Work Like a Dog

“Ladies and gentlemen,” Darcy called. “You know what day it is?”

“Pancake day?” Wyatt asked.

“Taco day?” Leslie said, his voice hopeful.

“Pay day, finally?” Melody said, bitterness in her voice.

“None of the above!” Darcy said, her smile wide. “It’s Work Like a Dog Day!”

Everyone groaned, and looked around.

“Can we get out of it?” asked Leslie.

“Nope! So, on the floor everyone, and no more words! Barking only!”

“Boss, I really don’t think this is as beneficial as – ”

“No more arguments! Ruff ruff!” Darcy lowered herself to the floor and started to crawl around on all fours.

The rest of the office sighed, and started moving their monitors down.

Memorandum

Dear Employees,

In light of recent events, all further communication will now be done via memo.

Please remember that, when a customer enters the sales area, clothing is not optional. All human rights complaints regarding freedom of expression and freedom of religion remain pending, and until they are resolved, clothing is required.

Please ensure that your desktop workstations are used only for work. Any employee caught self-pleasuring or purchasing video games through online retailers will be chastised once, then fired. Please check your contracts; it’s in there.

Please remember that no pets are allowed on premises, especially avian pets.

All those who are concerned about air quality are welcome to get it tested; we have vetted the possibilities, and will pay for air testing through McCormick’s Air. All concerns about conflict of interest can be directed to HR.

Finally, please keep in mind that we share the air. Those employees coming to work with Ebola are encouraged to use their sick days, receiving forty percent of their pay for staying home.

Thank you. All complaints about this or future memos will be ignored.

Sincerely,

The Management

Back to Work

A break is never long enough, and never really break-y enough.

Everyone remembers when life was better in their youth. And to be fair, school breaks are always trying the limits of everyone’s mind and patience. But as soon as adulthood hits, the breaks become too short, not rejuvenating enough. Exhausting.

Tommy was sitting in work, having just returned from vacation. His eyes were sunken, his mind weary. He had had just enough time off to little the moral numbness recede, but not long enough for to be truly rested. Now he sat, staring at his computer, unable to bring himself to even press the on button.

“Heeeeey Tommy,” Dale said, standing above him with a cup of coffee.

“Oh, hey boss. What’s up?” Tommy said, his voice void of enthusiasm.

“Oh, not much. How was the vacation?”

“It was great. I took a trip to Nova Scotia, saw some lovely sites, and spent three days in a cabin in the woods just reading. I woke up every day to the birds singing. It was fantastic.”

“Sounds wonderful. So listen, we’ve had a bit of a re-organization while you were out, so you’ll be taking over Janine and Chris’s work while they transfer over to finance.”

“Oh, okay. Who’s going to handle the McLaren and Johnson file?”

“You will be. It’ll be a bit of juggling for a bit, but it shouldn’t really mean much more work for you, not to worry. I’ll have the files moved to your desk but this afternoon, okay?”

Tommy’s eyes had glazed over, processing this.

“Okay, Tommy?”

“Oh, yes, sorry boss. Sounds fine.”

“Here, let me get the computer for you,” Dale leaned forward and pressed the power button. The computer chirped it’s faux-happy start-up sound as Dale walked off, leaving Tommy to stare a thousand miles away.

Pi Time

Carlie looked down at her watch. 3:13. On more minute.

The second hand was ticking away, currently on the 2. Then one dot later. And another. And another. And another.

Carlie looked up at her screen, then back down. It was nearing the 4. Almost there. And it was! She smiled. Getting closer.

She looked back at her screen and typed away. She needed to get her report done, her boss had been after her for the past two hours. But still, this was too important.

Looking down, the second hand was on the 11. So close, she had almost missed it. She waited. Tick. Tick. Tick.

And there it was! Pi time, on pi day. She let a little cheer out, then started working again.

Then the thought occurred to her: I should have celebrated earlier, probably at 1:59. And maybe at 1:59 and 26 seconds. Really, though, 2015 would have been the best time.

Still, she was pleased with her victory, and though she knew her coworkers wouldn’t appreciate it, she still smiled at them.

Panic on the Workfloor

“PANIC,” Doug shouted through the workspace. He stood up at his computer threw his papers in the air, and started to run. He ran around his desk, then around the whole work pod, then over toward the windows. He ran to his boss’s office, pounded on the door, then ran off to his boss’s boss’s door and pounded there.

People started to look up from their computers, taking out their headphones, wondering what was up. Doug kept running.

