Doing our best to give HR job security.

16 Mar

Yesterday morning I was showing a colleague a piece of corporate swag I had received at an event. It was a rubber watch made in the style of those “Silly Bandz” or “Slapz” things that are popular with kids these days.

Don’t know what I’m talking about? First, thanks for making me feel better for actually knowing what these things are. I feel much less grandma-esque now. Second, for your edification: they are rubber watches that are straight and rigid until you hit them on something – then they curve and wrap around it.

Hence this watch looks kind of like a ruler until you smack it on your wrist – then it curves and becomes a bracelet around your wrist. Get it?

Anyway, as I showed it to my colleague, she said, “Awesome! I love this.”

And then, seeing it go from curled to straight, about a beat later she exclaimed, “It’s like a little orange penis!”

At this point, she happened to realize she had SPOKEN OUT LOUD and that we were not the only people in the office. In fact, the person closest to us was a guy, separated only by a cubicle wall, left to his own imagination to figure out what we were talking about. She collapsed into a puddle of embarrassment on her desk.

This reminded me of another time – YEARS ago – when I worked in a small office with a handful of people. We had someone in for an interview, and she was seated at the front of the office, unable to see any of the staff because of their cubicle partitions.

Someone’s chair caught under a desk and made a horrible squawking noise, much like a fart. From my vantage point, I saw the woman look up, confused, clearly wondering if someone had just busted ass. To address it, I hollered across to my colleague, “Sara! I think you need to adjust your chair. The way it just caught on your desk made it sound like it’s a bit gassy!”

Sara looked at me, mouth agape. I continued with the interview and sent the person on her merry way. Afterward, I explained to Sara what I had been trying to do. “I just didn’t want her to think someone had actually just farted in the office,” I told her.

She started laughing. Apparently, that is EXACTLY what had happened. Someone (not Sara) HAD ACTUALLY FARTED and I thought it was a chair. In my suave attempt to offer an explanation to the talent, I had unwittingly called someone out on their flatulence.

The moral of the story? Cubicles are tools of the devil, designed not to offer employees privacy, but to trick them into THINKING they have privacy, only to ultimately embarrass them. Let’s take a stand: down with cubes.

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One Response to “Doing our best to give HR job security.”

  1. Sharon Strauss March 16, 2011 at 4:43 pm #

    HILARIOUS. Keep it up with the 12 year old humor. You’re adding much needed laughter in my day!

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