She looked at her note cards and took a breath. "Why I Love America, by Hayley McDonald's. America is the greatest group of countries in the world because we have freedom. In countries like France, where the Government isn't privatized, they still have to pay tax and do whatever the Government says, which would really suck. In USA countries, we respect individual rights and let people do whatever they want.
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Warum wollen sie unbedingt, dass ich den Auftrag storniere?' Der Mann klingt auf einmal misstrauisch. 'Seid ihr e¼berbucht?' 'Ich will Ihnen nur helfen. Wirklich, unsere Kurse sind grottenschlecht. Es ist immer die gleiche Teamwork-Botschaft, nur unter verschiedenen Namen verpackt.' 'Ich hab nichts mit Teamwork bestellt. >Leitung von C++-Programmierern im Rahmen terminsensibler Projekte< - das wollte ich.' 'Das ist der Teamwork-Kurs. Und alle anderen sind auch der Teamwork-Kurs!
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You went to school, " Lee said. "I mean, at some point. And it didn't suit you very well. They wanted to teach you things you didn't care about. Dates and math and trivia about dead presidents. They didn't teach persuasion. Your ability to persuade is the single most important determinant of your quality of life, and they didn't cover that at all. Well, we do. And we're looking for students with natural aptitude.
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You come to work every day but you hardly get to know anyone. I don't even know the names of half the people I see in the elevators. They say the company is a big family, but I don't know them. And even the people I do, like you two, and Elizabeth, and Roger - do I really? I mean, I like you guys, but we only ever talk about work. When I'm out with friends, or at home, I never talk about work. The other day, I tried to explain to my sister why it's such a huge deal that Elizabeth ate Roger's donut, and she thought I was insane. And you know what, I agreed with her. At home I couldn't even think why it mattered. Because I'm a different person at home. When I leave this place at night, I can feel myself changing. Like shifting gears in my head. And you guys don't know that; you just know what I'm like here, which is terrible, because I think I'm better away from work. I don't even like who I am here. Is that just me? Or is everyone different when they come to work? If they are, then what are they really like? How can we ever know? All we know are the Work People.
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What we're doing, or, I should say, what you're doing, since no one has taught me any good words, is dropping recipes into people's brains to cause a neurochemical reaction to knock out the filters. Tie them up just long enough to slip an instruction past. And you do that by speaking a string of words crafted for the person's psychographic segment. Probably words that were crafted decades ago and have been strengthened ever since. And it's a string of words because the brain has layers of defenses, and for the instruction to get through, they all have to be disabled at once.' Jeremy said, 'How do you know this?' 'Do you think I'm smart?' 'I think you're scary, ' he said.
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I read once that you need two things to be happy. Any two of health, money and love. You can cover the absence of one with the other two. I drew comfort from this idea while I was fully bodied, employed, and unloved. It made me feel I wasn't missing much. But now I realized this was unmitigated bullshit, because health and money did not compare with love at all. I had a girl in a hospital bed who liked me and I didn't know where that might go but I could tell it was more important than low blood pressure. It mattered more than a new car. With Lola in the same building, I walked with a spring in my step. That was true literally. But I mean I was happy, happy on an axis I had previously known about only in theory. I was glad to be alive.
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I usually like to interact with people who don't speak until it's necessary but I was intimidated by Carl's physique. I didn't feel inferior so much as incompatible. Carl existed on a plane where success was measured by physical feats. He had a brain because his body needed it, rather than the opposite. I didn't understand such people. I didn't know what they wanted, or might do.
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Over time, there would be less and less of him and more of the tumor. His brain was being eaten by God. He left the clinic in fine spirits. He had no intention of removing the tumor. It was the perfect solution to his dilemma: how to feed his body's desire for intimacy. He was delusional, of course. There was no higher presence filling him with love, connecting him to all things. It only felt that way. But that was fine. That was ideal. He would not have trusted a God outside his head.
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There are stories - legends, really - of the 'steady job.' Old-timers gather graduates around the flickering light of a computer monitor and tell stories of how the company used to be, back when a job was for life, not just for the business cycle... The graduates snicker. A steady job! They've never heard of such a thing.
She's such a bitch, ' Tina says, which I find a little contradictory, but overall quite true. 'She's got to be in charge of everything.' I sit next to her. 'Well, I guess. But in business, that's leadership.' Tina stares at me for a second. 'I can't believe you consider that a positive trait. How about her inability to accept other points of view? Is it good leadership to be narrow, too?' 'Focus, ' I say. 'They call that focus.' Tina stares at me. 'Her paranoia?' 'Business savvy.' 'Compulsive need to have everything just how she wants it?' 'Organizational skills.' 'Aggressiveness?' 'Aggressiveness, ' I say, 'is already a good thing.' 'Jesus Christ, ' Tina says, her eyebrow ring glinting in the morning sun. 'Sometimes I worry about this country.
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All empires fall, eventually.' 'But why? It's not for lack of power. In fact, it seems to be the opposite. Their power lulls them into comfort. They become undisciplined. Those who had to earn power are replaced by those who have known nothing else. Who have no comprehension of the need to rise above base desires.[']
She had been in situations like this, where people said, Convince me, and in none of those had they actually wanted to be convinced. She could lay down a perfect argument and they just invented new bullshit on the spot to justify why the answer was still no. When people said, Convince me, she knew it didn't mean they had an open mind. It meant they had power and wanted to enjoy it a minute.
Monday morning and there's one less donut than there should be. Keen observers note the reduced mass straightaway but stay silent, because saying, 'Hey, is that only six donuts?' would betray their donut experience. It's not great for your career to be known as the person who can spot the difference between six and seven donuts at a glance.
Look, I understand that for a lot of people, the US is superior to their country of residence in myriad ways, but I'm Australian. We have it all: the weather, the beautiful cities, the brand of football that involves neither padding yourself up like Santa Claus nor standing in a line in front of goal and covering your testicles.
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Someone from the Internet Writing Workshop sent me a link to the Gender Genie, where you paste in a section of text and it uses an algorithm to detect whether the author is male or female. Or, if you're an author, you can tell whether you're really nailing your opposite-sex characters. I mean, nailing their dialog.
I don't play the lottery. I don't care what my horoscope says. I think most things about the world could be improved if people thought more about what they're doing. When someone gets upset with their computer, I tend to side with the computer. I think art is overrated, and bridges are underrated. In fact, I don't understand why bridges aren't art. It seems to me they're penalized for having a use. If I make a bridge that ends in midair, that's a sculpture. But put it between two landmasses and let it ferry two hundred thousand cars per day and it's infrastructure. That makes no sense.
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