I love my job. Seriously. There are weeks when I'm more then ready for the weekend and there are days when I'm pulling at my fabulously curly hair. But overall I'm very blessed. Most people don't understand what I do or what my company does. It's been that way for most of my career, given I've worked for multiple technology and technology publishing companies. I normally say I work for the CIA and if I told you, I'd have to kill you and that usually suffices. Seriously, most people's eyes glaze over and their mouth hangs agape when I really explain my job and/or my company. With the popularity of The Office, it has made it easier to just say I work for Dunder Mifflin. Even with that explanation, nobody truly believes an office exists like that...au contraire mon frer...it does. And here are just five of the ka-zillion reasons why my company could be an NBC sitcom...
1. One of my employees decided to use an exercise ball as his office chair. Why you ask? Because a co-worker did it six weeks before his wedding to get tight abs. Now, Mr. Ball Chair isn't about to get married, but is looking for the next quick way to develop a six pack, and not the kind you buy in the adult beverage section of your local grocery store. He kept this purchase a secret until it arrived and we heard this loud pumping air noise from across the room and he confessed his procurement. After a few days on this regime, he invested in an actual balance ball chair with a built-in back. Today's hijinks included taking the old exercise ball and replacing someone's office chair with it. The victim took the latest ball from the new chair and hid it in the rafters as payback. Dang, I love my job.
2. We have an employee who looks like Santa Clause and can't complete a sentence without expressing a profane word. Bless his heart, he tries. In fact, his boss has agreed to provide him free lunches if he can get through a presentation at a sales meeting without uttering a profanity. Hasn't happened yet. But Santa Clause gets his fill of free food as our local office break room vulture who attacks the food in the break room before it barely gets put on the table. Office life would be dull without him.
3. There is an episode of The Office called "Booze Cruise" where the company went on a cruise together. We did a similar excursion on the now defunct Star of Louisville for lunch one September afternoon. There wasn't any booze, but it was a cruise. And, months later, our sales team did have a cruise in the San Francisco Bay with a captain at the helm we named "Captain McDreamy" and yes, there was booze on that cruise.
4. We creatively name areas of our office that would mean nothing to the outside world. Each of our conference rooms are named for Triple Crown winners of the Kentucky Derby - Strike the Gold, Bold Venture, and Genuine Risk - because of the constant temperature of Bold Venture, it is now known as Cold Venture. The area where my cubicle resides is known as "The Infield" as a nod to the infield at Churchill Downs and a baseball reference for the home of the Louisville Slugger. I came up with name as the Inside Sales team - or "Innies" - sit in this area. We have a storage area named "China" because prior to its role as a storage room, it was the office of a one-man company that dealt with foreign lands, one of which was China. We're not exactly sure what he was doing, let's hope it was legal. But, now when looking for something, you can often hear someone say "It's in China" and you don't have to be Bugs Bunny and dig a hole there. Just go down the hall.
5. Our President is the coolest. I've worked for many leaders and so many never really "got" the business and thankfully ours does. And, he takes ribbing better than most leaders. The running joke about him looking like Ned Flanders has been going on for a while. Although Michael Scott from The Office is really clueless, he's very endearing in his Michael Scott ways. This year for Christmas, our President wrote a version of Twas the Night Before Christmas revamped to fit our business. It was great and cleverly written...I was impressed with his rhyming abilities. And, one of those endearing things that Michael Scott would have done. Having fun at work makes all the difference.
So for all those people who wonder what I do. Take your pick. I work for the CIA. I work for Dunder Mifflin. Or, if you want the real story, pull up chair and prepare to be amazed.