The @-Work Nettwerk
Mundane Tasks and Capitalist Pig-Dog Commands
Volume Forty Seven: America Strikes Back
This issues Golden Cubicle award goes to Martin, of Boston, Massachusets,
who presents an essay of sorts:
The Morning Commute
So, I'm on the bus this morning and there's a whole group of us that sit
together and talk on the commute, only I don't talk or make eye contact.
They were lamenting the fact that it was THURSDAY and not FRIDAY:
"Why does it have to be THURSDAY and not FRIDAY?"
"Couldn't we just PRETEND it's Friday?"
"Ha ha ha," the group laughs.
I'm thinking wow these guys really have the wit thing going. Then the one
real kidder, he thinks of a good one.
"Hey,can you believe that episode of FRIENDS last night??!"
This is followed by confused laughter
everyone frantically trying to
remember the killer episode last night
almost frightened, they seemed. One
by one, it dawns on them...it's a JOKE, Friends is on Thursday night, so it
MUST be Friday!
"Ha ha ha!" Hysterical laughter abounds and a renewed sense that they are
all on the same page.
And relief. Glorious relief.
Relevant points being that
A) This guy can assume that he can pull this joke off because of course
EVERYONE watches friends in his world and knows what night it's on. He
probably can't conceive of a world where this isn't the case, couldn't wrap
his brain around it.
B) The joke backfired. Why? They were all so freaked that they missed the
episode when he first said it that they missed the joke. Their gut reaction
was "Shit I missed Friends!!!!"
It was really funny and depressing.
On my first day, my supervisor, admitting he didn't have anything for me to
work on, jokingly suggested I could go read the dictionary. So I did. For
three hours. Pall (v): to become insipid, boring or wearisome. to have a
dulling, wearisome or unpleasant effect.
One of the truck drivers at my work would take me aside and ask me if I had
any Viagra I could spare. I would glare at him and wonder why he asked me,
the youngest guy in the office. They fired him the other day; a coworker
said he was 'dangerous'.
This is how bored I am. I have to pee, but I'm holding out, because I want
to save things to do.
The high point of my day is when I need to take a shit and I'm the first one
to the bathroom stall and I get the "fresh blue" bowl and I know it is
clean. If the seat is down, I know that someone tried to pee through the
butt-hole opening and there is most likely splatter on the seat. Then I have
to force the brown turtle-head back onto the on-deck circle until I get
I'm often mistaken for a woman on the telephone, and I've come to terms with
this; I like to think I'm fairly lighthearted about it. Last week a man
came to our office seeking the sexy young lady he spoke to on the phone, and
I raised my hand, "yes, that was me." Today may be even better: after
helping a man on the phone, he said "you are a princess." I suppose, in
some ways, yes, I am.
I ran into a coworker in the cafeteria who was eating a cup of soup, and he
asked me to sit with him. When he finished he referred to the soup as, "a
nice little snackie poo". And yet, he still wants me to believe he's
Company e-mail today:
"In keeping with our policy of full dissemination on the anthrax situation,
I want to report that, as a precaution, we had our mail room personnel
tested this week at area hospitals. One employee is negative for anthrax.
Another has yet to receive test results, which will be available on Monday,
as I understand. But this person was considered to be in a ``high risk''
category because he handles mail routinely and because he had been feeling
congested and under the weather. There is no real reason to conclude that
this adds up to a situation of danger emerging here."
A big part of boredom at work is sensory deprivation. I occasionally find
myself sniffing my watchband, which smells vaguely of B.O. and feet, in
order to derive stimulation of some sort.
They painted the hallways in my office today, so my main task for today
involved concentrating on walking calmly down the center of the hallway
instead of crashing up and down the hall against the walls (in the style of
Morton Harket in A-Ha's video "Take on Me") lest I get paint all over
The other day at lunch, I saw DC mayor Anthony Williams walking down H
Street, NW at lunch. He's shorter than he looks on TV.
Three cheers for everyone out there who is both the worst-paid AND the
best-dressed in the office. More cheers for biggest discrepancy between how
much you make and how good you look.
My housemate started a new job at a human-rights law firm. She calls one
coworker the Meat Guy because all he ever seems to talk about is meat.
While wearing a headset, I tried to drink some of my coffee during a call to
a client. I ended up ripping the styrofoam cup with the headset mouthpiece,
and spilled coffee on my laptop keyboard.
I just got the following message on my e-mail. It gives me pause and makes
me wonder, "Do I really want to miss a photo-op with a seven foot tall Uncle
Sam?": The [insert name of federal agency here] CFC Charity Fair, is going
on NOW in the QUAD. We will have a Seven foot tall Uncle Sam look alike as
our special guest who will be available for picture taking. Please come and
take advantage of this photo opportunity and meet our exciting charities.
The fair will run until 1pm today.
I walked into the bathroom to take a leak today and was so overwhelmed by
the smell of ripe shit that I got dizzy.
There is a Russian.graduate student who works in my office He never comes
to my office unless he needs something, so the first words out of his mouth
are always, "Do you have..." I have decided that "Do you have" is a Russian
greeting that means "You are beautiful and worthy of bearing my children.
There are big cartons of returned mail and catalogs that say, "Use caution!
From Brentwood" all around the office. As far as I can tell, "use caution"
has translated into "ignore."
Iím working with a group to develop a technology platform. We have less
than $2,000 in the bank so I decided to have the logo designed by an outside
group for $225. I sent the excellent logo samples to the team and the CEO
responded by asking for a written explanation of what they symbolized, what
the artist thought they represent, what the reader would think when they saw
the symbol, and what the colors mean/represent.
