18 Appropriate Punishments for People Who Don’t Keep Their Calendars Up to Date

Congratulations! You found that one-hour block in the next two weeks when everyone’s calendar is open. You send the meeting invite only to have Ben decline.

“I’m actually out of the office that day,” he says. “Could you find another time?”

But Ben, you wonder, how will I find another time if your calendar bears no relation to your actual availability? Here are some appropriate ways to punish Ben and colleagues like him who don’t keep their calendar up to date.

1. Removal from the office food email list
Are there leftover bagels from the Accounting staff meeting? Yes, but Ben will never know.

2. Switch the regular and decaf coffee pots
Everyone else reaches for the orange pot this week while Ben yawns his way through his caffeine headaches.

3. Adjust Ben’s calendar from Eastern Standard to Yakutsk Time
He’ll arrive promptly to any meetings in central Russia!

4. Switch to past tense whenever discussing him, especially if he’s in earshot
“Oh yeah, Ben, he worked in Marketing didn’t he? Never really saw him in the office much though.”

5. Change the language for his keyboard

Switching to French is classic, but the Turkish keyboard is just similar enough to confuse him for days.

6. Move Ben’s desk photos to other areas of the office
His wife’s portrait now lives on the CEO’s desk and his snapshot of Sir-Barks-A-Lot is above the copier. It’ll be a great icebreaker at the holiday party!

7. Sign Ben up for every newsletter you can find
He’ll get updates on everything from the local bakery’s daily scone selection to the tour dates of a hard core punk band he’s never heard of.

8. Invite him to a conference call that’s just hold music
Ideally it will be Chumbawamba’s “Tubthumping” on loop.

9. Add new family photos to his desk
“What do you mean these aren’t your kids? You’ve been talking about Kimmy’s game-winning home run all month!”

10. Unscrew the light above his cubicle just a little
Ben will have to check the Facilities Team’s calendar to see when they’re available to stop the flickering.

11. Host remote control helicopter races around his cubicle
It just happens to be the area with the most open air. Management did say they wanted you to embrace your creativity!

12. Re-label his lunch in the office fridge
No, this isn’t Ben’s Low-fat Mango Greek yogurt. It’s Benita’s.

13. Hold his coffee mug hostage
Send ransom notes scrawled on printouts of Ben’s Outlook calendar.

14. Add spoilers for his favorite TV shows to your meeting invitations
Location: Conference Room also Tyrion Lannister dies by ice dragon

15. Start a rumor that his cubicle is haunted
Follow up by shivering every time you walk by and asking about the old woman who works on his computer during his lunch breaks. Bonus points if you leave messages from her on his voicemail.

16. Relegation to the worst seat in the conference room
You know the one, where you can’t pull your chair in all the way and have to crane your neck to see the presentation slides. Make sure it’s the only open seat when Ben walks in.

17. Respond to all his emails with “New phone, who dis?”
At a certain point he’ll have to respect your commitment to the bit.

18. Everyone meets without him
No matter what his ego says, Ben isn’t that important.

About the author

Laura Chanoux

Laura Chanoux is a writer who is usually keeping an eye out for small dogs. Her work has also appeared on the Billfold, the Belladonna Comedy, and Chicago Literati, among other places.

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