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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Chicken Soup for the Office Worker’s Soul

The first day Andy came to work, he saw a 17-inch screen sitting on his desk, and there were no speakers, and his mouse had no scrollwheel. But Andy made it through the day anyway, checking up on his email and performing other mundane office tasks.

When Andy returned home, he told his wife of his work day. “What,” his wife uttered, “You don’t have a scrollwheel, and a big screen? You must tell your boss, and request better equipment!”

The next day at work, Andy knocked on the boss’s office door. When the boss invited him in, Andy in quiet voice told the boss that he would need better equipment to become more effective at work. “I need a mouse with a scrollwheel, and speakers, and a 19-inch screen,” he said. His boss nodded, said “Makes sense!” and made sure that Andy would receive all that. When Andy returned to his desk after lunch, he found his desktop equipped with a larger screen, a better mouse, and hi-quality stereo speakers.

When Andy returned home, his wife was already waiting to hear Andy’s story. After Andy finished, his wife frowned, and said, “But you still don’t have an ergonomic keyboard and comfy chair... this is impossible!”

The next morning, Andy knocked on his boss’s office door again, and made another request for better equipment. “I need a comfortable chair so I can sit and work in a relaxed manner... and I need a keyboard that will cater to my hand’s comfort.” The boss looked at Andy and said, “Makes sense.” And thus, an hour later when Andy returned to his desk, he found a new chair and keyboard in place.

Returning home that day, Andy found his wife away, but she left a note: “If you got all the new stuff we talked about, also ask for a raise and your own office.”

Hence the next day, Andy knocked at his boss’s door once more, and requested a raise and his own office room. “Because my work is excellent, and I need to fully concentrate while typing.” His boss looked at him for some seconds, and nodded, once more, and said, “Makes sense Andy!” And a little while later, Andy moved his computer, chair, keyboard and mouse and everything else to his new room, free from much of the surrounding noises of his former cubicle.

And Andy was quite happy about the state of things as they were. And after a hard day’s work, he returned home, and his wife was already awaiting him. After Andy told her the day’s events, she gave him a long, hard stare; “Why,” she said, “you have a high income, your own office, an excellent chair and everything... you should be boss!”

Andy was briefly worried but found the logic to be irrefutable, and the next morning at work, he knocked on his boss’s door. “Boss,” he said, “to be an even more effective worker, I think I should be boss.” And Andy’s boss looked at Andy with a puzzled face for a moment, and then replied, “You’re fired.” And when Andy returned to his old office room a while later, he found his computer, chair, mouse and everything else gone, and to this day, Andy is really happy all that happened because in the end he didn’t like this office work all that much anyway because of the constant deadlines and headaches and shouting and everything and he’s now running a successful but undemanding business selling flowers at a little shop.

[The end, with thanks to the Grimm Brothers.]


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