Saturday, April 10, 2010

Magnificent Obsessions: Who Knew Corporate Hell Could be Funny?

I've been an office worker for my entire full time career. The personalities, politics, and inanities of office life are part of my daily life. When I finally leave the world of the office behind I'm not sure I'll miss those parts of corporate life. Luckily for us some people did miss it and set out to recreate part of it with hilarious results. Here's part of the explanation for Pretend Office which is "Almost certainly among the best companies in the field that it's in".
For a couple of months myself and some friends and strangers have been communicating via a mailing list as if it’s the “everyone@” company-wide list in an office where we all work.
Why, you ask, would anyone pine for the "everyone@" company-wide email list?
A little backstory. A few times over the past couple of years I’ve discussed with freelancing friends how we miss out on some of the aspects of working in a proper company: the Christmas lunch, the after-work drinks, the fire alarm tests. All that bonding.
Yes... you guessed it. I'm pointing you to the email archive of a pretend company's internal mailing list. Start with the opening salvo way back in February 2009 and you'll spend hours clicking "Next message:".

I know... if you haven't already given it a read you're wondering whether it will make you laugh or cry. It will definitely make you laugh. It may hit a bit too close to home sometimes but I've never actually cried. Yet. It's over the top and yet somehow only slightly absurd. Haven't you worked in an office where this type of message has gone around:
Please be careful in customer reception today. The new floor is proving to be very slippy in this wet weather, so PLEASE do not shake your umbrellas out on the floor, and WIPE YOUR FEET if you come in that way. We've already had one fatal accident this morning and don't want another!! 
But the floor does look amazing, so congratulations to Tim, Alex and the rest of the team in Facilities Actualisation (Floors & Ceilings) for their hard work over the past few months.
As I said... it's absurd while still sounding almost plausible.

In my own real corporate life I have kept an email that went around one hospital warning staff of an aggressive goose that made leaving the main building to go to the staff parking lot dangerous. It warned not to approach the bird as "there is potential to be pecked." As funny as the Pretend Office mailing list is maybe it isn't too over the top after all.

In case you want comic relief on an ongoing basis there is even an RSS feed. Follow along. It will make you want to fill out your "Competency Assessment Questionaire Self-Assessment Programme 2010".

1 comment:

Janet said...

do they ever post accidental reply-all's? My favourite was one guy who finally got the courage to ask a co-worker out on a date.... but he hit reply-all instead of reply.... and the whole division knew.