Category: Work

Playing Office Monopoly 1

Playing Office

Are you working. Or are you playing office? There are an awful lot of office workers out there who “play office”, like a little kid imitating her parents. This is a subtle and pernicious...

Environmental Sign 3

Workplace Adventures: Door-to-Door

One summer, just before I started college, I got a job for an environmental lobbying firm. I’ve always had a bit of an activist streak, from grade school to college. So if I could...

Creativity flourishes in the worst environments, like a dandelion in poison 4

Subtle Foe of Creativity

The subtle foe of creativity Drowns us in banality. Endless meetings and pointless emails, Mindless procedures and operations. A delicate idea that barely exists Can be crushed with great ease. Bureaucracy kills all innovation,...

Yellowstone Office Park 2

Hidden Sights in an Office Park

The other day I took a walk. After a tough morning, I needed to get out of the office. I grabbed an apple and started walking around the little office park where my building...

Playing Office Monopoly 2

Improv at the Workplace

In improvisational comedy (“improv”), the cardinal rule is “yes and”. Each comedian on stage builds on the previous performer’s idea. Using this method, you can take any simple situation and turn it in to...

Office Space II: Revenge of the Mondays 2

Workplace Adventures: Mistakes and TPS Reports

There’s a telling scene in the movie Office Space, where the boss chews Peter Gibbons out for not put the proper coversheet on his TPS report. A moment later, a second boss comes along...

Canned Music 5

Workplace Adventures: Canned Music

My least favorite thing about working retail was the canned music. At the first store I worked at, they played the same music every two hours. Every two hours. The same thing on a...

Late Night Doughnuts 4

Workplace Adventures: Overnight Shift

I got to the store and clocked in. Then I checked the bulletin board. There was a new schedule posted. It looked pretty normal, except for Saturday. That night, I was scheduled to work...

That Book by Some Guy 2

Workplace Adventures: Oprah’s Book Club

For 15 years, Oprah Winfrey ran a “book club” on her show, where she promoted several books a year. In addition, she often had authors on her show promoting other books. Working at a...

M&Ms 5

Candy from Strangers

We had problems in the Academic Assembly. Many problems, in fact. It was student government, after all. We were there to solve problems. But we couldn’t seem to solve our biggest problem of all:...