Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Occupancy Awareness Week

Seriously, I must be living The Office or Office Space here.

A memo comes across the ole work email announcing Occupancy Awareness Week. On title alone, you know you are in for a good chuckle.

(click to open)

Let’s see what this little gem of corporate wisdom holds. As you would expect, it’s hilarious, completely without any value, and destined to be mocked and ignored. Basically, it hits the corporate memo idiocy triumvirate (+6).

The idea here – hatched by scheming executives apparently tired of playing FreeCell and laughing hysterically over a bubbling cauldron of their very souls – is that employees are not coming into the office when they should be.

One thing to understand: we don’t punch a time card here. And our individual bosses are not necessarily on site. In fact, my boss is physically located 300 miles away. Metaphysically, of course, he sits on my shoulder using my ear hole as a pencil sharpener whenever I fall asleep. In three years, I’ve never met him. Wouldn’t know him if I passed him on the street.

We are left to our own supervision. It takes incredible self discipline not to fritter that time away on running blogs and other personal interests. That would be akin to stealing.

In between cackles, the execs decided they needed a method to track who actually comes into the office and pretends to work. And who stays at home and blatantly flaunts the "paycheck-for-a-day’s-work" industry standard.

Thus, Occupancy Awareness Week was born.

It could have been called Be An Ass To Your Fellow Employees Week but, for whatever reason, they decided on the longer, more impressive sounding words. Regular Webster McWordsmith’s, these folks.

In order to “trap” the unfortunate Home Bodies who don’t know how to get into the office, they’ve decided to enforce a strict policy of registering every person who enters the building. We have a card swipe machine tied to our ids. So, every time we enter or exit, the machine will register this action.

In order to comply, we must:

- Enter the building using our own id card
- Not let anyone else – even a fellow employee – come in under your id (practice known as piggybacking). Slam the door in their face if need be. Tell them they look disheveled and smell like they urinated on themselves (this was implied).
- Report any improper loaning of id cards further ensuring your popularity at the next work gathering.

As soon as the memo was received a roar of guffaws was heard through-out the building. It sounded like a bunch of, well, guffaws, I guess. Not surely really how to describe intermittent, murmured hrrumpffing and guffawing. You get the idea.

I watched with glee as Occupancy Awareness Week came and went. This is right in my comedy wheelhouse. Really, a little slice of heaven for me to enjoy for the week.

I saw:

-Folks purposely letting other employees in under their id just to confound the rules.
- Phone calls placed to the Home Bodies to warn them to come in at least once a day or, at least, loan them their id cards to swipe for them.
- Outright mocking of "Mr. Corporate Executive" in hilariously deep, sonorous (+4) tones with exaggerated hand motions dictating the rules of Occupancy Awareness Week like Moses on the mountaintop.

One very clever person * even suggested that we ALL use the same id card for the week and really throw them into confusion. **

For me, besides the laughter, Occupancy Awareness Week came and went without a change to my normal behavior. Except, I did have an excuse to slam the door in Cube Farters face as he was trying to piggyback in behind me with a handful of Arby’s. I shrugged and shouted through the glass, “Sorry. Corporate policy.”

I think I got even.

Until he entered, ate, and got even all over my nose through-out the afternoon.

* And handsome, too.
** This was me.
Check out The Running Laminator's riff on "how fast do you run?".
Vanilla, in his randomly regular site feature, has some nice tips on Alien Encounters.
Viper explains his true feelings about running. My favorite is #13.
Don't forget to take Nancy's photo tour of her running route.
Note: You should already be anticipating Friday's landmark post in which, I humbly believe, will improve the race times of every single runner. Period.


Sarah said...

One of the best "corporatese" emails we ever got here at the cube farm used the phrase "deploy a critical mass of talent" (referencing the beleaguered employees of said cube farm).

(Do I get bonus points for using the word "beleaguered"?)

Marcy said...

Ahhhhhhh you speak of foreign things . Or maybe not . . .being a SAHM and working in an office is similar in the fact that you have to wipe people's asses sometimes. And of course, smell their fart too :P

aham23 said...


as soon as i figure out what this means i am totally using it in a blog post.

great stuff man. later.

thebets said... I won't be able to look at my pencil sharpener the same again!

Non-Runner Nancy said...

Isn't Corporate America fun?

Non-Runner Nancy said...

PS thanks for the shout! :D

Topher said...

Funniest thing I've read at work all day! Thanks. (oops, did I just out myself as doing something "akin to stealing"?)

It's all too familiar. And, if you want to read a corporate memo regarding work hours gone really, really South really, really fast, check this out. It's from a company CEO here in KC a few years back. It's even made its way into college "what not to do in business" courses.

RazZDoodle said...

Reason #345 that I am very glad I'm out of the cubicle and in the classroom.

I would have used "holy trinity" over "triumverate", but that's just me.

Thanks for hyping your Friday post. I thought I was the only one to do that.

Lily on the Road said...

hahahah, I'm totally agree with Topher, corporate stealing is always considered a sport in my world, albeit I did wait to use "My own time" to that being a whoosie or what?


SLB said...

Too funny, maybe you could visit your boss and pretend to be his boss...just for $hit$ and giggles!

Viper said...

I think all your vocabulary exploits are supercilious.

Thanks for the link.