Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Something to try at the office

If you watch football games with only casual interest, you don't know much about the beefy guys who play the offensive or defensive line in most cases, until one of them lines up offside or gets caught for holding or a false start or some such.

Then, the referee stops play, picks up the yellow flag that signaled a penalty, and gets on his microphone to announce the player's number and infraction to the 70,000 assembled at the stadium and the 70 million* watching worldwide on television.

And then the camera zooms in on the player who sinned. Sometimes he reacts with a snarl, contesting his guilt, and sometimes he lowers his head and sheepishly strolls back to the huddle to get ready for the next play.

And of course, this gets me to thinking.

What if this sort of thing happened at EVERY workplace?

Picture a large office, the standard cubicle farm filled with people pecking away at keyboards, punching numbers into spreadsheets or calculators, and sharing YouTube videos of Ashton Kutcher pranking someone.

Of course the boss looks and sounds like
Ed Hochuli!
Over by the front door, here comes Gilly, sneaking in late again. But wait!  The boss, wearing a striped shirt, spots him, and throws a handkerchief on the ground! Then he goes to his phone, dials the Public Address feature, and says, "Lateness! 15 minutes! Gilly O'Gilligan! Gilly will have to come in on Saturday morning to make up his time!"  And the rest of the office cheers, or moans, depending upon how each individual feels about Gilly's lateness.

Imagine all the various office infractions that could be penalized by announcing them to the other guys 'n' gals trying to make a living there!  

  • Doris's stanky cologne!
  • Norman stealing lunches from the refrigerator!
  • Jimbo rattling his pocket change!
  • Mildred playing her radio at a volume unacceptable to others nearby!
  • Steve forcing others to buy his daughter's Girl Scout cookies!
  • Ernestina humming that same song all morning!
This could truly change office life as we know it, and, if nothing else, it could bring the sadly needed gift of laughter to workplace culture.  I urge all bigshots to consider it.

*Audience estimation wildly inflated to make a spurious point

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