A recent study has found that the worst place to get any work done is at your office. It’s why so many people take their work home with them on the weekends. There was one study – wait a sec, “What is it, Judy? Ten dollars for Todd’s birthday. Sure, here. Who is Todd? Right, right, Todd from the mailroom. Great. Yeah bring the card in when it’s going around and I’ll sign it.” Where was I? Oh yeah, the study said that up to ... Whoops, let me catch that.
“Hello? A half-hour PowerPoint presentation on our company’s wellness program at 1:30? Mandatory. Yes I can be there, if I skip the gym.” Where was I? Oh, yes, there was one study that, “Hello? No, never too busy for you, Boss. Yes, I did see the YouTube thing of the cat who stands on his hind legs. Very cute. Thanks for e-mailing that to me. Really? Everyone in the whole company? Wow. That’s why you’re a VP. Bye.”
The study said there were so many distractions at work that it was almost impossible to ... What?
“We’re collecting money for Suzy’s baby.”
“What’s the matter with Suzy’s baby?”
“Nothing. She’s having a baby.”
“So I’m giving the baby money?”
“No, it’s for a gift for the baby shower. None of us has time to shop, so we all chip in and buy her a gift. It’ll be from everyone on the third floor, Section 12.”
“Twenty. Todd will bring around the card later so you can sign it.”
I tell you what, I’ll just print out that study and you can read it at home later. The printer’s down? Again? I’ll e-mail it to you. The server’s down. IT is on the way. I’ll snail mail it to you. Next week. It looks like I’m going to be working late again. “Oh, hi, Todd, have you got that card for me?”
“What card? I’m collecting for Bill. He’s leaving. He’s going to start working from home. We’re getting him a ‘going away’ cake.”
“But he’s not going away. He’s going home.”
“You don’t have to give ...”
“Yes, I do. I mean I want to. Here’s 10. Does that cover me?”
“Sure. What do you want it to say on it?”
“I don’t know. Put whatever the rest of the people want on it.”
“Well, you’re the only one that wanted to buy him a cake, so you get to say what it says. I wouldn’t make it too long, you can’t fit a lot on a $10 cake.”
“You’ll think of something. ‘We’ll Miss You, Don’t Be a Stranger.’ Something like that.”
“That’s not very personal.”
“Todd, I don’t even know who he is.”
“Sure you do. It’s Bob. Down in payroll.”
“Oh, that Bob. Here’s $20 more. Have them put this on the cake: ‘It won’t be the same without you, stay just the way you are, don’t ever change, from the whole gang in Section 12 except Sally, Tompkins, Mike, Brewster, Patty, Lionel, Jenkins and Snifton.’”
So, if you get a chance to read that report I’ve been talking about, I think you’ll agree that it ... Was that the bell for the coffee wagon? I swear, it gets later every day. Got to run, I need a roll and some coffee. I was too busy to have breakfast this morning. The work is really piling up, and I don’t know why.
Jim Mullen is the author of “It Takes a Village Idiot: Complicating the Simple Life” and “Baby’s First Tattoo.” You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright 2010, United Feature Syndicate, Inc.