Nov 7, 2006

Challenges in the Workplace

...but not related to work.

I have to make a skit. Stop snickering. It's a skit that is going to be put on video and shown at our upcoming 40th Anniversary Gala Event. Interestingly, it came to be my particular honor to compose and direct this skit (jointly with another person at work) because one of the PR people decided that we were the two "funny" ones in the Philadelphia office and therefore we should prepare some kind of spoof or satirical treatment and have it shown on video next month at the big soiree.

Now, this is kind of a setup for failure. There are at least three hundred employees in several cities, the majority of whom I don't know. We don't share any common stories, and only 50-60 of them work in my office in Philadelphia. I've worked for the firm for four years, but since I work in a satellite office, I'm not even up on all the injokes and funny bits of the main office. And what's a skit if not full of inside jokes and specific humor? Hmm.

Another thing is that the other guy who is doing this with me is not who I would have chosen to be on my comedy-writing team. I mean, I don't think he's funny. And I don't think he thinks I'm funny (yeh, I know, weird but true). Have you ever had the experience of trying to work with someone on a humorous skit, and you suggest something and they look at you blankly, and then they say something and you try to conceal your displeasure, and it goes back and forth like that? Uggh, it's been awful.

Anyway, I am going to take charge and write it however I want based on out earlier discussions. But I need help. I think the basic premise is ok if not the most original, and this thing has to be ready to tape on Thursday! Help me with funny ideas!

40th Anniversary Gala Skit

Basic premise: Spoof of The Office, but we incorporate some elements of spoofing other shows within that context. Other shows to spoof: Lost, Office Space (the movie), the Geico ad with the caveman, etc…

The logo of The Office appears in the lower left-hand corner throughout the show.

Starts with me insisting that I can't go to the office lunch meeting because I have to stay at my desk and punch in the NUMBERS. If I don't punch in the numbers, something terrible will happen, so I just have to stay and punch in the numbers.

Then there's some more office nonsense akin to the TPS reports thing from Office Space.

Then some things specific to our work, which you couldn't be expected to help with.

But, you CAN help with more universal stuff! If you had to write some kind of humorous parody of YOUR office, what would you do?

Seriously. I'm becoming despondent.


Blogger capella opined...

Clearly you should devote the skit to mocking whoever chose you to write it, or possibly the entire PR department. Everyone will be amused, even if they don't get it, and the person being mocked can't complain because s/he was the one who gave you this impossible task.

1:14 PM  
Anonymous intern Kristen opined...


Some things universal in offices:

-the guy who always falls asleep at his desk after lunch. And snores. And acts like he was reading what he had spread in front of him when you ask him a question and wake him up.
-the person who's way too dressed down on casual Fridays--did you forget to bring work clothes to the gym this morning?
-the insane boss- oh so many delightful possibilities
-fun with the coffee machine/water cooler/microwave/vending machine. There's at least one possessed appliance in every office.
-how no one ever takes the last piece of ____ on the kitchen table becuase no one wants to be the one to have to clean up, so everyone starts cutting smaller and smaller pieces until there's one tiny bite left that no one touches.

Specific to architecture, everyone can always laugh about the fun had in the printing center when the printing center person goes home and the lowly designers are left to fend for themselves when loading toner or paper after hours. Also fun are the more painful vendor presenations given at lunchtime. You could have fun with the militant feminist who insists architecture is not a boys club, and then mock the boys' boy who insists it is.

Don't forget to remind everyone how much greater the Philly office is than the others, particularly in athletic matters like softball.

What's up with the coffee mug policy? I like the blue logos! I think we should be allowed to keep blue logo mugs in circulation!

3:09 PM  
Blogger Bob V opined...

There may be some things related to office etiquette. Refrigerator space is an example of the tragedy of the commons. Is it ok to use someone else's condiments? Can you throw away something that has been there the last 7 weeks? Shared equipment of any sort brings up these kind of issues.

You can also try to think of administrative tasks that take time and everyone has to do. You can usually make some kind of joke about how stupid it is (by sometimes ignoring that they are needed.)

Oh, and how are evaluations done in your company? You can probably make fun of that for being less than perfect.

If all else fails, you can refer to Dilbert for inspiration.

4:27 PM  
Blogger hilsbells opined...

just in case you haven't run across this - i would check it out. it could be the outtake of a crazy office episode, or just a completely cringe worthy expose. maybe it's the lyrics or the emotive singing style, but it's just so wrong it's good.

and considering you sing and play guitar, this might be doable. if you can stomach it.

5:19 PM  
Blogger amanda bee opined...

Thanks for nothing Hilary. I think I might be scarred for life.

Don't do that, Dubin. Unless you can get those guys to perform. Do those guys work in your office?

6:32 PM  
Blogger nonblogger opined...

one thing my boss does, and has done since day one. i'm guessing it's soemthing he picked up at the GSD in the 80's. it is referring to a really cool/excellent/briliant idea/rendering/sketch/model as "SEXY".
perhaps it's just me, or maybe you have a similar "old married, albiet very nice, guy" as your boss and it's totally wierd whenever they exhibit anything carnal like that.
i've gotten used to it now but for the first few years it over-sexualized all of my drawings and models. there was a finely contrived line (in myhead) between good work and pornography.

7:28 PM  
Blogger amanda bee opined...

I changed my mind. Do that, what Hilary says. You could go all Borat on your coworkers, tell them it is going to be a tiny part of a montage or something.

10:09 PM  
Blogger Dubin opined...

Thanks, guys! You really made an effort to help! Especially Intern Kristen, who actually made, like, a bulleted list!

12:14 AM  

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