This week, New York magazine has a big section on Office Life: A Survival Manual. And it's depressing. Not only are there photographs of what the offices of Martha Stewart (clean), Paul Rudnick (kinda gothic-bohemian) and Mayor Bloomberg (bullpen, baby) look like, but there are stories that explain why your office works the way it does. Like, apparently, the boss has to be a jerk. And there are some solutions to office problems—who knew throwing a tantrum might be helpful (just don't break stuff)? Also, there's a guide to the kinds of creatures in your office, for instance, the person who will never be fired:
The Endangered Species
Behavioral trait: Petulance that must be tolerated because the perpetrator possesses a unique skill. Akin to owls around which entire forests must be maintained.
How to eradicate the menace: Put your trust in the market. A replacement will come along soon enough, offering what economists call “the marginal value of not being an utter tool.”
Well, it's up to you if you want to trust the market, but a safer bet is trying to prove that the species isn't so endangered. Like there is another person out there who can do PowerPoint presentations from your boss's handwritten chicken scratch!
All this made us wonder what are some awkward and/or awful office scenarios that you have faced? After an informal survey, some that seem to resonate are the problems with being pressured by the office as a whole (join the knitting group! eat this birthday cake! no!) or face ostracizing, and anything having to do with your boss (screaming arguments with the spouse—office door open, of course; their love life that their spouses don't know about; etc.).