Thursday, July 3, 2008

How to be THAT Guy at the Office

I work full time in an office. We have walls lined with file cabinets and computers with Windows ’98 and wicker baskets that hold extra staples and paper clips and old pen caps. We have signs on the toilet stall doors with bouquets of flowers on them and Lucinda Handwriting cheerily declaring, “If you sprinkle when you tinkle, be a sweetie and wipe the seatie!” The air is stale subway car air and the temperature hovers around subzero. The building is built to stymie the possibility of escape: there are few windows, the elevators take twenty years between floors, and the doors are password coded.

Still, there are some people who enjoy this environment, and in fact flourish from the stifling of creativity and the conformity that mirrors pre-20th century factory work. Send this fax! Go to this meeting! Check your Microsoft Outlook! I’m not trying to be a hater, I’m simply here to tell you how you might become one of these fascinating creatures. Below is a guide on how to become That Guy at the office:

1. Master the obligatory responses to the obligatory questions.
Question 1: How was your vacation?
Answer 1: Not long enough! Can’t believe it’s over! At least I got to rest my tennis elbow.

Question 2: How’s the week going?
Answer 2: Oh, you know, just truckin’. Gee, I can’t believe it’s not Friday yet! Does this week seem endless or what?

Question 3: Where did you get your lunch from? It smells delicious!
Answer 3: Oh, this (overpriced) gourmet sandwich? Au Bon Pain! Did you know that means “To the good bread” in French???

2. Master your weekly outfits so that you don’t get confused with the guy in HR who coincidentally looks just like you. Establish a personal style. J.Crew is a must.

Monday: Suit with paisley tie, loafers.
Tuesday: Suit with striped tie, loafers.
Wednesday: Suit with polka dotted tie that your wife got you last Christmas, loafers.
Thursday: Suit with plaid tie that your mistress got you last Christmas, loafers.
Friday: Casual day! Go all out! Lacoste polo, white khakis… maybe even some sandals. With socks of course.

3. Forward the chain emails your Mom-mom sends you, complete with the animated GIF of a puppy in a jewel-encrusted collar wagging its tail and pretending to lick the screen, to every single co-worker in the office. Starting at the first cubicle, snake through the aisles of the office, striking up a conversation with each of your co-workers by asking them if they received the email with the “cute puppy picture.” Continue until you have discussed the e-mail with every single person in the office.

4. Bring a Nalgene and fill it up at the water cooler three times a day. Then make two trips to the bathroom for every one time you fill up the water bottle. This means you should use the bathroom at least six times a day, giving you ample time to ogle the hot girl whose desk is conveniently next to both the water cooler and the bathroom.

5. Break the copy machine and then get someone else to fix it, claiming it was “already broken.”

6. Twitter about your work’s progress: Just sent that fax out to Eileen, now I’m off to The Soup Man to grab some lunch! On Fridays, contribute to the general positive vibe of the office by adding a little spice to your Twitter updates with witty commentary: Phew, Friday at last! Workin hard or hardly workin? ;)

7. Complain. This is essential. Tough day crammed with a tennis lesson and a dinner party and you have no idea how you’re going to do both? Spend the entire work day communicating this fact to anyone who passes by your cubicle. Make sure you vent your frustrations to your co-workers, who are there simply to bear the brunt of your tragic life’s tale.

8. When leaving the office, find hot water cooler girl and pretend you are taking the same subway home as her. Take the elevator down together while making small talk about your weekend’s plans. Keep a goofy grin on your face. When you get to the station, pretend that you forgot something at the office and have to run back to pick it up, then walk to your real subway station.

9. Keep a picture of your wife and kids on your desk, next to a Yankee's ticket stub.

10. Keep a naked picture of your mistress in a secret password protected folder on your desktop that not even the ITS people can hack into. The password to this folder should be the name of your childhood pet (RIP).

This post should also be titled: THANK GOD FOR THE UPCOMING 3 DAY WEEKEND.


1 comment:

Georgia said...

Oh sweet Jesus. This is pretty much my life...minus the cute water cooler girl, and the wife, and the mistress, and the twittering at work, and the taking the subway home, and the ties. Okay, so it's pretty much just me refilling my water bottle a lot and peeing...but still, so close it's spooky!