Sunday, March 21, 2010

Location Location Location

If you have worked at Plankton for longer than three months, chances are you will have moved desks at least twice. Management take great care to ensure that people who are working on similar projects, as well as people with complimentary skill sets, are seated together. However, sometimes they just like to mess with our heads.

Look around the office and you will see that there are exactly three people who have never moved desks. Look deeper, however, and you will soon find that neither those people, nor the desks at which they sit, actually exist. Like a desert oasis or a short efficient meeting, they are a utopian illusion created by our subconscious in hope of what might one day exist. Collectively we think “I wish I could be like Lee. (At least, I think that’s his – or her - name. Short-ish tall person - got a sort of light coloured black hair.) Lee has never had to move, so maybe one day, neither will I.”

With everyone constantly on the move, it can be difficult to find a particular person when you need to. Each desk is assigned a Cartesian co-ordinate, however these are only to be used when playing office games (“QA at F9 takes manager’s pawn at C4 - You sunk my project team!”). Older staff will remember the complex network of mirrors that were installed in the ceiling, which made finding someone as easy as looking up. However, for privacy reasons these have been replaced with a new system. Look on your arm, or perhaps on some other part of your body, and you will notice a small scar. While you were sleeping Plankton operatives installed a tracking chip in you, and the wiki page showing the exact location of each staff member is now online.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Email is not a dirty word

Email is an essential tool in the modern office. Sending an email can save time, save paper and most importantly save you from any physical interaction with your colleagues. Also, by allowing you time to review and edit your message, emails ensure that clear and concise communication is achieved, and any misunderstandings are avoided (although this has never been proven in practice).

The wonderful thing about email is that whether you are organising a meeting or forwarding a funny joke about cats, it always looks like work. One fictional study has shown that 87% of an office worker’s time is taken up by sending and receiving emails, and 94% of those emails are not work related (the other 6% are from managers asking you to do something you were already doing).

One email pitfall, however, is the Reply-To-All button. Most sensible companies have this button disabled but here at Plankton we relish the moments where someone accidentally tells everyone what their special dietary requirements are, what they really think of their Line Manager or which co-worker they’ve been discreetly seeing after work.

If you find the temptation too strong, there is a plugin that can be installed on the Reply-To-All button which will, every time you press it, ask you a series of mathematical, logical, grammatical, emotional and moral questions. After you submit this short survey, the system will determine if you are intelligent and responsible enough to be allowed to send your message.

Regardless of how you send your email please be aware that every single email is printed on ePaper. To help preserve the eTrees and prevent eClimate-Change consider whether you really need to send that next email, or whether it would perhaps be better to print your message (with a cover and footer sheet) and slip it into the coal-powered vacuum tube system we have installed in the wall cavities.