Saturday, 5 October 2013

Switching off

Hi, I’m Buddy!  I’m your corporate and spiritual guide, your way to making a better way in the business world, and on the company time and dime too!  I’m loveable, laughable, lickable and likeable.  Well actually I’d prefer it if you didn’t lick me, but if you must.  Uh-huh.  No, you can’t do that again.  No, I don’t believe I taste like bacon.  I said NO!
Ok, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to hit you.  Well that’s a lie, I did mean to hit you, because I don’t want you licking me again, but I didn’t mean to hit you quite so hard, and I had definitely forgotten that I was holding that pencil.  Yes, it’s quite a clean wound so it must have been quite sharp.  Poor you.
Right, I’m here to talk to you about switching off.  HR tell me that you’ve got the hang of it but only in the wrong areas.  You switch off in important meetings and don’t switch computers, lights, or microwaves off.  I don’t know, it’s just on the list they gave me.  Well, I imagine people would get upset if you switched the microwave off while they were using it, but that’s not what you’re being asked to do.  Being awkward isn’t winning you any brownie points you know.  Yes, they know how to switch things off, they’re more advanced than you in that regard and they’re mostly little girls under the age of ten.
Right, let’s do switching on first.  There was a company meeting last Thursday – yes, yes, you were there.  Asleep, visibly, for two-thirds of it.  Well you’re on the video recording they made of the presentation, sat directly in the camera-line, behind the Deputy Managing Director.  No, I can’t show you how to hack the HR pages and remove the video, and I definitely can’t point you at a search engine and this website.  No, no, really, don’t look at that.  I’m not leaving it there.  Definitely not.
You need to stay awake in meetings better, and you can do that by switching off more.  You spend too long in front of the computer screen.  No, that’s not a tan, that’s actually radiation burns from the monitor emissions.  Yes, I was surprised too, it normally takes thirty years for that to show up.  Then I found you have three monitors arranged to surround you.  Then I found your browser history.  No, not that browser, though I found that too.  That was dull.  This browser.  Yes, that one.  You can see from the timestamps that you were in front of those screens for 132 hours last week.  That’s why you’re so tired all the time, and why you’re switching off inappropriately.  You need to switch off appropriately now.
Yes you can, just push the button.  We can do this now as an exercise.  I’ll stand behind you to catch you, and you push the button.  It’s a trust exercise.
Oh I am sorry, you’re supposed to wait for me to tell you to go, not just do it on your own accord.  HR don’t want you developing your independence, just your obedience.  Can you get back up by yourself?  Good, good.  Do you want to try that again?  Well I understand but… yes but… well ok, I see your point.  We’ll try it again next time I come by.
Your phone beeped.  Oh you can look at it.  In fact I insist.  Because I know that it’s receiving the messages that you’d be otherwise seeing on that screen there.  You’re always on, always connected, and you hate the thought that something in here might happen without you.  You don’t have to midwife every bit of data sent through the transmission lines you know.  When Joshi was asked how many bits are in a byte he struck the questioner with a CAT-5 cable and yelled “Moo!”
Actually he was promoted to Senior SysAdmin and given a longer, heavier cable.  Well, because he knew how to handle the user, that’s why.  No, I think unasking the question is something else.  And you’re not awake to hear the questions to be able to unask them, are you?  No, you may not have a CAT-5 cable.  Yes, you may say “Moo” if it makes you happy and keeps you awake.
Well, my fallback plan is to move you on to 18 cups of coffee a day.  Plus caffeine tablets.  Yes, here’s the first three cups, I’ve already dissolved caffeine tablets in each of them.  I bet it does tingle when it goes down!  No, I worry about my health, they’re all for you.

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