Private: Mike McGee
SETTING: The 2022 Society for Human Resource Management Annual Conference and Expo, West Concourse, the Orange County Convention Center in the heart for downtown Orlando, Florida, Presidential Conference Room B.
The room has roughly 175 business casual-attired attendees, all wearing name tags and making small talk about their locations and employers. Behind the stage is a large white board with the SHRM logo.
DEEP THROATED NARRATOR: “Now welcome to the stage… one of the premier Human Resources Management consultants for the brick-and-mortar retail industry… a graduate of both Seton Hall University and the two-year Executive MBA program at Temple University’s Fox School of Business… Ladies and gentlemen, this is Mr. Mike McGee!”
Mike McGee comes running out from the side. He’s wearing amateur-style protective ear-wear, a red-and-blue European singlet with the SHRM logo on the middle and black moon boots. He also has on a boyband-style headset microphone and some kind of clicker. He raises his hands and thanks the crowd who give him a warm applause.
MIKE MCGEE: “Thank you, Orlando! Thank you so much to my friends here at the Society for Human Resource Management. It’s an honor to be here today to talk to you good people as a reminder as to why we all chose a career in human resources and exactly why we are perhaps the most vital cog in the success of the American economy!”
McGee hits the clicker and behind him a black animation spells out the words RECRUITMENT AND ONBOARDING!
MIKE MCGEE: “Now, we all understand right now how hard it is, no matter the industry, to find qualified people to work for our businesses and organizations. And these days, it has become harder-than-ever to find qualified talent. There are many theories as to why it has become so freakin’ hard to fill open roles with people who can do the work. But I think the real reason is that most people lack ambition. Most people in this country are spoiled sacks-of-goo who aren’t able to practice basic hygiene, who can’t be bothered to show up to work on time, who can’t be bothered to make and hold eye contact when being talked down to by a workplace superior.”
“And very few people alive have the ambition that I do and even less have my natural talent. Because on top of my illustrious career as a human resources consultant for great retail chains like Talbot’s, Ann Taylor Lofts and Rainbow, I am also a world-class athlete — a multi-time NCAA Champion and soon enough a future champion in PRIME wrestling. I am what all children should aspire to become — a hero in both a professional setting and in the wrestling ring, both an inspirational and transformative American, which I will prove when I make my in-ring PRIME wrestling debut at Revival 19!
Now, I understand that it is hard for people to become even half the man that stands before you today in this conference room at the Orange County Convention Center. But that is why that despite the disgrace that is the American workforce, hiring and onboarding talent remains our most important task as human resources professionals. And that is why I am PRIME’s best new hire they have had in eons!”
McGee hits the button again. Now the animation spells out the phrase “Building Workplace Culture.”
MIKE MCGEE: “Now, many of us have helped navigate the tough terrain of toxic workplaces. Here’s a true-life situation that I had to deftly manage at a Forever 21 located in Needham, Massachusetts. The workers at the establishment were all in their late teens and early 20s and all made several complaints about how they were treated by management — about how they were criticized for their appearances, forced to have uncomfortable conversations about their sexual histories and faced petty punishments for complaining, like the daily ‘morning shame share’ where employees endured an assistant manager pelting them with ice cubes while they had to fold Hello Kitty and Friends-branded T-Shirts.”
“Now, this complicated situation took me some time to unravel and sort straight. I ended up deciding to fire all of the employees lodging these types of complaints because of their inability to take a joke or properly accept a compliment when an older man in a position of authority at a retail chain specializing in selling women’s clothing talks about their tan legs. I am confident that I did what’s right in helping that store rebuild its sagging workplace culture.”
“And I intend to rebuild the workplace culture at PRIME by taking out those who dare oppose me — including my two opponents at Revival 19 in Larry Tact and Eddie Cross. First, I want to address Larry Tact. Larry Tact, I have done a deep dive on your career, even though you lack a LinkedIn profile. And I have to say, my friend… you are very much not impressive despite allegedly being the 34th best wrestler on the PRIME roster. It is my understand that after your last appearance you were upset at how you were treated by this company, believing that you were considered as ‘figurative trash.’ I will never consider you as ‘figurative trash” Larry Tact because I instead consider you as ‘literal trash.’ You are literally garbage to a person of my station in life and to me personally. And I would not dispose of you in the blue recycling bin with the cans and plastics. Nope, you go right into the black garbage bag and shipped off into one of the manmade landfills ruining the world’s oceans. That is what you are as both a wrestler and as a human being – the plastic ring around the top of a six-pack of A&W root beer cans that will likely kill seaborne fowl. Garbage. Literal garbage.”
“Now my second opponent is Eddie Cross who is an avid gamer, which is a longhand way of saying ‘unemployable.’ Just the latest member of a generation bent on first person shooter games, hoping to one day beat the final boss or conquer a military brigade or something else that I stopped doing by the age of 8. Just another life being wasted away because of someone’s personal lack of motivation or goals. Eddie Cross, I want you to take a good and hard look at yours truly and what hard work in the classroom, in a professional setting, in a gym and in a wrestling ring can provide you. Do you think that the lease for the cherry red Kia Sorrento that I drive comes easy? No. It is because I have the determination to better myself – to not just become one of the most decorated collegiate wrestlers of this or any other generation, to not just graduate from Seton Hall University but also obtain an Executive MBA from Temple University’s Fox School of Business, to not just become a leader in human resource management, to not just become an elite professional wrestler BUT TO BECOME ALL OF THOSE THINGS! Hopefully at Revival 19, Eddie Cross, you learn a very valuable lesson and you put away your Call of Duty nonsense and go on to actually try and better your life. It won’t be as a professional wrestler… but I’m sure there’s some kind of floor you can sweep or urinal you can scrub to be at least a little productive.”
McGee hits the button. The animation now reads “Reworking Organizational Hierarchies”
MIKE MCGEE: “Now organizations can take all shapes and all sizes. But the best organizations are ones where talent and people who exceed performance benchmarks are allowed to thrive and climb the ladder to a position of dominance. And that is exactly what I will accomplish as a person who is multi-talented in every way imaginable,. Men like me – people with a proven track record of success who have the receipts to show for it via their Myers Brigg test results – deserve and are entitled to get opportunities handed to them before others. That is why it will not be very long until the name Mike McGee is associated with becoming the Universal Champion.”
“But as far as I’m concerned, there is only one person standing in my way. And that is Lindsay Troy, the woman who owns this promotion. Now, Lindsay and I did not hit it off because she refuses to appoint me as PRIME’S Director of Human Resources even though this company badly needs a person of integrity in a position of power. Because she lacks integrity with her dinner dates with the underlings most eager to tell her how wonderful she is and quick to carry her bags. And Lindsay Troy fully resents me because of my accomplishments in both wrestling and human resource management. The scuttlebut is that she does nout understand how someone can prioritize and master two careers such as myself, and that I surely must feel like one is more important than the other. Well, I can assure you, while Lindsay Troy knows Plan B intimately well, Mike McGee doesn’t!”
McGee hits the button and the screen once again shows the SHRM logo.
MIKE MCGEE: “Thank you, fellow human resource management leaders of America. Thank you for your understanding. Thank you for your inspiring me and allowing me to inspire you. Thank you so much because while I may be a keynote speaker at the 2022 Society for Human Resource Management Annual Conference and Expo here at the Orange County Convention Center… I will arrive at the 2023 Society for Human Resource Management Annual Conference and Expo tentatively scheduled for Charlotte, North Carolina as your champion!”