Friday, March 14, 2008

The two ronnies would be proud.

My goodness, it's been a bloody long time since I've been here and done the update dance. But never mind, with any luck it'll all be a little more frequent from now.

Now, down to the meat and potatoes of this all. I know I whine a lot about my workplace, and frankly, I think every last syllable is completely founded. However, I've often been quick to pigeonhole the generally shitty behaviour of my colleagues and other floor-occupants as being a by-product of working within a male-dominated IT department. Having a chat to Fandango Jones about this however, seemed to raise some contradictions. He works in what can be loosely described as an IT department (the games industry), it's extremely male dominated, but his workmates by and large don't pull the boorish wank mine do here.

Here, innuendo flies around. Everyone is extremely conscious about looking extremely cool at any given moment. You need to lock your workstation when you go to the toilet, lest someone comes along and uses your MSN account to send "I AM TEH GAY!" to everyone on your contact list. If you're really lucky, you'll find that someone has done the same thing, except via SMS to every person in your mobiles' address book. But there are other, far more serious and professional people around here, who do not behave like that. They wear suits and ties and attend lots of important meetings. They also seem to like saying things such as "Fwoar!" as loudly as possible when attractive young women get out of the elevator, and of course, to trying to be as charming as a ferret in a tophat the remainder of the time, leaving a long, stinking trail of smug behind them. Oh, and of course also taunting people who are clearly straight, by calling them gay.

But as a small aside, I need to share a little story with you. Last week I experienced an excellent, if unwitting example of cock humour; Two people I'm yet to introduce you to, Gandalf, and his girlfriend Poncho, wandered into a pub where we were meeting for delightful evening of dinner and trivia. Now this pair are a notoriously hungry couple, and will bicker and squabble, and probably attack you with a bloodied, rusty razor if they ever suspected you might be withholding some kind of cheesecake from them. But I digress - they arrived, and they were hungry.

Gandalf immediately sourced a menu, and Poncho began babbling incessantly about food. In particular, meat. "I want some meat!" she declared, pulling up a chair. "I've been wanting meat all week, and Gandalf keeps denying me my meat! I just want a big hot piece of meat, Gandalf! Tonight I'm going to have meat whether you like it or not!". Gandalf went a superb shade of red in the face and studied his menu just that little bit more intently, and Fandango Jones, well he could be found, face pink, looking like he was about to explode and wildly gesticulating in silent excitement.

See, now that is good cock humour.

What isn't good cock-humour, however, is what the not so charming top-hatted ferrets around the office were disgracing themselves with today. Our office did the worlds greatest shave dealio, and as such, there were large clusters of already very short haired men having their heads shaved, and behaving as if they were taking a bullet for their flag or some shit. Some of them were even bravely munching on hot cross buns. The womenfolk gathered 'round, and served plates of hot cross buns to the awaiting manly masses, and cleaned the dishes, and put away chairs, and did lots more of that domestic stuff you'd expect from 80K-plus-per-annum earning IT executives. I steeled myself, scavenged a couple of the tasty buns and found a perch behind a laughing pack of pinstriped hyenas.

It soon became obvious that the woman wielding the clippers at this point didn't really know what she was doing with them. I imagine in ordinary circumstances, someone would've either told her how to turn them on, or would have come and demonstrated this themselves. Instead, our delightful coworkers started yelling out such helpful advice as "give it a good stroke Marg, that'll get it going!" and the equally nauseating offering of "You need to wait until it's vibrating and then stick it in... his hair". Amazingly, the response to these downright retarded comments was not the slap in the face you'd expect, or a good(but not really) natured zinger back at them, but instead was raucous laughter from their peers, closely followed by lots more little pieces of clipper-penis innuendo.

Now, putting aside the rather strange association of a pair of hair clippers to a cock - because frankly, I can't see that being a good idea in anyones language - what on earth were they thinking? What are they thinking, in fact? It's not like these comments came as any surprise to me - they come up equally stupid comments/gestures/general behaviour on a daily basis. But what I can't get my head around is why on earth makes they think it's appropriate for the fucking workplace? Not only is it a crime against humour, but it's also incredibly insulting to the women, and the marginally more domesticated men who also have to work here (including the "I AM TEH GAY!" messagers). I'd say they should take this sort of behaviour to the pub with them, but I'm fairly sure that's downright inappropriate too unless you're an AFL player.

There's something about these business IT types - people working in what are essentially highly paid administrative roles - that makes you feel a little ill. Individually, they're probably relatively nice people (well, for Howard voters anyway) - but you stick them together in a room under the influence of a hot cross bun, and it very quickly degenerates into a well dressed pissing content, complete with prominently displayed boys club aspirations. They may as well be walking around in the office wearing shirts with I HAVE A DICK printed across the chest, with an arrow pointing toward their crotch. Or perhaps more accurately, towards their heads.

God, what a horrible place. But you know what workplace full of IT people I'll bet isn't horrible? The Google office! Now there's a place with class! Everyone there clearly knows that they're geeks, and embrace it! Instead of standing around in suspenders trying to make wise cracks about breast sizes, these people are far too busy playing on their engineer-designed slide. Or perhaps, having mature discussions (or at least discussions about the latest release date for Smash Bros Brawl) in their igloo themed meeting rooms. Alternately, they may be playing on the fireman poles they have set up between floors. See, if you set up fireman poles here, our stupid gits would be forever trying to make women pole dance with them. In the google office (the land of kittens and rainbows) they would simply think it, and keep their thoughts to themselves, instead of forming a roving pack to dig out some recruits.

Anyhow - this is far too much typing for one person on a Friday afternoon, so I'm going to go and get some lunch and consider the benefits of trapping the office. If you have any suggestions, I of course suggest you leave them on the comments board.



ss said...

I say trapping the office is the best idea ever. If they are so intent on proving how non-geeky/macho they are, what better proving ground than in a workplace that's out to kill them?

The donuts left in the breakroom with anthrax icing is probably a little too obvious. How about a stapler with a little bit of uranium-235 in the top with the staples, and a little plutonium-239 in the base. Then leave on some asshole's desk and wait for the excitement! Pow!

I'd also be very impressed if you can construct that awesome log trap from the end of predator out of office chairs and cat5. I'll buy you a slab of tasty if you do :D

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