The @-Work Nettwerk
Mundane Tasks and Capitalist Pig-Dog Commands
Today's "Golden Cubicle Award" Goes To Erik Williamsen (chorus of St.
Mary's alums: "WHO?" Well kids, this list is big. Bigger than all of us.
To quote 80's music, "Bigger than Jesus now." Please accept blindly) We
congratulate Erik on being in close proximity to a fabulous idea:
**Well, they fired the student worker in my office today after looking
through her desk and finding all the work she didn't do. I wonder if they
would mind if I replaced her desk with a couch and TV.**
I'm listening to the new Nine Inch Nails album, which I bought; a gesture
I compare to attending one's high school reunion (ugh) and bringing
somebody really inappropriate, like Caligula. Or maybe like watching the
movie "Caligula," which ought to be good for a laugh, but it isn't.
I almost got dumped last night, so today I stared at my screen saver for
two hours, ate seven chocolate donuts, and now I'm leaving. HA HA, isn't
this one FUNNY?
I had an unannounced meeting outside of my supervisor's office this
crowded with my coworkers to find out what was going on. "There is no work
do today," he said; "try to look busy."
I was walking back to work with a from a coffee break and taking a
short-cut through an alley. Ahead of me, in the distance, I saw two
identical twins walking side by side in formal office wear. They were
conspiculously looking around to make sure no one was watching, and when
they thought no one was looking, one of them passed something from his
shoulder bag to the other, who quickly stashed it in his brief case. It
was a naked baby doll with long brown hair.
Reading the Village Voice at work today, I realized I've seen exactly zero
goths in Washington. Nick Cave once said: "When the big bomb goes off, all
that's going to be left are goths and cockroaches." Maybe they know
A co-worker pal and I were discussing how much we hated job interviews. I
the observation that a job interview was like a blind date with someone
don't like, but still are desperately trying to get them into bed.
Yesterday, I had a headache. I'm convinced it was the result of communists
beaming microwaves at my brain from outer space. I shared this with a
coworker and he recommended I wear tin foil on my head to reflect the
beams back at the satelite to knock it out of orbit. Unfortunately, I
don't have any tin foil, so today I still have a headache.
Today I had a temp position stuffing envelopes. Stuff stuff seal. Stuff
stuff seal. Eventually, I found that if I slid them down the end of the
table, they'd hit a glass of water that was sitting there and go "DINK!"
It was kind of like a typewriter getting to the end of a line. I had great
fun going stuff stuff seal DINK! Stuff stuff seal DINK! until I DINKed the
glass off the end of the table and it DINKed into a hundred little pieces.
Our new workspace will have an ominous looking glassed-in room at its
center. I received an email about the company picnic, planned by a
mysterious entity called "The Committee," which made several references to
Austin Powers. Also, our coffee supply is now being provided by Starbucks.
Coincidence? I don't think so.
I did a mailing today. One was addressed to a guy named Michael
Jackson. It wasn't the real one because he lived in Seattle and worked for
Yesterday the parking attendant accidentally gave me two tickets, so I got
them both validated and then sold one of them to the woman in the parking
lot for $2. Today I used that $2 to buy chocolate donuts.
No Sleep Till
Today's Golden Cubicle Award Goes to...HA!!! ME!!! "Ben, you are
so...decadent!" Yes I know, I know, thats what they tell me...with the
bedroom eyes and such... but life needs some pleasures, no?
**I am responsible for hiring an administrative assistant, so I have to
check people's references, and the first reference for one of our
applicants is named "Dale Buttland." So today I called up and said,
"Hello, is Mr. Buttland there please," and the secretary said, "Oh, you
have the wrong extension, let me check on the number," and she yelled to a
coworker, "How do I send this guy to Buttland?" and I thought...I don't
want to go to Buttland!!!**
In protest of animal testing, several students have locked themselves in
cages outside of the science tower here at the University of Minnesota. I
suppose this proves that, yes, despite all their rage they are each still
a rat in a cage.
Yesterday I was trapped on an elevator with four very animated lesbians.
We all sang "let it be," and then they asked me very specifc questions
about oral sex. Then one of them gave me a twizzler, and they all sort of
The Office of Protection Services is in the same building as our
collection storage. When you get off the elevator you used to be greeted
by a manenequin named Officer Doe. He scared the researchers until the
most tragic thing happened. I was going up the elevator thinking about how
Officer Doe used to startle me, but I was so happy now that I was used to
him. I got of the elevator and he WASN'T THERE!!!!! Where, oh where has
Officer Doe gone?!?!?!?!??!?!?!?
Today we had team building activities at work. I had to swing from one
platform to another on a rope like Tarzan.
A friend of ours sent an email to five or six people asking them if they'd
all like to get together for lunch one day, and she includes the new guy
in sales on this list. Later that day, Sales Guy writes back to her saying
it really turns him on, and asks her what kind of underwear she's wearing.
Apparently this is his typical sort of communication.
My former coworker and I check the "Missed Connections" (i.e., "I Saw
You") section of the free paper every week to see if anyone has fallen in
love with us. No one has.
Today, a moving company is rearranging the walls of our cubicles and
moving furniture where requested. They will be dealing with such
colorfully named items as "power poles" and "coffins." "Coffins" are long
desk drawers that attach to the walls of our cubicles. One of my coworkers
jokes about how she can actually fit into one of these "coffins." The
social critique of this statement is difficult to bear.
The penny jar at the coffee shop in my building says, "don't feed the
animals," in an effort to curb kind but unnecessary gratuities. "What a
brief yet compelling discussion of capitalism," I thought to myself,
before realizing I should go to graduate school or start watching
Today my supervisor confided to me: "I feel like I'm five years old; I
be at home playing with my trucks." He asked if I ever feel this way, and
"no," and he replied, "you will." Oh dear Christ.
Two Entries from the "Self-Referential Department," which show HOW BIG the
network has become:
Today at work I found myself spending a good 5 minutes trying to figure
out how I could conceivably enter in Ben's "At Work Network Mundane Tasks.
. ." into an SPSS file, cross listed with certain attributes and coded
tonal arrangements, and then run a cluster analysis on them in order to
find out if I could guess who said what.
I keep a printed copy of the @-work Nettwerk in the folder I reference for
processing applications. It's behind the section designated for memos from
meetings. I like to finger through the @-work Nettwerk while I'm
to be looking up processes. I'm thinking of quitting soon.
Two Entries from the "It Must be Frigid Cold In Minnesota"
I'm asked to "look busy" again today. I'm thinking of putting this on my
resume as a skill, though I would prefer to be getting busy.
Do you ever wonder why we all have to work? I mean, as a species, we could
automate everything and I could stay at home and have sex all day? Well,
that is, if I had a girlfriend.
Nettwerk : Cubicle85@hotmail.com
Elizabeth Rose : firstname.lastname@example.org