Tuesday, March 1, 2011
"What's that up there you think?"
I'm sure most of you can relate to working with a person who always felt management was out for them...Paranoid. I used to work with a guy named Mark who was just that. Drove me insane actually.
Mark was a chubby, balding middle aged guy. Every morning he'd plop himself in my visitor chair and start a discussion on the latest corporate rumor mill. Generally, I'd listen, sip on my coffee and half heartedly agree just so he'd leave.
One week, our manager announced the cubicle arrangement on our floor was going to rearranged so people could work closer with their teammates...Great. A big "Whatever." right? Not to Mark. As soon as he heard the news he ran over to my cube.
"Trina, what is up with the news of rearranging our cubes?"...As I stared into my computer screen, my back to him, I rolled my eyes as I said, "Where are you going with that Mark? Do you think something is up?" Mark scooted my visitor chair closer and started to speak in a hushed tone. "I think they're starting to assess us." "Mark that's hardly new, it's called a 'Review'." I replied between sips of coffee. His tone sounded increasingly anxious as he said in a loud whisper "No! NO! You're missing the point! I think who you're grouped with will determine your future with the company. You know, based on corporate management's needs."
"What a putz." went through my head as I told Mark that maybe he had a point and we'd just have to see how things played out.
Fast forward a couple of weeks. Our cubes were now rearranged. That morning, as I arrived and got myself settled into my new locale, I happened to glance up to the ceiling and noticed holes where the old cubicle support poles had been from the previous floor plan.
As I heard Mark arrive, I got up, walked to his desk and sat myself in his visitor chair...Just as Mark always did, I pulled the chair close so I could speak confidentially. "Sorry to bother you first thing Mark," I said while looking around to ensure the coast was clear, "but I think you may have nailed it when you said management was assessing us with this new floor plan." He froze, turned around, and took off his glasses to give them a cleaning.."What do you mean?" he replied. "I have to confess I wasn't buying into your theory on this cubicle arrangement deal until I walked in this morning and noticed something really strange." He looked around, confused....
I discreetly pointed to the holes in the ceiling. "Have you noticed the new holes in the ceiling?" I stopped him as he started to look up.."Don't look now, too obvious. But, when you have a chance, check it out. I think corporate installed cameras over the weekend. I believe they may be keeping tabs. Watching what we're doing on our PC's...Who surfs the Internet, who's productive..."
My "theory" was so outrageous that I thought even Mark would laugh and say, "Oh come on! That's ridiculous." But he didn't...Bought it. Hook...line...and sinker. What an idiot. Anyone with an ounce of common sense would have thought about the support poles...Not Mark.
My coworkers thanked me for all the extra visits he paid them that day to share the latest conspiratorial news...and that I should be the first one taken out should he decide to climb a clock tower or go postal...They did think it was funny though.