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More Playground Reflections

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

I had a new blog written last week. Unfortunately by the time I finished the blog the VTech shootings occurred. The topic of my blog would have seemed irresponsible had I posted it.

I think of blog posts all of the time. But I usually take a few days to write one. Sometimes, I move onto a new topic before it is finished. Or I decide to wait because I become busy with something else.

I have been thinking about this topic for some time. I hope that you like it.

I work in an office. Over the past few months I have been observing with childlike delight the indignation office workers experience they apply some childhood “playground rule” to the office.


1. Listen to and obey the supervisors.

That is a classic playground rule. Unfortunately, in the real world sometimes our supervisors are more like playground bullies or socially inept smart kid. Our bosses are not the kind playground lady or our protective parents. It is hard to take someone seriously that leaves work for two hours to reapply a broken “Lee Press On” nail. Or obey someone who never seems to get things done but is a really great guy.

2. Use the playground equipment safely, following all rules.

I wish that I could affix a sign that read this…. "Dont walk away from a paper jam"On the office copier. It is completely frustrating to go to the copier free of hesitation and in a good mood only to realize tht some butthole has left the copier with a jam or an error message and has not bothered to notify the program head or contact the service department.

It is like some stupid childhood game where you put the broken toy back in the bin, farted just before you left the room (so no one knows that it was you) or everyone scatters when something gets broken.

3. No chasing, kicking, fighting, play fighting, pushing, shoving, wrestling, spitting

Ahhh. We can’t do any of these things so we do other stuff like.. linking people’s paperclips together, leaving food to rot in the refrigerator, taking their office supplies, damaging the copier, putting colored paper in the printer, withholding mail or faxes, unplugging coffee makers, printers, and fax machines, hoarding napkins, yelling “Hello or Good Morning” halfway down the hall to people you don’t like or don’t like you just to unnerve them and publicly or loudly harassing people for going out to lunch and not inviting you.

Then there is my personal favorite: Telling the Black office members- like me - that I have been working too long for the White man because I will NOT eat in public with you and I refuse to eat at the nasty soul food restaurant that your friend owns. I am sure you can think of more aggressive childlike behaviors that we as adult office workers express.

4. No profanity, name-calling, or teasing

I find this to be difficult from time to time. I can say “Oh Pooh Bear, ”"Dagnabit" or “Mother of God” so many times before I just want to play some gangster rap on the internet radio station.

Doesn’t everyone in an office have a nickname? “Queen of the Damned” was really funny for awhile. “The Minions”, “The Yes Mayamer”, “The Figurehead” “The Secretary who doesn’t want to be called a secretary”, simply “Unhappy”, “The Counselor.” "The King of Coverup"." The “On her/his Way Out” guy/gal is the person that we avoid.

5. No throwing ice, iceballs, snow, snowballs, rocks, stones, or anything that could hurt someone.

Just thinking about this one is making me have giggling fits. Papercuts hurt. So does leaning over, stooping down or lifting the copier or printer to find the dawgone paper jam.

Throwing reports at people the day before you need them even though you knew about your meeting two months ago is like throwing an iceball.

The playground I understood, office space - I endure.

I will do some more rules later.

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