Monday, January 31, 2011

Pain in the art

In a response to a recent fashion audit, the Plankton offices will be undergoing a redesign. According to the auditors, the sixteen greys used in the current “Rising Storm” colour palette were too distracting. It will be replaced with “DrabbĂ©”, a two tone palette consisting of “grey” and “gray”.

Management fought against using two tones, fearing that this was still too much stimulation, but Conrad, the company stylist, made an impassioned plea to the Plankton board. ‘She is all about, how you say, comparison, no?’ he said in an accent that he hoped the board would find continental and exotic, but ended up sounding fake and just a little racist. ‘Ow can you make ze claim that something is truly grey, unless you compare it to something slightly less grey, no?’

So, with such flawlessly fashionable logic behind the design, the refurbishment is in full swing, and with it you can expect some aesthetic changes:

  • The bright green exit signs and garish red fire extinguishers have been removed and replaced with bas reliefs depicting significant events in Plankton’s history.
  • The first aid kit and defibrillator shall remain (as symbolic reminders of the pain and suffering we should all endure) but will be glued shut to the wall to ensure people don’t clutter the office with nasty bandaids or shout “CLEAR!” at artistically inappropriate times.
  • Windows will be replaced with a photorealistic mural of the outside view and air conditioning ducts will be sealed over. This will ensure that employees are guaranteed a stable and safe work environment, regardless of what is happening in the real world.

Also, where possible, staff will be asked to work from home. This is to ensure that the office is kept clean of food scraps, office waste, piles of documents, computers or people.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Don’t show your booty

Information is like gold and must be hoarded to ensure its scarcity and value. Within a company, the guardians of information are like dragons who have been laying on beds of knowledge for so long that various bits of data have been encrusted onto their underbellies. Those who seek this information must, like adventurers of old, use any number of tricksy tactics to relieve the hoarders from their infobooty.

Since the publication of an Office Tip last year which advised on how to interrupt people, office productivity has plummeted. While the “adventurers” have been able to obtain the information they seek, the “dragons” have been forced not only to part with it, but also to interact with co-workers.

If you are a data dragon, avoid interruptions by making it hard for people to find you. You can achieve this just by sitting at someone else’s desk, however there are alternatives:

  • Book a meeting room. Be warned, though: any person sitting alone in a meeting room will attract the kinds of people who will have to ask: “with all your friends, are ya?” (Note that when in school, these were also the people who “made you look”.)
  • Wear a disguise. No-one ever asks the new guy for information. Also, no-one wants to speak to the weirdo with an obviously fake nose.
  • Call in sick. Sure you will be using your sick leave to do work, but the fact that you are willing to do that is in itself a symptom of a deep illness, and any doctor would be willing to sign a note saying so.

The definitive way to avoid interruptions is to go to work for a different company. You must be aware, though, that when you change companies you will no longer be a dragon but merely another hairy-footed data thief on a quest for truth.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Getting your feet under the desk

Thanks to an Employment Act loophole found many years ago by Plankton’s highly paid legal team, Plankton staff are only allowed 2.5 days of annual leave a year. Most staff store this leave up so that every 4 years they can take 2 whole weeks off - and relatives of Plankton employees have learned to plan important events like weddings, births and funerals around this schedule.

When going on recreation leave, some people like to do absolutely nothing. Other people think “I do that every day at work!” and so try to cram as many active pastimes into their break as possible: waterskiing, snowboarding, waterboarding etc. Either way, returning to work after a long break can take some adjustment, but a little preparation can make the transition easier.

Before going on leave, finish (or destroy all evidence of) any outstanding tasks. If, on your return, you pick up something you were working on before your break it will immediately set your mind back to that time and it will be as if your two weeks on the foreshore of the Bendigo creek never happened.

Upon your return, set aside a whole day just to read emails. Leaving your work computer for two weeks will cause a large backlog of emails which you will be tempted to quickly skim and delete. But just because you have been away does not make an email less important. Therefore each offer for cheap watches or personal enhancement medications should be read carefully and treated on its own merits.

Most importantly, do not start your new work semester with any adages. Statements that begin with words like “This year I promise I will” seem like a great way to start fresh. However it will only make your inevitable fall into the same old rut all the more painful. Remember: zero expectations equals zero disappointment.