Invoice EveryCorp for EveryThing
4 October 1998
Courtesy of Fravia's pages of reverse engineering
Well, it's a great idea indeed, and could easily be extended
to all those annoying leaflets and 'questionnaires' that litter our snailpostboxes...
come to think of it, it would be great if some 'real' lawyers, reading this, would come
out and suggest some 'pre-formatted' invoicing templates... I would gladly add them
here, imagine: something written with enough rhetorical power to scare those little
bank managers and 'public relation' bastards to death!... Yeah, let's prepare and use some
'Bombastic bombs' :-)
This opens a whole interesting field to our 'anti-advertisement' awareness campaign, and I like it a lot.
Awaiting your contributions and addenda to this stuff, lawyers! Hey you could actually make money out of this kind of stuff... and you would always find people, like im/mu or me, ready to do it just for fun...
Dear Fravia, ...I know that I have spent many a pleasant hour mind-jamming on the consequences of these ideas, so perhaps some of your readers would like to do the same... Yours, im/mu
This is just an idea. I have never tried it. It may work, it may not. For sure, to attempt to implement these ideas would require a lot of resolve, a lot of time and patience, and also the close help of a lawyer. It would probably also ruin your life if you were to seriously pursue it :) Basically the idea is this: invoice every corporation you (are forced to) deal with for all the time you spend dealing with them. Here is an example: Sometimes, you receive in the snail mail a letter from your bank, asking you to consider life insurance ("Are you over 35 years old? Are you a smoker? Perhaps you should consider taking out life insurance. Please read the following, we are sure it will be of great interest to you.") Consider that you did not ask for the bank to send you this crap, therefore (using their pathetic 'time is money', 'everyone has a price' philosophy) they are actually engaging you as a *consultant* for their life insurance program. Now, as we all know, consultants are highly qualified professionals (yeah, right ;) and they charge accordingly. Say, $100 per hour. Now, you just spent 10 minutes reading their proposal: invoice them for $100 (you are a professional, you charge $100p/h or *part thereof*). Give them an arbitary date by which to pay, and if they havent paid by that date, send them a *red* invoice warning of the dire consequences of non-payment. If they still don't pay, take them to court. In other words, treat them exactly as they treat you: with contempt and arrogance, at outrageously inflated rates, and get really heavy when they don't pay. You go to the bank and wait in a queue. Invoice them for the time you spend waiting. You call the phone company and get a recorded message, followed by an advertisement, followed by 10 minutes of aural abuse (they call it 'waiting music'), followed by a menu system. Invoice them for all that time. Every time. Work out how much carbon-monoxide you have inhaled during your life, and sue the petroleum and car companies for reparations. Then sue the government for allowing those companies to force you to breathe carbon-monoxide. Note down every advertisement you see or hear, and invoice the companies for the time spent considering their advertisements. They have gone out of their way to seek your opinion on their product, they must pay you for it. This is a particularly interesting one because, given all the time people have spent looking at advertisements through their lives, the act of advertising something could surely been seen as seeking the advice of experts. The price of the advice of an expert is high. The price of the advice of *millions* of experts would put all but the biggest corporations out of business. Take corporations at their word, and hold them to it. If you recall, the Win95 setup screen, at one point, says "everything you do from now on will be easier". Well, I installed it: it was no easier to get up and go to work the next day. Me and Microsoft had a contract: I give them (way too much) money, and they make sure that everything I do from then on will be easier. Sounds like they didnt uphold their end of the contract. And that's against the law. Obviously, this is absurd. Noone really believes that *anything* they do (including using a computer) is going to be easier for having installed Win95, so why do we let them spout such bullshit? Therein lies the whole point: corporations, banks, etc, don't treat us like shit because they have a right to, or because they are more intelligent or skilled than we are. They do it because *we let them* do it. I would even submit that we *expect* them to do it. We have been in this state so long now that some people actually mistake doing the corporations' bidding for living. If all people started invoicing corporations for all their dealings with them, the situation would quickly become untenable. If only one person could bring their case to court (they wouldnt even have to be successful), it would send corporations into a manic flurry of greed-fuelled paranoia and 'strategic re-evaluations'. In other words, it would take some power off the corporations and give it back to the people. And it's not nearly as absurd as the concept of allowing corporations to viciously, psycologically abuse us and then charge us for it :) im/mu