Most of us aren’t exactly living the high-flying, deal-closing, Gordon Gecko-esque lifestyle we all thought we’d be living by now. Most of us donate 40 hours a week to the man. We sit between three walls on a chair that’s about as comfortable as a junior high desk/chair combo. Now let’s get right on to the bitching about working in a giant office…
1. Getting emails from idiots that hit “reply all.”
Whether it’s a quarterly memo about company dress code or a reminder about which charity the company chose to donate to for the next fiscal year, there’s always some asshole who hits reply all with the groundbreaking insight of “Guys this is really important.” I experienced this times a billion in the summer of 2010. It was the day America beat Algeria 1-0 in injury time of the World Cup. Somebody sent out a company-wide email revealing the result. Then all hell broke loose. Every .5 seconds another email appeared in my inbox saying “GOOOOOOOAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLL.” This went on for hours, eventually crashing the server of a multi-national corporation, but not before one brave soul hit reply all telling everyone that the next person to hit reply all should kindly go kill themselves. After that the emails stopped, and I’m pretty sure that guy got fired as fuck.
2. You can’t go anywhere for lunch and actually have time to enjoy it.
I don’t care if you get an hour for lunch, that time will whittle away to 10 minutes every time you leave the office to eat. First, you have to make your way through rows upon rows of cubes to get to the stairs or the elevator to get to the exits. Then you get to walk through endless rows of cars if your parking lot is right outside. At my old office, I had to take five different skywalks to get to the parking structure which was six stories tall and two city blocks long. You’re finally in your car and tearing through the garage until you get stuck at the bottom behind the guy who seems to have misplaced his parking pass. Finally, the arm lifts up and you’re dodging pedestrians while going 15 MPH over the speed limit. Then you park your car, get inside, and the line’s out the door with people who walked there. Fuck those people. You order your food, pay, and take your seat. You check your watch and a half hour has gone by. That leaves 10 minutes to scarf down your food before you get back in your car, hit some more red lights, find a parking spot on the top floor, run through the skywalks, dart through cubes like The Flash and clock back in, only to find you’re still two minutes late. Then you check your email and your boss sent out a reminder that lunch is only one hour. Fuck that guy.
3. Meeting arbitrary efficiency metrics.
Anyone who’s worked in a sales call center knows what I’m talking about. Your boss will track how much time you’re on sales calls, how much time you log doing after call work, and how much time you are simply unavailable. Being unavailable can constitute anything, whether it’s taking a dump, getting a drink, or simply calling IT because your computer isn’t working right. One day I spent over two hours talking with tech support because my computer was jacked up. After trying everything in their manual, IT finally figured out my mouse was broken because the left click button was all clicked out. After I went and tracked down a new mouse and got back to work, my boss gave me a stern talking to that my weekly production time took a huge dip and I’d need to make it up. Blow me.
4. Teambuilding exercises are a crock of shit.
Has there ever been a more counterproductive thing than a teambuilding exercise? The goal is to bring everyone together, but it just makes everyone hate each other more. To build camaraderie, management, in their infinite wisdom, always picks something stupid, like making adults play capture the flag at the local park or something. It’s always on a day with shit weather, and you’re wearing khakis and dress shoes, and now you’re supposed to play grab-ass with overweight Linda and the psycho emo girl who actually has a dragon tattoo. Because hey, after we capture that flag we’re going to absolutely kill it on some sales calls. Or I’ll just put my phone on unavailable and run to the parking garage so I can rip a bowl in my car and practice my Jerry Maguire exit speech.
5. Using mandatory greetings.
“Good evening sir, my name is Steve. I come from a rough area. I used to be addicted to crack, but now I am off and trying to stay clean. That is why I am selling magazine subscriptions.” If you’re not bringing the heat like Steve, then you can get the fuck out. He did sell 40 subscriptions to VIBE at once, after all.
6. Logging your hours into a payroll system.
When I was offered this position, I was told I would receive a base salary plus commission. Now you’re telling me I have to log my hours and lunch breaks every day? I thought the point of being salaried was not having to punch a time clock. I get it, work starts at a certain time and ends at a certain time. But if I’ve used my login ID and password on company computers every day for the past two weeks, can’t payroll figure out I’ve been at work and send me a check? I can’t even remember how many times my paychecks were off because I forgot to log time.
7. Getting phone calls for “Dave.”
I used to work for one of the “big four” banks (BoA, Citigroup, JP Morgan-Chase, Wells Fargo). We had corporate offices sprinkled all over the country and countless branches. Every day I’d get calls, and the person would just say “Let me talk to Dave.” It never failed that this person didn’t have a last name, phone extension, or email address to identify exactly which Dave he wanted to speak with. The person was always grumpy as shit because they were talking to Dave and the call mysteriously got dropped. Hey buddy, Dave probably got disconnected “accidentally” because you were being an ass and he didn’t feel like listening to your shit. A good rule of thumb to live by: if the company you’re calling uses an 800 number, they’re too big to ask to speak with Dave.
There you have it. Working for big business sucks a fat one just as much as working in a shoebox office. Now if you’ll excuse me I have to go train to win Powerball by gorging myself on Taco Bell and banging truck stop hookers until I hit the $300 million payday and lose it all on high class hookers and blow.