I discovered early on in my tenure as Editor-in-cheif of The Yuppie Dilemma that, if I wanted the most traffic, the best time to publish articles is in the middle of the workday. Contrary to unpopular belief, and despite the decoy spreadsheet you have pulled up on your dual-monitor setup, the time you spend at your computer before lunch break is NOT the most productive 30 minutes of the day. However, here at the dilemma we understand the importance of fake productivity. You deal with a lot of tomfoolery on a daily basis. A lot of “BitchAssNess” if you will. Unfortunately, we also understand that there’s not much you can do to combat it.
Somewhere back in the olden days, the heathen gods of white collars, 401k’s, and annual performance reviews were sitting on Mt. Human Resources and decided they needed to establish a code of conduct to govern the behavior of mortals in an attempt to curb the savage-like activities that were a normal occurrence the workplace. Over 3,000 years later, man has come up with its own subtle, yet crafty, ways to circumvent the laws of the old gods and the struggle persists. Without a Babylonian law à la Hammurabi, most of you would return to your lives as victims after lunch due to the malicious BitchAssNess that as overcome workplace culture. Fortunately we here at the dilemma are here to assist you…at least in identifying what makes you a victim.
The False Confirmation
The false confirmation tactic is a vintage display of BitchAssNess that evolved into the norm of electronic communication long ago. A favorite of middle management, the false confirmation is an attempt to coerce an off guard coworker into confirming an act or piece of information they had no prior knowledge of. It goes something like this:
(via Email) Manager Chuck who probably drives a Saab: Hey Mike, I was just confirming that you are able to attend the 7AM conference call this Saturday (tomorrow). I have a golf outing that day and I won’t be able to make it. Make sure you have the PowerPoint presentation proofread and ready
Mike: [Checks calendar. Sees nothing]… [Glances at email inbox. Sees nothing]…[Checks email history from last 3 months. Finds nothing]… [Concludes this was Chuck's bitch ass way of asking him to do it on such short notice] Yeah sure Chuck. No problem. I’ll start working on the presentation now…I guess.
News flash: YOU CAN’T CONFIRM SOMETHING THAT WAS NEVER BROUGHT TO MY ATTENTION IN THE FIRST PLACE. This is a move that would never be appropriate in other contexts in life. How would you sound if you called a chick and said, “Hi Katie, I’m just confirming that we’ll be going to see a movie tomorrow night,” but your slithery ass never asked her on a date to begin with? The only thing she would confirm is that if you showed up to her apartment to pick her up, the police will be there waiting to arrest you.
The Thread Hijacker
Proper use of a listerve is etiquette that should probably be learned around the same time little boys are taught that you don’t have to pull your pants down to your ankles to use a urinal. However, right after Eve and Adam ate the apple, it seems they went right to their Macbook Airs to figure out how they could ruin Email for everyone by leeching off of listserves.
It’s widely known that 99.9% of emails sent to a group usually contain a recipient who doesn’t belong there but was CC’d “just in case.” This is no different in the workplace. The Listserve Leech sees an email about a very specific topic and uses it as a springboard to ask a question or make a request to the chain about something completely unrelated and usually unimportant. The usual suspects tend to be the sales team of any given company, but the perky office dweller is also equally as capable of this insurgent-like behavior.
Most email clients are equipped with a Compose New Message button that is readily accessible from any page, but this does not matter to The Thread Hijacker. They simply don’t have time to create a new email with its own separate subject line and send it out. I mean, what better time to ask if anyone ate your yogurt that was in the company fridge for two weeks than when folks are talking about strategy for the next quarter? The good news is that with Whitey Bulger caught, the FBI should have plenty of time on their hands to bring these felons to justice.
Deadbeat Keurig Abusers
So…you make a cup of coffee, you add your cream, sugar and and whatever else you put in it, but then you can’t take the two second to take the empty Keurig pod out of the goddamn coffee maker? What breed of wild dogs raised you? You probably don’t care to remember to flush the toilet after you poop, do you? As a matter of fact, don’t answer that.
Violent Provocation by Means of Excessive use of Punctuation
I wake up everyday, thank God I’m alive to see another day and then I sit in bed and wonder why people who do this are allowed to vote or live on the same block as children without the county sending out a letter to the neighborhood residents. At what point does one conclude that its appropriate to ask use multiple “?” or “!” when asking a question or voicing how they feel? It’s scary, but being on the receiving end of such behavior could turn even Tim Tebow into a hellish demon.
Receive an email asking a question that has a platoon of question marks at the end of it and tell me your blood doesn’t instantly begin to boil. You think they eScreamed at you by accident? Nah yo. Just think: their brain’s neurons had to fire off instructions to either rapidly press that “?” key or not let up on it unless their finger cramped. It’s no accident. You find yourself wishing a motherf*cker would write that message in all caps just so you could reach through your ethernet connection and choke them into submission. What was going on on Mt. Human Resources when they let that one slip by?
There’s gotta be some examples I missed. How are you terrorized at work in ways that don’t violate your company’s policy? Join me in the comment section…