I have a conference call to dial into and I’m already late. Shoot.
This is no way to start the work week.
Beep. Beep-beep-beep. Beep-beep-beep boop boop bee boop.
“…and thank you for carving out this time for this meeting. Who just joined?”
“Hey, everyone. Sorry I’m late. This is Pearl.”
“Good morning, Pearl. We were just playing a little catch-up on what we were doing before we called in, what we’ll be doing once we can get back to our jobs, and what we’ll be doing in the meantime while pretending to participate in this call. Who wants to go next?”
Profound and utter silence.
“OK, I’ll go next then. This last week, I’ve been executing a number of strategic moves. I am also looking at orchestrating the need for you all to take a nose-deep dive into how well you think I’m doing and how this will affect your future here at Acme Napkins and Grommets. This will involve several hours’ worth of pre-work created by renowned thought leaders on the subject of obedience, conformity, and group-think.
“Excellent. So does anyone want to update us on what you’ve been working on this week?”
“I guess I’ll go.” It is Celia, working from home out of our Boston office. “Um, this week I’ve been logging in on time but have been unavailable on e-mail, taking two-hour lunches, and leaving early for various “appointments”. I’d encourage everyone to leave messages on my voice-mail if you need me and I’ll get back to you when I can.”
“Excellent. Thank you, Celia. Did everyone catch that? Did everyone catch the apostrophes around the word “appointments”?”
Various static-y sounds of assent are heard.
“Good. Thank you. Anyone else?”
“Hi, this is Mark from the Tucson office, working from home. And I just want to say what a great idea these meetings are. My multitasking during meetings is up dramatically, frankly; and I’m procrastinating well into the next fiscal year. I owe it all to this bunch.”
The ether comes alive with the sound of agreement and the working-from-home people finishing their dishes and letting their dogs in from the patio.
“It’s a great time to be alive. Anyone else?”
“OK. That’s it then. Everyone have a – oh, one other thing. Remember when we talked about raises and how they would be limited to the monetary equivalent of a pack of smokes a week? Well you’ll find that pack of smokes in your mail slot later this week.”
Nothingness crackles across the phone lines as various people silently consider taking up smoking.
“Anything else? Everyone good?”
“Excellent! Have a great week, everyone!”
Gnome, Sweet Gnome
3 hours ago