Monday, March 17, 2008

This Is War!

A few entries ago I mentioned how the company I work for make decisions in a rather questionable manner. At best they can be labeled as murky. At worst they're fucking illogical and irresponsible. I believe I used the term 'mind boggling'.

Unless you're CEO or owner of your own company, I'm sure many of have felt the same way about our employers. I usually just laugh, shake my head and get on with my day when it comes to most of these decisions, but this latest one has taken on a rather personal nature.

Allow me to explain.

Not to give away too much information about myself, but my job consists of taking care of the technical side of my company. To put things simply, I am the computer guy for the entire northeast region. Just me. Nobody else. There's more to it than that, but in the interest of getting to the point, we'll leave it at that.

The beauty of my job is security. I am it. Nobody here can do what I do, shows any interest in what I do, and basically doesn't have any idea WHAT I do on a day to day basis. Officially I work out of our Boston branch, but I am a national employee. My boss is in another city and I don't have to answer to any of the big wigs here on too many occasions. I work with the other people here, not for them; if that makes sense.

Anyway, due to me knowing nearly all the inner workings of our office (including passwords to all systems, the firings and hirings before anyone else, handling the system security, and processing and storing all the really, really expensive equipment) it's imperative that I have one of the only locking offices and maintain my privacy. Offices that lock are three: mine, the Operations Manager who handles all the HR stuff, and the Office Manager who handles all the financial stuff. I'm in elite company. For perhaps the only time in my life.

About 18 months ago, I was forced to move offices from one floor to another. I did so even though it meant losing my view to Boston Harbor and my new office strangely included a second desk. At the time I thought 'what the fuck?' but that's a normal thought I have when working. To make sure things between me and the Ops Manager were level, I stressed that even though I have a second desk I can NOT have someone sharing an office with me.

Response was 'Oh, no, we wouldn't do that!'

Yeah, well, late last week I learned that they really would do that and have told me to clear things out because I'll be having a new office mate soon. I have built up an intimidating supply of equipment on secondary desk just to prevent the idea of putting someone in here with me a possibility. It's bordering on 'unsafe' at this point and there is the very real possiblity of being crushed to death when the pile of shit decides it's defying the laws of physics to be still upright.

In response to this request I sent an email to the powers that be stressing that the agreement for me moving was the promise of privacy and security. Their response was basically 'Tough shit, there is no place else to put him'. Granted there is limited space in our local office, but it's not like they didn't have years to find places to expand or move. In fact, since I've been here (6 + years, now) they've been 'planning' on moving us to new space so we can all be together. Currently we're on 3 different floors.

Oh, and did I mention we're a real estate company that specializes in finding commercial space? Yeah, so you'd think we would be able to find ourselves some decent rates considering we know basically everybody in the industry.

But I digress....

When I got the response back, I heard Bugs Bunny in my head (again!): 'Of course you know, this means war!'

And war it is. I will clear out the desk to look like a good soldier, but I have a battle plan in place to drive new hire out within a month or at the very least make them move people around so I have my own office again.

They have no idea what they've started.

Below are my ideas to make this new hire's life miserable. Word has it he has a home office, so the blue print is going on the assumption it will take no longer than two weeks to get him to realize his home office is his only office.

Details from Operation Repel New Hire:

Subtle Phase:

- Playing music constantly. No difference here as I do that anyway. Just nobody to appreciate it.

- All telephone conversations will be on speaker phone with volume up as high as it will go.

- Waiting three rings before answering calls. Again, ring volume up to max.

- Coming and going from office constantly. He will be sitting by door, so it will make things annoying in a general, harmless way.

- Make sure I have steady stream of visitors. This is also business as usual for me, but I want to amp it up a bit. I'm also concerned that visitors will decrease if there is a douchebag sitting in here with me. That would make two douchebags in one office, but at least I'm douchy in a cool, funny way.

- Random, useless equipment 'accidentally' left in his way. This shouldn't be difficult at all.

- Replaying the same voice mail endlessly like I can't figure out what the caller is trying to say.

Not So Subtle Phase: This will include all of the above but add...

- Eating a stinky lunch at my desk every day. Chinese or Thai food usually does the trick.

- Taking my shoes off while in my office. I'll make sure I walk to work every day and maybe wear the sneakers I ran with that morning. The socks, too!

- Make a playlist with all of the most offensive songs I can find. Believe me, I have a lot. These would include 'Fuck a dog' by Blink-182, 'Sucker' by Peeping Tom, and 'Lapdance' by NERD.

The All Out Assault Phase: All of the above plus...

- Daily, unnecessary conference calls on speaker phone.

- Cease showering and wearing deodorant.

- Changing clothes in the office at least twice a day.

- Eating ungodly amounts of garlic for dinner the night before. I want it oozing out my skin when I show up in the morning.

- Drinkfests at least once a week. I want to create that hideous, beer is coming out of my pores, hangover stench.

- Drinkfest with garlic ('The Toxic Avenger').

- Simply stare at new hire - unblinking and unmoving - for long periods of time.

- Chair sabotage. When he sits in his seat he might go flipping over backwards, he might not move an inch, it might be normal, it might be rigged to send him through the wall, it might collapse to the floor. Not knowing will be the ultimate torture.

- Random, incoherent mutterings. Things like 'That motherfucker!' or 'If I had my gun with me...' should be sufficient. The key is to say it quick and under your breath, thus making proof difficult.

- Rubber bands and paperclips. Someone's losing an eye.

- Loud, excessive farting and burping. Believe me when I tell you this will be his undoing.

I also have another level that involves making the lives of everyone else in the office miserable. This includes including myself in every and all conference calls I can, then reserving a conference room to call in. I need my privacy, after all.

As a last resort, I'll be working from home as often as possible. Or taking three hour lunches. Or inviting everyone to my office for beer o'clock. Or slapping the back of new hire's head every time I walk past him.

I should also note that if this new hire turns out to be a smoking hot chick, then all bets are off.

In fact, I may enjoy this new arrangement.

Today's distraction: 5 tips on how to deal with difficult relationships at work. Oddly, 'Waging War on Offending Party in Effort to Make Him Dread Coming To The Office' isn't listed. Pussies!


Anonymous said...

Careful, beachbum! I WAS in a similar situation at my LAST job, only to find out that the company had decided to "outsource" all of it's IT requirements. The rationalization was that they would not only save space now used for storing equipment, they would also NOT have to depend upon "just one employee".

Companies are not in the business of losing a "war" such as the one you propose. I used to think that, like you, since I was the ONLY person who could resolve ANY technical issues, that I was "indispensable". Dream on!

Oh, and tread lightly!

(I would have used my actual "tag", but I choose to remain....)

BeachBum said...

Yeah, I've had similar thoughts since posting this. However, this is basically a war on the local branch, though and not on the national and they have no say on whether I get outsourced or not. That would be a national decision, not theirs.

Also, I've been thinking that taking my animosity out on the new hire isn't fair to the guy (or gal). That won't stop me, of course, but I might feel a bit guilty.

Anonymous said...

If you feel that your position is secure, then GO FOR IT! I'm sure that what you propose would drive any "normal" person out. Keep us posted as to the outcome of this "war".