Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Commence Workplace Rant

It's been awhile since I had a good rant about the absurdity of the place that sucks eight hours of my life on a regular basis, aka the workplace. These days I mostly try to forget the fact that I work at HyperMegaGlobalCorp the second I step out the door, so I haven't been inclined of late to point out assorted absurdities. But who am I to deny you wonderous tales of the daily joys of working as a cube monkey in corporate America?

Turning Non-Verbs Into Verbs Shows You A Savvy Business Man and Have an Enormous Penis

I'm not exactly sure when this trend started, but our former President (who either just got canned or fled of his own accord) was obsessed with turning non-verbs into verbs. At first it was fairly tame, such as talk of "projectizing" this or that, or encouraging us to lead by winning and ensure that we "calendarize" our goals on a daily basis.

Then it took a turn into the absurd, capped by the announcement that he was leaving the company to "realize his aspiration of CEOing a start-up company". Umm, okay. I hope that CEOing goes well. May your aspirationing be successful. Hopefully no doorizing will have a negative impact on your ass on the way out.

Respect the Buffer Urinal, Fool

In the nearest bathroom there are exactly three urinals. That's a nice, solid number that works well, especially since the general bathroom traffic isn't all that high. Usually no more than two people are using the urinals at any one time, so you take one on the end, the next dude takes the one on the other end, and you have a nice buffer urinal in between and everyone is happy.

Except for the dumbasses that botch it all by sauntering in and taking the middle urinal. This is especially annoying because not only are they not recognizing the value of the buffer urinal, but they're actually walking a farther distance to do so, by walking past the first urinal they come to, which would keep the Buffer Urinal principle intact.

Serial Primpers and Bathroom Talkers

There's usually a 90% chance that the particular breed of dumbass that ignores the Urinal Buffer princple will also compound their dumbassery by either attempting to talk to you (after forcing you to piss next to them) or will reveal themselves to be a Serial Primper, after washing their hands.

Bathroom Talkers, I really don't know what to say about you. I don't even like talking to strangers in general, much less ones that are holding their penises in their hand.

Serial Primpers will quite literally stand in front of the mirror at work, in the men's shitter, primping and adjusting their clothes and hair for a good five minutes after they've finished their primary business. Ironically, Serial Primpers are almost never involved in any function that involves face-to-face contact with clients nor any general importance in the business, whatsoever. The amount of time they spend primping is usually inversely proportional to the importance of their role in day-to-day activities.

People Raised By Wolves Who Cannot Figure Out the Coffee Makers

We've got two types of coffee machines. One is the normal kind that you put a filter and ground coffee into a basket, hit "brew" and it does its thing, brewing lots of coffee in a canister with the transparent level marking showing how much is brewed. The other is the type with all of the fancy individual packages that you can choose from, that you insert into the fancy machine, put your cup under, and it brews exactly one cup for you of whatever flavor you chose.

Nearly every week I'll encounter someone poleaxed in front of the coffee machines in the morning, breathing out of their mouths, absolutely flummoxed. Usually it's the fancy machine that blows their minds, as they simply stand and stare at its unfathomable complexity, empty cup in their hand, hoping against hope that it will magically somehow fill itself.

In the past, when my heart wasn't completely blackened and shriveled, I'd try to help them, pointing out that you just hit the button that says "coffee or tea", at which point the machine opens up the slot that you slide the individual package of whatever you want into, you slide it in and close the slot, put your cup underneath it, and you're good to go. These days, though, I just smile and stand there, waiting for them to either ask for help or to give up, defeated, and to slink away with an empty cup.

Equally amusing are the people that avoid the fancy machine and use the old-school one with the filter, but who don't understand that they can dispense coffee before the entire batch is done brewing. Since it's a large coffee maker, it takes fifteen minutes or so to brew an entire batch. These people will literally stand their the entire time, ignoring the fairly obvious fact that they can engage the machine and get what's already been brewed at any point. The best part of these folks is seeing the look of utter amazement and joy when you step by them and get a cup of coffee as it's brewing, as you can see the lightbulb appearing, and the word balloon of "OH MY GOD I DON'T HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL IT'S FINISHED THIS IS THE GREATEST THING IN THE WORLD!!!" forming in the air above their heads.

