Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Corporate Games and A-Typers Rant

Let's face it folks, work sucks. At least work in a corporate environment. I'm supposed to work in a field (pharmaceuticals) where everyone is intelligent. Real Type A go-getters. Hey, i've got a PhD too, but I don't consider myself intelligent. Smart, but not intelligent. No one else in this company is intelligent, either, and i'll tell you why. Real intelligent people find a way to make money by NOT WORKING! Real intelligent people make money, and spend their days ON A YACHT!! Intelligent people are not slaves to the man, they are slaves only unto themselves!! They work WHEN they want, not when others tell them to. You get the idea. The man who concocted and sells the plastic cube with garbage from the streets of New York, and sells it as a souvenier....GENIUS!! That man is smarter than all the PhD's in this company combined.
Now you can say, well, maybe these people actually enjoy their work and want to do it. My retort is if any idiot enjoys sitting at some dumbass meeting discussing the most trivial of minutia in great detail, more than lying on a beach in Rio, he is psychologically ill and needs professional help.

Now on to the corporate games. Again, you might think i'm delusional here, and this stuff is all a figment of my imagination. I have corroborating evidence from friends in other corporate environments (engineering, business) that this stuff is real and happens in those fields, too. So it's not only in science (where there seems to be a large percentage of A-typers), but for that reason I would assume it to be most prevalent in science and engineering jobs. Now, the whole basis of the corporate games is that, invariably, your boss is an A-Typer, which is the reason he is your boss. Usually nice guys with other interests who are "family" men don't rise to the top of the corporate ladder, because only a certain personality is capable of it. You know, the typical workaholic, has no other life, basically just an asshole kind of person. The kind of guy who would rather go to a poster session than a strip club. I've seen exceptions but very few. The games are devised to try to impress the A-Typer, because the A-Typer does these things routinely. So it's sort of a fine line between game and A-Type behavior. Without further adieu, here are the games!!!

The First Official Corporate Game List

1. The "first in, last out" game. This game was even satired on Seinfeld....where George leaves his car in the lot, and Wilhelm thinks he's working 80 hour weeks. That proves it is universal. YOu always want to be the first one in, and the last one out. If you have to choose one or the other, it's always more impressive to stay late than to be in early. You could get to work at 4AM, but if you 're seen leaving at 3PM, you're still slacking off.

2. The "work thru lunch" game. This one is rampant here, and from what i've been told, is rampant everywhere. Even though there is a cafeteria with seating, it's better to get your food and eat right at your desk, doing work. Better yet is to skip eating all together, and work right thru. "I don't have time for lunch, i'm too busy" is a good line to use. Or "I missed lunch? Oh, I was so busy I forgot about it".

3. The "gotta get back" game. When you are actually FORCED to attend an outside lunch at a restaraunt, usually for a "working" lunch. The game is to be the first one, immediately after wolfing down the food, to get up and say "I gotta get back to work". This makes it look like the lunch is an inconvenience for you, and is taking away valuable work time. Of course if it is a "social" lunch, say for someone's birthday, you refuse to go, saying you are "too busy".

4. The "won't want to come back" game. This is a variation on #3. This is where you are invited to go out to lunch. You don't want to be seen as antisocial, but want to play the game, so you say, "oh, I would go, but it's so nice out, I won't want to come back". That way you can resort to game #2 without seeming like an A typer. Of course it only works if it's sunny out.

5. The "email at midnight" game. This one is a common one. You send out emails at all hours of the night, 2AM, 3AM, etc. Makes it look like you are working straight thru the night.

6. The "snow" game. Aaah, one of my favorites. The game is to be the last one at work when the place is clearing out because there is a snowstorm outside. It doesn't matter how treacherous the roads are, or how high the snow is piling. You gotta be the last one standing to show your dedication. Same thing applies to hurricane or flooding situations.

7. The "day after snow" game. Again, a variation on game #6. This is the day after a large snowstorm, and things are still being plowed out. Some major roads may still be closed or unplowed. The game is to be the first one in at work....preferably before 7AM. Which means you were up all night shoveling out. It's a mighty display of dedication.

8. The "laptop" game. This is a no-brainer. You bring your laptop everywhere. If you leave at 11PM, and plan on coming in at 6AM, you still bring your laptop home. If you are going on vacation, funeral, wedding, it doesn't matter, you bring your laptop, to make it look like you are constantly working, checking emails, etc. If you are in the hospital, have someone bring your laptop to you so you can "catch up" in between surgeries.

