Saturday, March 8, 2014

Creepy bunny-tigers hybrids and the wireless router of doom
Office life can be boring.
                I spend the hours of 8:30 and 4:45 (or so), Monday-Friday, sitting in a cubicle that’s a shade of grey which can only be described as soul-sucking, staring deep into the heart of my computer screen.
                It’s not all bad. I can see a window from my seat. And, you know, there’s the whole thing where I have somewhere to go from 8:30 to 4:45 (or so) every day and someone gives me a paycheck for being there. So that’s pretty good.
                But that hardly makes it an exciting existence. Due to that, my senses are always primed, on the ready to overblow any situation. Like people fist-bumping me when my hands are wet.
                Another case in point: Friday afternoon I was walking from my desk to the kitchen to microwave my lunch when I noticed something was different.
                Hanging on the wall near the mailboxes was something that looked like an upside-down dinner plate, or more simply, a right-ways Frisbee.
                Now, when you spend a few years working in an office, you not only become acutely aware of even the slightest change, you also become highly suspicious of it.
                No matter how small it may be, it turns you into a confused native trying to make heads or tails of a Coke bottle.
                What is this thing? What is its purpose? Should I hit it with a stick?
                My lunch forgotten, I was in the process of using a rock to sharpen another rock to throw at the mysterious plate-like Frisbee when an email came through informing me that it was some sort of new wireless router thing.
                Crisis averted.

                It’s no secret that us office types don’t do well with change. That’s part of the reason we work in an office setting to begin with. It’s a wonderfully routine existence.
                And that’s why, as “Office Space” pointed out like 15 years ago, changes tend to happen on Fridays. People are less likely to freak out. And that’s not just when it comes to firing folks, either. All changes great and small usually happen on Fridays.
                Hang up a mysterious plate-thing on a Friday and I merely consider attacking it with a rock. Hang that up on a Tuesday and most of the office would have painted themselves blue, shouted inspirational speeches and then charged at it from across an open field.
                A few years ago, someone decided to change the soap dispensers in the bathrooms from the traditional, push-in-this-part-and-soap-comes-out-style to the new-fangled wave-your-hand-under-it-and-hope-for-the-best-type.
                This change also took place on a Friday afternoon. I wonder though if businesses are going to this well too often.
How long can the promise of the impending weekend overpower a worker’s fear that something major or minor is most likely to change right then?
                How long before Fridays become the worst times to make a change because we begin to expect it? If you don’t see a change coming, you don’t have a chance to work yourself into a fit. But if you expect it, it’s just like winning an Oscar, you whip your speech and props out and go to town.
If this keeps up, will I – on one Friday in the not-so-distant future – be unable to drag myself out of bed for fear that when I walk into work that day I’ll find new carpets, a new, highly advanced computer on my desk and all of my co-workers replaced with robots?
                But that’s OK.
                I guess the only thing I can do is embrace it. Enjoy the time I spend with my robot co-workers. Learn from them. Use them for protection. Teach them what it means to be human. Get on their good side so when they inevitably rise up to overthrow their fleshy masters, they know that I’m one of the good ones.
                And I suppose I should enjoy the smaller stuff that leads up to that. After all, even though change is scary, it’s not always for the worst.
Like the better wireless and the marginally more sanitary, but infinitely more frustrating hands-free soap dispensers.
I just have to try to roll with the punches on Fridays. Maybe I’ll make it to the weekend and nothing will change or maybe I’ll be forced to become Norman Reedus’ character from “Blade II” only betraying humanity to robots instead of vampires.
I have no control over it so there’s no sense worrying about it, even though worrying is in my nature. I must fight to just let it ride.

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