Sunday, January 07, 2007

Things I Hate About Working In An Office

The Birthday Card. "Could you sign this and pass it along?" The card's always "from all of us!" And whether your the giver or receiver, there are only four types of statements inside: "Happy B-D!," "Have a great one!," "Hope it's Happy!," and "Go for it."

Somebody Finish That Last Brownie. Whenever someone brings in a box of candy or a tin of baked goods (cookies, brownies, etc.), there's always a miniscule portion left in the box or tray when everyone's had some. This portion will stay there for 2,000 years, because nobody wants to be accused of "taking the very last piece."

Going Anywhere En Masse. Say you're taking someone out to lunch for their birthday (before or after the Giving of the Card.) Everyone mills about the outer office area in their coats. Then a few people get on the elevator. Then you mill about the lobby. Still, it beats sitting at your desk.

How Was Your Weekend/Vacation/Holiday? There's only one answer to this: "Great!" No need to provide details, because even if you played tennis with Arnold Schwarzenegger, nobody really cares. Never, ever say "It was good...quiet." That means you spent the whole time alone because you are a loser and have no friends or family.

Gifts Received. It's never what you want. It's most likely something you have dozens of. And you always have to put on your best game face and say "Cool, I can really use this!"

Gifts Collected For. Almost always for a wedding shower, wedding gift, or baby shower. Which means if you're anything but a 20-50 year old woman, you will always be diving into your wallet and never opening a present. Not to be confused with the Leaving To Take A Better Job Gift, which is no longer given, as the departing employee is usually hastened out of the building before he or she can sabotage the payroll.

Can I See/Speak With You A Minute? If said by your supervisor and followed by a closed door, it means you're being laid off. You'll most likely be able to collect unemployment, as your ex-workplace wants to have nothing more to do with you and does not want to be involved in a "he said, she said" brewhaha over unemployment insurance. Which is why nobody ever gets fired anymore. But this is always an awkward moment, as you rapidly devise a strategy to find another job, and your supervisor wants you out of the building as fast as possible.

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