I know when people think about corporate excess, the first thought it “executive salaries WHARRGGARBL...hey, aren’t the MLB playoffs on right now?” But I’m starting to think — after my 15+ years in the corporate world — that the waste is far, far deeper than that, even in reputable companies. While the executives make the headlines with their corporate jets and occasional malfeasance, I’m privy to a lot more (corporation name changed to protect the innocent). For example, I just learned I have to go to a certain Northern California city, let’s call it Rice-A-Roniville. For four days. For a half-day meeting. All the way from the Eastern US. That’s 8-hour flights each way (including airport time and layovers) and about $2,500 in expenses above and beyond my salary. The travel time prevents me from getting my actual work done, and there are about 100-150 other people who have to come, too, and I guarantee I’m among the lowest ranking ones. And the entire meeting could be held via conference call or video. I may be guilty of over-reliance on technology, but I just wanted to share a typical biannual event for them, one which will drag me away from my young kids and wife, as well as any semblance of productive work, all so I can take notes in a meeting. Why did Al Gore invent the Internet again? /rant off