9. The "company picnic" game. This obviously only applies to employers that are generous enough to sponsor a picnic. You always refuse to go, saying you are "too busy" at work to attend.

10. The "vacation" game. The game here is to forfeit your paid vacation, and work instead. I must say I don't see too much of that one here, but friends have told me it happens at their company.

11. The "Friday" game. The game here is to stay as late as possible on a Friday, when everyone else is leaving early because they have lives. A twist is to stay extra late on a Friday before a three day weekend, like Memorial day. YOu say " I just gotta finish up a few things before the weekend".

12. The "weekend" game. Again, a no-brainer, and a variation of game #10 and #11. YOu simply work all weekend, or at least show up for a few hours. Or just send out some emails over the weekend, a variation on game #5.

13. The "Xmas" game. This is one of the best. You come into work on Xmas day, or stay real late on Xmas eve. Show everyone how work is more important to you than family. That's a real ace in the hole, there. The problem is, there might not be anyone around to actually SEE you, so it might be better just to send emails on Xmas day, as in game #5.

14. The "come in sick" game. Here, you come into work even though you are sick, coughing up a lung, or vomiting, or whatever. You are just too important to stay home, so you make everyone else sick along with you. This move attempts to show, again, just how dedicated you are, but may make enemies as well. If the boss tells you to go home, of course you bring your laptop with you, so you can vomit on it.

15. The "happy hour" game. In this one, all your co-workers are going out after work to happy hour. You, of course, refuse, saying you are too busy and need to stay late. It goes without saying to always say this so the boss can hear you. Even if the boss goes, refuse to go.

16. The "business trip" game. When on a business trip, you must make use of every available free time that you have to do work. That means when waiting to board the plane you must immediately start typing a report. Once on the plane, you must not read a magazine. You must immediately open the laptop and continue typing. You must always be told by the stewardess to close your laptop before taking off, and look annoyed that someone would interrupt your "work". An extension of this is once your on the business trip, you can never go out and sightsee the area. You must go immediately back to the hotel, and you guessed it, starting typing on that laptop. You must constantly check your email. God forbid you would miss responding to an email. Same goes for if co-workers invite you to go out to must refuse, saying you'd rather get back to the hotel and get a head start on tomorrow's agenda. During "breaks" in poster sessions, you must have your laptop handy to check emails, too.

17. The "boast" game. Here you casually slip into conversation to others how hard you work, and how many hours you put in. You use that as an excuse for any mistakes or fuck-ups you've made. For instance if you are talking to an A-typer about comp time, the A-typer would respond, "Well, if I got comp time, I could take off the rest of the year." Or if the A-typer makes a mistake and is called out, they will reply with, "Well, if you worked 80 hours a week, you would be tired and make mistakes too."


Blogger Guin said...

Hey great blog.... as a guy who works for the Canadian version of "Wall Street" we have a nice game to add to your list.

It is the show up at the bar at 10 pm (again because we were working late) and then drink until 3 am. When last call comes around make sure you order 3 beers so you don't run out before they try to kick you out. Attempt to take any remaining beer (Stella of course since they charge more for it) out in the fancy glass they poured it into.

Then cab home and get to bed by 4 am and back up at 5:30 so you can be the first one into the office the next day. Make sure to call people and thank them for the good time... also email works. If the wife calls show them how you push it to ignore on your blackberry (laptops don't work well in the business world!).

2-3x a week or as neccessary works for me. I think I have aged about 7 years in the last 2.

Great post and look forward to seeing slb dragging you out to a couple blogger poker events.

9:27 AM  
Blogger slb159 said...

"gotta head right back up" Hehe
Nice post.

10:36 AM  
Blogger Dip said...

Someone at work just did this one, and I realized that I needed to add it to the list!! It's really a variation of the "boast" game. Here's the rule. When planning work or experiments, to others or to boss, always include nights and weekends in the planning. Like, "oh, i'll come in and get those samples running this weekend", or "i'll make the corrections on that report tonight, so you'll have it first thing tomorrow". You must never attempt to "work around" non-work times.....this is too inefficient and shows a lack of dedication. For instance, if you get samples on Friday afternoon, NEVER say "i'll get those running on Monday". Say instead, "i'll get those on tomorrow and do the analysis on Sunday.", like you have nothing else to do with your time.

3:17 PM  

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