Monday, June 9, 2008

Darn the office

After a truly terrible day at work - the kind when the half hour you spend rerouted in traffic has you thinking you should just turn around and go home and that's the highlight of the day -and for that matter WHY decide to wait until Monday morning to repave one lane of a busy intersection that I'd really like to turn into you assholes? Can't you see I have places to go? What about my needs? Why didn't I have coffee this morning? Could I have handled it then?
A highlight followed by a full day of people demanding things that you just can't do for them within the 30 second window they'd really really like it in...a day where I actually made a half-assed attempt at meditation and being all "mindful" during lunch (mostly in an effort to get my blood pressure down). When I got home I decided to pop in a DVD and watch a couple episodes of "The Office."

I've only season the first US season, and none of the BBC version (Blasphemer, I know) but I will say that I think it's perfectly fine that people find it to be a very universal experience. My office is JUST as painfully awkward as Dunder-Mifflin... I'd like to think I'm a Jim and not a Dwight... but it sure feels real. Much like the staff at Dunder, I think I'd kill for some cubicle walls just to have a break from the bull-pen.

Truth is, it's so spot on (and I've heard this is even more the case in the Beeb version) that I'm not sure it's funny sometimes. I mean, it's funny but it's also so spot on that you're a little shamed to have to admit you get the joke. We certainly have events of having to sit in painful silence while someone in authority says something that... well, they might think it's funny. We've totally had events like the "Dundie" awards and seminars just as painful as the one they have on "Sexual Harassment."

Is this a good thing? If we all have this incredibly awkward office experience I'd start to wonder what the point of it is. The only one I can come up with is the fact that the Mortgage comes due every 30 days, so something had better be coming in.

Worse off, I think my office has a good smattering of the extra-morbid weirdness of Lars Von Trier's "The Kingdom" (yes, watch me drop the show-off knowledge).

If you haven't seen The Kingdom, check it out. It's pretty marvelous and truly creepy, but if you don't want to listen to Danish and read subtitles, at least get the Stephen King version, "Kingdom Hospital." (Wonderful in it's own way, but a different creature). From the painful tortures of the blow-hard doctor (really, that's probably who I am) to the weirdly knowledgeable employees with Downs Syndrome (they're the heart of the house), I think that oddly doomed vibe applies to my workplace, too. Our daily parking absurdities at work certainly straddles both shows.

Maybe I'll just put up a cat poster and pickled fetus in a jar and have it both ways at work.

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