We Shall Help You Balance Work and Play

Earlier in the year we received an email from the mothership about how they understand that we feel pressured to balance our work and personal lives, and that they're taking decisive action on that very issue, because they love us so much and want us to be happy.

Moving forward, they're drastically cutting the number of vacation days we can carry over from year to year, reducing the amount from the current figure of 25 days to a paltry 5 days. This wasn't because of any accounting issues or any such thing. Oh, no, heavens no. This was because we had expressed concern on our employee satisfaction survey (officially known as the Winning Culture Survey) that we felt perpetually pressured by goals and bosses to the point that we couldn't take time off, thus leading to vacation days accruing and stacking up.

So the obvious, caring solution was to reduce the number of days that we can accrue and carry over to the next year (instead of, oh, say reducing goals and expectations and unreasonable workloads). Voila! Now you'll simply lose those days that you previously were able to carry over, so you'll never have to worry about piling up a bunch of vacation days that you don't feel like you can use! See, we really do love you and react to your concerns!

Turn Off Your Motherfucking Calliope Ringtone, Motherfucker

No matter how many memos or e-mail reminders go out, some people either can't remember or simply refuse to turn off their cell phones when in the office. I work in an open cube area, so it's pretty loud and annoying when someone's cell phone goes when they're sitting there with it at their desk. Invariably it's also turned up as loud as it will possibly go, so we're not talking about a quiet, subdued ring here.

As annoying as that is, I've largely accepted that it's one of those things that will happen, each and every day. The last few weeks, though, have been extra-cool, as The Old Dude Who Wears Gold Chains and Goes to the Tanning Salon 182 Times a Week (like, seriously) has recently busted out a new ring tone. I can't really do it justice in words, as it's this hideous calliope music that sounds a lot like "It's a Small World After All" but isn't quite that.

The fucking thing keeps going off, every day, loudly, and I keep waiting to see a bearded Russian lady and bear come waltzing by, trailed by a car packed chock full o' clowns.


ToddCommish said...

You omitted the asshats that take up fifteen minutes and an entire burner to brew a full pot of DECAF! What fucking idiot makes decaffeinated coffee at 8am?

And they're delaying my morning caffeine fix, reducing my productivity, pissing me off, and generally ruining everyone's day (mainly because I'm a grumpy SOB until I've had my first cup o' joe)

Pokerwolf said...

Hey! Wolves know how to deal with coffeemakers, dammit! Quit soiling our good name by associating us with sloths and lemurs!

Anonymous said...

Wow. It sounds terrible, but at rare times amusing.

Dr. Pauly said...

Thanks for making me laugh my ass off...

Kipper said...

Don't forget to add to your next list the slather asses that insist on having their conference calls over the speaker phones.

Anonymous said...

Allegedly from an early version of the hacker's dictionary (though I can't find an actual reference to it, so someone may have been telling me porkies):

verb: Almost any word in the English language.

Example: Almost any word in the English language can be verbed.

Anonymous said...

How could I forget ... Calvin and Hobbes

"Verbing weirds language"

Derek McG said...


jjok said...

A DBA a few cubicles over from me, the most straightlaced conservative old coot that he is, has the ring tone from the song "Get your Freak On".

Fun times, and great post!

Anonymous said...

You forgot perpetually sick person who insists on coming to work every day and infecting everyone else around them.

I think cubes need a salad bar-like sneeze shield or something.

Anonymous said...

Hilarious, and 300% true. I never get enough of the good ol' workplace rants.

PokahDave said...

You can add the buffer-crapper to the buffer urinal. You know....there are 3 crappers and some freak takes the middle one right next to you. There is a personal buffer crap space that is at least 3 feet away. I'm trying to read the latest poker article/strategy post and some stumbling-mumbling-doofus sits right next to YOU!!!! FUCK!! That pisses me off!!!!