Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Does Anybody Actually Work Anymore?

It must be so great for our huge population of unemployed and underemployed citizens to watch one commercial after another featuring people sitting in big offices searching for new ways to avoid doing anything to actually earn their paychecks.

This time, we've got a pretty decent crowd of slackers who have decided that lunch break didn't quite cut it, and it's time for an impromptu taco party- because while Americans are the World's Most Productive, Most Innovative Workers (I heard this on Fox and in the State of the Union Address, so you know it's true,) hey, tacos are tacos. Naturally, everybody learned about the taco party through an email sent to their cell phones (I'm not sure why this is morally superior to using interoffice memos- ok, so you aren't stealing company material, just company time?)

One ugly dick who for some reason strikes me as their boss (I don't know why) gets his panties in a wad because he thinks his employees are snubbing him. You see, he's got some lame-ass phone, which was probably state of the art way back in November but is now So Very Yesterday that it took him an extra two and a half minutes to get the Taco Party memo (and get this: it's not just that the employees are told of a taco party. The announcement has to include cute graphics. Is there an App for that? Or is this still MORE time stolen from the company?)

Suddenly exposed as technologically backwards rather than merely unpopular, Presumed Boss Guy- who just committed what used to be a horrible faux pas but nowadays is probably just par for the course in the age of Tweet Every Non-Thought that Pops into your Witless Skull- is reduced to an embarressed giggle and half-audible "yeah...." Too much to ask that he just APOLOGIZE for jumping to conclusions and- more grievously- upsetting workplace cohesion by creating a wall of tension between two employees. I mean, that just wouldn't be as "funny," would it?

Meanwhile, if television is being honest with me, there seems to be two very distinct groups of Americans. There's the group that is unemployed or underemployed- frustrated, angry, desperate. Then there's the group that collects a paycheck by sitting around offices watching, talking about vacations they are about to save big money on thanks to Priceline, setting up screens so they can watch The Big Game and drink beer, and eating tacos. When the second group gets bored, they head off to coffee shops and restaurants to talk about insurance and rag on fellow "employees" who are trying to save money by brown-bagging it. The two groups have one thing in common: Neither is doing any actual work.

I'd love to see a parody of these ads, in which the great mass of people sitting around offices dicking around gets thrown out on their collective butts, and their jobs are handed to the currently unemployed. Hey guys, the next Taco Party is scheduled for 1 PM. The location? The dumpster behind the local KFC/Taco Bell franchise.

Don't forget to invite that guy you called a creep.


  1. "You invited Eric? I thought Eric gave you the creeps."

    No one is going to say that about a co-worker who's standing right in front of him, to other co-workers, knowing that they all will continue to be co-workers after the tacos are gone.

  2. The last real-out-of-the-house job I had ended in 2008 (it began in 2007, so yeah). We were required (and our boss made sure of it) to take two fifteen minute breaks a day and at least an hour for lunch (we did half hour lunches so we could leave a half hour early- boss didn't mind that either).

    But during those fifteen minute breaks, I was stuck with sitting in the break area with the other employee who was just one of the worst humans ever.

    And we never had tacos. I feel ripped off.

    Oh, and I had no cell phone service inside the building... hey, wait a minute! They probably had taco parties and no one ever showed up because none of us had cell service inside the building.

  3. Assume not that the doofus is a boss. No employee would tell a boss that another employee gave him the creeps. That is a coworker.
    Also: For Verizon, mission accomplished. You blogged about it. There is buzz about it.
    Finally, I have been un- and underemployed, and did not react the same way you have. I had chilly flashbacks to times very much like these in my own corporate past. I think the creatives' humorous exaggeration was close the mark in that way!