I have a jailhouse tatoo on my leg of a snake wrapped around a magic staff.
My co-worker keeps thinking that it is a picture of a "flaming penis". The
first time she saw it, she asked what kid had been drawing on my leg. Then
said "Oh, that doesn't seem right, your hair is wet, you must have taken a
Today my boss tought me how to clear the cache on my hard drive before I
send it to a repairman, "In case" there is any kiddie porn in there. In
case. YEAH, in case...
Volume Forty-Eight: Irony Is Dead
Todays Golden Cubicle Award goes to Wes, of Annapolis, MD:
**Today someone replaced the inoffensive classical music piped in over the
hospital P.A. with a homemade CD of fart sounds. It took the authorities
nearly an hour to find the source and shut it off. On his first walkthrough
of the new hospital kitchen, the Health Inspector discovered that someone
had crapped into the oven grease trap. Such a feat would have required a
near-acrobatic balancing act on a small ladder several feet in the air -
without pants, of course. While cleaning the second floor, Will, the Foreman
of the cleanup crew, found a closed grout bucket full of shit in one of the
rooms. "These are some third-world motherfuckers on this job," he said.
Someone threw a bottle filled with urine through the door of our office the
other day. Will, the head of the cleanup crew, had to clean it up. "I hate
this job," he said.**
Today at lunch I purchased some potato chips made by the company "Rap
Snacks." I chose the "Bar-B-Quing With My HONEY" flavor and on the package,
MC Potato asks me, "Can you rap and snack at the same time?" as he spins the
phat tunes from his DJ decks. I answer him, "Yes, MC Potato. I can rap and
snack at the same time. Yes, I can."
A yellow-eyed man tried to sell me batteries at the bus-stop. I declined.
Later that day my walkman died of low batteries. Oh and also later that
day, in a context more funny if left unstated, I had to ask my boss not to
Today, I was spell checking an e-mail to someone with the last name of
Dickson. The spell check suggested that what I really meant to say was dicks
on. Also, in flipping through the vast junk mail folder of my hotmail
account, I found an e-mail with a subject heading "She thinks it's a
lollipop." I need to reiterate that I do not seek the porn out, but it
simply finds me.
I got married on Saturday here I am, back at work, on Monday. But it's
okay, because my new husband also had to work today. We have plans to have
sex on our lunch break.
I work for an employee benefit consulting company, and the other day I was
helping our communications team proofread some plans for some companies
health policies. For this one plan, apparently, reconstructive breast
surgery is only covered in the case of a "medically necessary" masectomy.
As opposed to just one you get for fun, I suppose. Also, if your hand gets
cut off, you only get compensated for hand loss if occurs right at or below
the wrist bone. If your hand gets cut off above that, even if you just have
a stump, its still considered you have a hand. Point being, if your hand
gets cut off above the wrist, its best to take a butcher knife and chop off
that extra inch. Finally, fake limbs are not insured against theft, so you
better not let anyone steal your fake limb or you're out of luck.
If my boss plays "God Bless America" by Lee Greenwood one more time I think
I'll slit his belly open.
An update on messages in my junkmail folder: Subject headings this morning
include, "Is 18 old enough?" "Barely legal teenage lesbians" and "They're
getting it in EVERY HOLE!!!!!"
I just discovered that one of our contributing authors lives on "Hoes Lane".
It's in Jersey, big surprise.
Always the same, I come in every morning and someone has left a single
Hershey's Kiss on my keyboard. Nobody will confess to being The Stalker. I
was eating them at first, then it dawned on me that if someone is crazy
enough to stalk me at work, what makes me think they are not licking the
kisses or sticking them up their ass before they are leaving them for me?
My boss scolded me for not having the same font from the letter I typed as
the font on the address on the envelope. "I don't want to have to tell you
again about this," he said, his beady eyes piercing through me with an anger
borne of hellfire. That seemed out of character for him. I mean, he drinks
wine and paints paintings! There's no way he's mean. Yeah, I'm definitely
wrong. There's no way that he's a total fucking prick. Courier New it is!!
So its the Wednesday before thanksgiving...my boss comes in at 5:55 pm and
tells me that despite what he had told me earlier, Friday is not a holiday
and I need to come in to work. So much for my great long-weekend plans.
The irony is that since they left early, they arent notified of my bosses
decision, and they won't have to be at work on Friday.
I work in Paris, and it is customary to kiss your colleagues on the check
when you come into work in the morning. One guy, though, refuses to kiss
anybody. Instead, he justs bows down in front of each person's desk as he
makes his rounds. It's quite theatrical, really. He bows down low, and with
his right hand, he makes a gesture like he is removing his hat except that
he doesn't have a hat. He also has a habit of wearing patent leather shoes
with a large heel. They are actually man's shoes, but it's pretty
borderline. I sometimes miss the United States.
This past summer my office moved into a refurbished building designed by one
of those snooty Dupont Circle-type architectural firms (read: everything is
pretty and high-tech, but completely non-functional). The bathroom,
particularly, embodies the philosophy of aesthetics over function. The
toilets have no flush handle but are supposed to flush automatically when
you get up. So it was with great alarm that yesterday afternoon, after a
very unhealthy lunch I might add, that the flush was not flushing. It took
a few minutes of desperate searching before I found the manual flush button.
Why I was so frantic you ask? Well, in the words of my co-worker, "There
must have been some baking going on because somebody left a loaf."
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Copyright 2001, Benjamin Wyskida and Andrew Myatt
Nettwerk : Cubicle85@hotmail.com
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