“Mae, now that you’re aboard, I wanted to get across some of the core beliefs here at the company. And chief among them is that just as important as the work we do here—and that work is very important—we want to make sure that you can be a human being here, too. We want this to be a workplace, sure, but it should also be a humanplace. And that means the fostering of community. In fact, it must be a community. That’s one of our slogans, as you probably know: Community First. And you’ve seen the signs that say Humans Work Here—I insist on those. That’s my pet issue. We’re not automatons. This isn’t a sweatshop. We’re a group of the best minds of our generation. Generations. And making sure this is a place where our humanity is respected, where our opinions are dignified, where our voices are heard—this is as important as any revenue, any stock price, any endeavor undertaken here. Does that sound corny?”
“No, no,” Mae rushed to say. “Definitely not. That’s why I’m here. I love the ‘community first’ idea. Annie’s been telling me about it since she started. At my last job, no one really communicated very well. It was basically the opposite of here in every way.”
Dan turned to look into the hills to the east, covered in mohair and patches of green. “I hate hearing that kind of thing. With the technology available, communication should never be in doubt. Understanding should never be out of reach or anything but clear. It’s what we do here. You might say it’s the mission of the company—it’s an obsession of mine, anyway. Communication. Understanding. Clarity.”
Dave Eggers, The Circle, San Francisco 2013.