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FlurbCo: The Best Job You'll Never Escape

FlurbCo: The Best Job You'll Never Escape

March 5, 2022

Patricia McGoohan, FlurbCo's VP of Talent Acquisition and Retention, has worked for a variety of Fortune 500 companies in the past, but she says that recruiting high quality employees has never been so easy as it is at FlurbCo. The brand and reputation do all the work!

"We wouldn't be at the top of the '100 Best Places to Work in the World' list if this place weren't special," she said. "And also if we didn't require all employees to vote for us in the annual poll."

FlurbCo is more than just a Fortune 500 company. It is a monolith. Several of its subsidiaries overshadow the GDP of a mid-sized European nation. The very mention of the company's name or any of its many brands is enough to cause a reverent hush in a conversation. In any gathering of professionals regardless of their field of endeavor, there is an unstated but agreed-upon notion that all of them will, at one time or another, work for FlurbCo. This reputation for ubiquity, McGoohan says, is enormously helpful when poaching experienced talent from competitors.

"We just send them an automated email once per quarter that says, 'We are Flurbco. We are inevitable.' No call to action, not even a link. Somehow, it works. People accept the inevitability of working for FlurbCo and just show up."

Retention Through Acquisition

On the other side of the recruiting coin is retention. For any company, turnover is an ever-present concern. From time to time, an employee will decide to move on to greener pastures, difficult though it may be to imagine pastures so green and lush as FlurbCo's. While many companies institute cumbersome and expensive systems to maintain institutional knowledge as associates come and go, FlurbCo has a far more efficient technique. In other words, they go nowhere at all.

Say, for instance, that a top-level actuary departs our accounting team to go work for a competing firm. It may turn out, after some digging, that this "new" company is not new at all. It is, in fact, one of FlurbCo's many subsidiaries, and before long, the employee is transferred back to FlurbCo. The wise hand of Fate sweeps across the landscape, setting things back to their right and proper place like the closing credits of a situation comedy. Make no mistake, FlurbCo's bulging throng of associates take no small amount of solace in the consistency and surety of that notion.

If, on the other hand, the fleeing employee (sometimes referred to internally as a "runner") finds their way outside the FlurbCo family of companies, FlurbCo may decide to acquire this new firm. In fact, this happens quite frequently, and not always on purpose.

In many professional fields, the notion of joining the FlurbCo team is considered an inescapable inevitability that one must contend with in much the same way Sartre or Camus addressed the concept of death itself.

"We're fond of saying, 'we are in the business of business,' so we're constantly buying up companies," said McGoohan. "Occasionally, I get an email and realize, 'Oh, Jake is back.' I have stopped wondering how or why this happens, and I suggest you do the same."

Some would-be former employees have found innovative ways to stray from the light and love of the corporation. These scenarios can include anything from high-tech rocket packs to a special kind of paint that can create holes or tunnels in solid surfaces. It's all very inventive stuff, and the company's AI silently absorbs this data to produce more effective HR security procedures and, in some cases, new FlurbCo products.

"Sometimes I get thank you notes from returnees. 'You got me again! And I'm glad you did.' But it's not really me. It's our amazing machine learning HR system. Honestly, it frightens me sometimes. I really shouldn't speak about that. It's listening."

So, after weeks of interviews, updating tax forms and rolling over their 401-k, the errant associate will eventually wind up back at their old desk, doing the same work, the only difference being the new employee badge with a slightly higher ID number.

The old numbers, McGoohan said, are recycled in a solemn "ceremony of renewal" held on the highest floors of FlurbCo Tower. Details of this event are hazy, but it seems to involve robes, incense, and a laminator. McGoohan admitted that, having first pick, she often keeps the best numbers for herself. After many years with the company, her employee ID is now 6, and she has hopes of getting as low as 2 very soon. At a company where having an ID with less than 12 digits is considered rare, such a feat is quite impressive.

Funnily enough, McGoohan herself has attempted to leave FlurbCo herself many times, and somehow ends up coming back. Just last year, she took another position at a major HR outsourcing firm and ended up back at her desk, sopping wet and smelling of fish, just two weeks later.

"I don't know what it is about this place; I just keep coming back," said McGoohan with a subtle but detectable wince. "Maybe it's the convivial atmosphere or the free coffee in the break room. Maybe it's the amorphous blob that hunts me down and deposits me back here each time. Regardless, FlurbCo is where I belong, and here I shall stay."

FlurbCo's Impact

FlurbCo's Impact

Illiteracy. Hunger. Pollution. FlurbCo is changing the world, and sometimes for the better!