The Information Superhallway
STUPIDEST (...upidest ...upidest ...upidest)
(...office ...office ...office)
WORLD!!! (...ORLD! ...ORLD! ...ORLD!)
set-up. I'm working as a receptionist/admin for a wireless
company, which has recently taken over the fourth floor of a new office
building. The place is mostly vacant, many of the forty or so
offices and cubicles on the floor are empty and there's not a whole lot
of furniture. As a matter of fact, I sit at a lunch table in the
lunch table. Remember the tables they had in the cafeteria in
middle-school? Or the kind you see in flea markets? Those
horribly ugly dark brown particle-board things on wobbly metal folding
legs? I sit at one of those.
mention there are forty or so empty offices and cubicles? I
all, the lobby, where a receptionist would normally sit, is completely
empty, and, it being a lobby, it's considerably roomier than a hallway.
Which is where I'm sitting. In a hallway. At a lunch table.
means I spend most of the day wanting to kill myself, and hey! We
haven't even gotten to the stupid part yet!
lobby is empty, the company doesn't want visitors coming up in the
elevator and wandering around the building, which they would have to do
since there is no one in the lobby to greet and/or direct them.
So, and here's where the fun begins, they have it set up so
visitors can't get to the fourth floor of the building without
someone to help them. See, the elevator is locked off, and only
someone with a special magnetic ID card to swipe past the sensor can get
the elevator to go to the fourth floor. Visitors naturally don't
have a magnetic card; I do. So, the procedure is this:
visitors reach the door to the building, where a sign tells them to
press the intercom, which buzzes incredibly loudly at my stupid table in
the hallway, which gives me a fatal heart attack. When I recover,
I press my intercom button, and ask if I can help them. They say
something like "I'm here to see Bob" or "I have a
delivery" or "I'm here about the hyena's penis" or whatever.
It doesn't really matter what they say, because through the
intercom, it sounds like "GZZZKZTTTT HTZTHHZGGHHHTT ZHZTZTHZTZTZ."
They could be saying "I'm here to fix the elevator, because it
keeps plummeting into the basement, killing all the passengers,"
and I'd respond with "I'll be right down in the elevator!"
down I go. I get into the slow-moving elevator, ride it down, go
through the downstairs lobby to the door, let the visitors in, and ride
up in the elevator with them, engaging in awkward conversation and using
my magic card to allow us up to the fourth floor. Most of the
conversation directed at me, I should add, revolves around what a stupid
set-up this is, and it's delivered in a tone that implies it's all my
morning, all I did was ride the elevator, because we had separate visits
from 1) FedEx, 2) Airborne, 3) UPS, 4) USPS, 5) Office Depot, and 6)
about a half-dozen other assorted vendors and visitors.
I can't sit there all day waiting for the intercom to buzz, so what
happens when someone downstairs pushes the button and I'm not at my
table? Does the stupidity fail? Nope! A great deal of
thought, incredibly stupid thought, has been put into this
stupidity, and they came up with this: give the temp a special
pager that will vibrate when the intercom goes off! He can clip
this to his belt and carry it around with him, so no matter where he
goes in the building, if someone needs to be let in, he can run back to
his lunch table and yell into the intercom and then run to the elevator
is about the size of a mass-market copy of Stephen King's bestseller, The
Tommyknockers, and vibrates with enough force to bruise anyone in
the vicinity. It goes off at the same time the intercom buzzer
does, so if I'm at my table, I'm both startled into unconsciousness by
the noisy buzzer, while, at the same time, my pelvis is rattled into
splinters by the pager's vibrations.
So, if you
happen to stop by an office building tomorrow, and you see a miserable
dip sitting at a lunch table in a hallway or dashing towards an elevator
while vibrating so hard he's a blur, that's probably me. Maybe,
and I'm just tossing out ideas here, that instead of using the current
stupid plan, they adopt a new plan, known as the Less Stupid Plan,
where they simply move my ridiculous lunch table into the lobby, unlock
the elevator, deep-six the intercom, and put the pager somewhere it
can't do anyone any harm. Mars, maybe.
suggest this myself, but I've had several fear-induced heart attacks and
all the teeth have been rattled out of my skull, so it would probably
just come out as "GZZZKZTTTT HTZTHHZGGHHHTT ZHZTZTHZTZTZ."