“PANIC PANIC PANIC,” he shouted as he ran, flying past HR and down the hallway to IT. He stopped at the end of the door, shouted, “PANIC,” then ran back.

By now, people were returning to their computers. Doug ran around for a few more minutes, shouting and grabbing peoples’ shoulders. They looked at him, nodded, and kept working.

Finally he settled down, and returned to his seat. He set his alarm for an hour and a half, ready to get people up and going again.

Compliment

Edwin looked up from his computer.

“Edwin, compliment me,” Mark commanded.

“Um. You’re ugly, stupid, and just a bit boring.”

“What?” Mark said. “I asked for a compliment, you ass.”

“That’s about the best I can do, Mark. And that is a compliment, as far as I’m concerned. You should hear I was I really think of you.”

Mark sighed aloud and walked away, angry.

Retirement

When Eldon retired the first time, everyone gathered round, cheered for him, drank to his health, and offered their best wishes.

When Eldon retired the second time, everyone gathered round, a little uncertain; they drank to his health, gave him a fancy watch, and joked about this one really going to take.

When Eldon retired the third time, a smaller crowd gathered, drinking to his health and making jokes about how the third time would be a charm, and hadn’t he gotten enough of their goodwill already?

Eldon was unable to retire a fourth time, as he was laid off during the company’s downsizing. Everyone was surprised when their pension fund collapsed, though Eldon had been warning about the difficulties in accessing the funds for years.

Eldon got a new job at a fast food restaurant, and hated the last few years of his life, but at least he was alive.

Office Morale

Jean walked into work, and everything stopped.

The people all sitting at their desks, typing and toiling away, looked up and stared. The manager came out of his office, and his jaw dropped.

“Jean, what are you doing?” the manager said.

“Just coming in to work, boss,” Jean said. He smiled, raised a hand to scratch his nose, and looked around. “Anything the matter?”

“You, uh…you have a plunger on your head, Jean.”

“Huh? Oh, this ol’ thing?” Jean said, reaching up to the wooden handle and twanging it. “It’s just a good bit of fun, boss! Helps keep things light, we’ve had a tough few weeks.”

“Yeah, but it’s not very professional, Jean. I’m going to have to ask you to remove it while you’re here.”

Jean sighed, then reached up. With an audible shluck, the plunger came off his head, leaving a red ring around his baldness.

“Thanks Jean. Happy working,” the manager said, and walked away.

The office returned to what it was doing, and Jean sat at his desk, a little defeated.

Traditional Work

Greg inherited his job from his father, who had inherited it from his father before him, and so on back for several hundred years.

Greg was, perhaps, the last in a long line. For few, these days, respected the noble post of cat herder.

Cats did not herd themselves. But with modern techniques in animal husbandry, and a recent trend towards purely domestic cats, Greg was at risk of losing his position.

Still, there were some cats in need of herding. The government helped protect the historic traditions, and Greg would have work until he died, unless some conservative schlepp gained power and decided to shut it all down. The National Cat Herding Society was small but mighty, though, and it would take a lot to get rid of them.

Some people still needed a well-herded cat. Some people just liked to see the herders out in their bright red head-stockings, their thick pants and plaid shirts, their long, hooked staffs.

Greg dressed the part, and made sure to do his bit for the society, attending town meetings and festivals, bringing a few of his prized herd wherever he went.

But his son wanted to move to the city, try something new. The day his boy mentioned dog breeding, Greg was devastated, knew his late wife would have wept and wept, but Greg held himself together and nodded. The boy left for urban climes, and Greg continued to herd.

And the day a young lad asked him how he did it, Greg knew he had found an heir.

Feeling Bugged

Palmira took her sandwich from the fridge. She opened the container, lifted it, and immediately dropped it again.

“Ahh!” she shouted.

“What’s up?” Ara asked.

“Bugs!” Palmira threw the lid on top and pressed down, making sure nothing escaped.

“What?! Where?”

“In my sandwich! Ew! Gross!”

“Oh God, in your sandwich!”

“Yes! How did that happen?”

“I don’t know!

The door opened, and Duncan popped his head in. “Hey ladies. Anyone feeling…bugged?”

“DUNCAN?!” Palmira yelled. “Did you put bugs in my sandwich?”

“Haha! It’s great, so funny!”

“Fuck you, you ruined my sandwich!”

“It’s just a prank, Palmira, here’s a replacement,” he tossed one from the door and quickly left. They could hear him laughing in the hall.

Palmira threw both sandwiches in the garbage and stormed out, heading for her manager’s office.