though. He'd be a great bureaucrat alright.

Tor Hershman said...

You have an interesting and amusing blog.

Stay on groovin' safari,

Olivia said...

Have you stopped blogging? This is long for you...!

MattJ said...

Happy now?! lol!

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