In every office, 9am is close to the time when the supervisor makes his rounds to see who is at their desk slaving away on the work he is too good to do himself. He walks around with a golden clipboard checking off the names of those employees that are present and those that aren’t. He doesn’t say anything to or about those particular “slack-offity” individuals that spend more time at the coffee machine, loitering in front of the bathroom doors like hustlers on street corners, or lollygagging at their neighbor’s cubicles, but rather waits until an all-hands staff meeting to inconspicuously pull his staff’s card(s) or employee evaluation time to lay it all on the line one last time before sending out pink slips in the form of singing telegrams. This ritual has not changed since the days of Ebenezer Scrooge. What have changed over the years are the levels of concern from the ostensibly invincible employees.
Today employees don’t care who know about their late night romps, midnight bubble guts, or domestic squabbles. They believe their personal talk is part of the daily flow of business. Not considering that they are being mentally recorded by the man who signs off on their paychecks, they hold no regard for their fellow coworkers who either don’t give a damn about their after-5 lives or are too afraid to be clumped in the category of slackers by mere association.
This observation was brought to me some time yesterday between my travels to the copier machine and the giant catapult that hurls me home at the end of every day, when I found a petition krazy-glued to my swivel chair collectively signed by all the employees that are insistent on disassociating themselves from that one bad apple that lowers the property value of the underpaid subordinates in the office; specifically that one employee that gallivants up and down the office halls like a regular on a hoe stroll; or that one employee that eats potato chips with their mouth open while engaging in an uninspiring face-to-face conversation; or that employee that tells and laughs at all of his own humorless jokes; or that employee that doesn’t know the meaning of using his/her “inside voice.”
The petition was easily summed up in a single word: HELP. Help us, Hottywood, to make this employee change his ways or go away. Help us to make him understand that he is one step below the definitions of unwanted, unneeded and unnecessary. Help us to pretend harder that he is not making a bad name for those of us that stand on the ladder of his pay scale. Help us not to beat the living crap out of him at lunch time.
In response to the senders of the petition, I must warn you all that you can not treat this nuisance quite as simply as you would a bad cold. These office annoyances are not made. They are born. They multiply. They are eternal. However since Hottywood Helps, I have but one suggestion…
If this doesn’t change the atmosphere, nothing will.
Quote of the Week: “Don’t look at me with that tone of voice!”