Thursday, June 10, 2010

Office Funnies

My co-worker and I both have an intense dislike for our jobs.  This is based on the fact that we work for nincompoops who have little business acumen and the attention span of hummingbirds hopped up on Red Bull.  Our employer frequently sends emails addressing ways to make the office run "more efficiently."  The reality is not that the office is inefficient, but rather, that those in charge don't work.  A career counselor might suggest these people instead become Census counters because of the intellectual heft required in counting to five or six.  The only way we survive in this environment is by making fun of it.

Following is a fictitious email exchange from our bosses to us.  My co-worker's email is first, then mine.  If you only knew how close to reality this really is you'd laugh harder or send sympathy cards.

On 6/9/10 5:00 PM, "[Name Redacted]" wrote:
Dear [Name Redacted],
As you’re fully aware, the organization in my office is nonexistent so I require you to accomplish the following:
  1. Please take all the documents on my desk and highlight all the important words that I should be aware of.
  2. Rearrange my desk so I am facing the wall. Then on the wall, please tape my calendar for the whole year in front of my desk so I can visualize my schedule. PLEASE USE DOUBLE LAYER DUCT TAPE, this is imperative.
  3.  Take all the folders in my office and build a pyramid with the most pertinent documents on top. That way, if I need to read something important, I can still keep the structure standing.
  4. Remove your shoes and point them in the direction of where I should be standing when I get in the office in the morning and after lunch. Please tie your shoelaces around the light fixtures in a Christmas light formation and hang all my contacts in un-alphabetical order.

I would like all of these points effective immediately, without fail. Please schedule an internal meeting at 4:37 PM every day so we can discuss these points and how we should implement them.

Not wanting to be outdone, here's my response.

I guess I’m confused because I thought we implemented an entirely new system last week. I’ve attached that email below for your review. Please advise.

On 6/2/10 1:42 AM, "[Name Redacted]" wrote:
Dear [Name Redacted],
I’ve become completely frustrated with the organizational system in my office. I feel like I’m too organized, and thus, completely ineffective. This is not conducive to the creative process and it impedes my ability to service our clients adequately. Effective tomorrow please do as follows:
  1. Only print the odd number pages of every script. I’ve read numerous studies about the process of literary interpolation and have concluded that it should be our new office standard.
  2. My desk should be hanging from the ceiling. This is part of my other rule, anything that doesn’t stick on my desk is considered unimportant and should be thrown out. While I’m not sure if the building can structurally handle the stress, call up our property manager and ask them about the type of wood used in our ceiling joists. Work with [Name Redacted] (as you are the tallest ones) to affix my desk and chair to the roof. Additionally, please put a Velcro strip on the back of my iPad and on the desk.  
  3. Cancel all of my lunches. Once completed, please reschedule them as and label as “mid-day feeding sessions.” Also, please call the Chateau Marmont and ask them to change their name to Motel France. Their current name is too difficult to pronounce. 
  4. Order pencils without erasers. This will force us to get everything right the first time around. 
I expect this to be done by 6:30 a.m. So by the time you receive this email, you’ll already be late. I will then mention your dereliction of duties at your monthly employee review.
 Oh, and I just cut your pay. Your new salary is $742 per annum. This is considered a very competitive wage in Cuba.


Anonymous said...

Gosh, this is a little confusing. You're working for nothing in a job you hate, aspiring to be the sort of joker you describe here? I'm kinda not getting it. With all due respect, why not get a more satisfying job?

Temp X said...

I believe I can answer this question with one simple statistic -- California's unemployment rate is 12.6%.

It is not for lack of want. It is for lack of available opportunities. Hopefully that answers your question.

Stephen said...

Temp X,

I have no idea who you are, and if I meet you one day - I'd hope that it's because I hired you. Your website is awesome and I think you are doing a great thing here. Great article.

I started as an office intern, then PA on the set, then after attaining First AD on a few projects - I started over as a PA in the office. My advice to everyone is this: Taking your lumps on the low end of the totem pole is worth the time. You will learn valuable things (as I did), and always remember deep down, the lowest man on the totem pole - is the one holding everyone else up.

Now, can you run to Jamba Juice and get me my favorite one? ...and not the Jamba Juice that's a block away, go the one that's in Santa Monica next to my house. :)

UPM / Line Producer

Linnea said...

Too funny and too true! They want unpaid interns - essentially "students" who need experience - yet they require X years of experience... You can't NOT pay a person with experience, and students work to gain experience. They want everything for nothing and it's a wretched Catch 22. Sadly, this is the norm (not just in Hollywood) and the economy has not helped it either.


Best of Luck Temp X. Love the blog!

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