“Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you.” – Joseph Heller
The office work week is hard. But when someone at work is out to get you, every day is even more difficult. Is someone out to get you? Or are you just being paranoid? Is there any difference? Here are 15 signs to help you figure it out.
1. Have you noticed that your cube is a little unsteady? That your cube walls (and your walls alone) are covered in something resembling burlap that rips at your clothes like Velcro? Your cubicle walls were obviously designed to collapse on you Indiana Jones style without warning. The person who designed your office space looks innocent enough with their samples of fabric and laminate. But those cube walls may have been set up on a booby track system designed to crush you on a random Tuesday. The walls may quite literally close in on you. Remote work is the only safe zone.
2. Are your work plans are being sabotaged? If you are sent to visit Bill in Accounting and once you get there, no one knows who that is and even worse, your accounting services are outsourced or in a different building; someone is out to get you. While you are gone on this wild Bill chase, your lunch disappears and Susan gets the promotion. Bill you once, shame on Bill. Bill you twice, shame on you.
3. Are people in the office planting ideas in your head? When they say the company is going under and your job is in jeopardy, don’t believe them. You will know for sure as new employees arrive and your furniture is taken to auction. Until then, hang on. Believe no one. Even news organizations reporting massive stock drops and your CEO being indicted are in on the lies.
4. Who is the chirpy woman who brings around celebration cards while asking for money and your signature? Watch out for that woman. When you just want her to leave your office, she will slip you a sympathy card and tell you to sign “Happy Birthday!”. She may also be secretly pocketing the money and making you look cheap as well as insensitive.
5. Is there a secret microphone by the water cooler? This is the place you should be the most careful. It is easy to plant a microphone where everyone gathers. Your coworkers may actually be a double agent spiriting away secrets once a week with that empty water bottle.
6. Why is it that around 3:00 PM, you feel your eyes getting heavy? Everyone says that is because you ate four Snickers bars and drank three Cokes at lunch. What do they know? No one knows for sure that sleeping gases aren’t being released through the A/C vents at 3:00 PM to reduce your productivity. No one knows if someone slipped an Ambien in your third Coke.
7. Are the clocks in the office set to the correct time? Do not rely on office clocks. Or time clocks. For obvious reasons. Everyone else leaves early. Everyone else is still getting paid for a full eight hours. You might be able to count on the town square clock but only until time travelers destroy it with lightning.
8. Why does the food you place in the office refrigerator disappear almost immediately? Avoid this refrigerator all costs. Keep any food on your person at all times. In a fanny pack if necessary. Add an alarm to your lunch bag.
9. The entire office does not have the third Monday in October off.
10. Why does your boss know when exactly when you don’t have the answer? Ever noticed that if you don’t know the answer in an important meeting, your boss will call on you expecting you to have a PowerPoint and full financial report to answer his questions?
11. Why does no one ever poop at the office? They are obviously all cyborgs. Or everyone has had a colostomy. Examine all suspect Snickers bars closely.
12. It is not called Taco Wednesday. Taco Wednesday is a cruel joke when you don’t bring your lunch because you think there will be tacos in the office conference room.
13. Are the Help Desk guys are only there to help themselves to your files? If Word has been updated and you can’t remember your password, someone has accessed your files without asking.
14. “Bring your kid to work day” is just another way to bring spies to the office. That cute kid? They are taking notes in their composition notebook to share with your boss. They are also stealing the good stuff from the candy jar on your desk.
15. Is the pigeon on the roof a company carrier pigeon that sends reports on your productivity to headquarters three times a day? Come to think of it: it may even be Susan’s pet pigeon. You signed a birthday card for the pigeon and donated $5 for pigeon cake. The pigeon must be dealt with. After you prop up your cube with 2×4’s. And stick your sandwich down your pants.