Onboarding, More Like Waterboarding

The “onboarding” process, as it’s weirdly and nautically called in the corporate world, is the first and perhaps most prime example an office worker is given of just how Kool-Aid oriented and undercuttingly torturous the world of non-hard labor can be. Rather than simply sticking you with a “packet” you won’t read, the powers that be prefer instead to engage you in “organizational socialization,” which “refers to the mechanism through which new employees acquire the necessary knowledge, skills and behaviors to become effective organizational members and insiders.”

Sounds pretty fucking cultish. But the only “necessary knowledge” one really needs in their embarkment into societally acceptable slavery is to check any expectations of getting out of the office with any semblance of a soul left at the door–or, rather, shipwreck. Because it’s easier and more “time effective,” most organizations prefer to take the collective socialization approach to “inducting” their employees, i.e. “the process of taking a group of recruits who are facing a given boundary passage and putting them through the same set of experiences together.” After all, what bonds employees closer together than the phrase “misery loves company”?

The waterboarding that comes with onboarding, naturally, stems from the HR person‘s need to engage the group in activities that will help them “get to know one another.” Asking redundant questions and forcing people to use mnemonic devices that entail saying, “My name is Ornelle and I like oysters” so that you remember her as Oyster Ornelle are just some of the harrowing methods for indoctrination and submission. It’s all very anguishing and the only thing that actually sets it apart from waterboarding is the absence of the use of water–though one can’t deny that being “ordained” certainly does feel like the simulated experience of drowning.