Friday, November 6, 2009

Office Breaks and Gold Ping Pong Paddles

Ramblings Post #67
The office is a strange place. You go early in the day, sometimes before the sun comes up, meet and hang out with mostly like minded folks doing pretty much what you're doing for 8 or 10 hours a day and then....go home to real life? If I'm not mistaken, that job is your Real Life, and what you do at home is get ready for it, relax after it and on weekends recover from it. And yet it's taboo to try to pick up dates there. In the dominant part of your life. Go figure.
Sometime ago, while cleaning out her rec room, the director of the department I work in decided to upgrade their family Ping Pong table. And rather than throw the old one out, they took down a few empty cubicles here in the office (there seem to be so many lately) and set up the Ping Pong Lounge, complete with futon couch and chairs, so that we could relax. On Breaks, during lunch and when we weren't working.

This has resulted in sweaty Ping Pong players coming to my desk to ask about client questions.

If you ask me what I do, I am for the most part a professional chicken plucker. It's easier to tell you that than explain what it is I actually do with technology and client's and other people's time. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. So when the Office Moguls and the rest of the office gang aren't plucking chickens, they're playing Ping Pong. A whole lot of Ping Pong.

I knew it had gotten out of hand when.... a) they began purchasing new the $50 Ping Pong paddle, b) they started to hang around on Friday night AFTER work to play Ping Pong and finally when c) they started a collection to purchase a NEW Ping Pong table. Yeah, they asked me for money for a game I don't even have time the play. I hear managers looking for people to get stuff done, knowing these fools are on the table. I'm certain in the team meetings "Ping Pong time management" has been discussed.

Sometimes as I'm creeping out on Friday night to go fall into a law book, I'll see someone who has been off for two hours waiting to play. Or someone hovering above the table waiting to return a tricky serve and I'll pass their waiting wife in the parking lot. Is there something about Ping Pong I'm missing? I hear "come and be graced by this whipping I'm about to give you" and other Ping Pong challenges and exhortations on the floor. Guys discussing serves and returns, angles and stances. I get the impression before long I'll get the email about a company "Ping Pong Tourney" complete with prizes.

Hath the Ping and the Pong cometh for us?

If you are looking for a job and getting frustrated, you should be pissed. Because some of the folks still working don't appreciate what they have, and are mad they can't go to the office and just play Ping Pong all day.

Barkeep. A whiskey and soda for me, and round of beers for the guys at the Ping Pong table. They're not going anywhere.

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