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THE ZOO OFFICE

by Ivanka
Last Update  On January 31, 2012
Life is a sitcom and we're all losers. That's what Shakespeare would say in the 21st century while working on his next TV hit, which by the way contains product placement. After a long day at work the latest version of Homo sapiens switches to couch potato mode and likes to watch something funny on TV, like a 20-minute show about people who constantly get into comic situations. The more they screw up, the funnier it gets till the morning after when you wake up in their shoes. Your personal life is a total mess, you haven't figured out your future yet, you eat junk and act stupid, not to mention you have to go to work. That's where you'll spend most of your day, year and life in-between brainstorming, team building and office parties while Corporate scoops up a great deal of your insurance, charges you for the sick leaves, changes your holiday plans and tries fooling you with non-cash bonuses like discount coupons for stores you never shop in, beads or a second-hand bubble gum.

The Office

Snowflakes are unique but offices are all the same. Furniture has unfriendly edgy shape or is as twisted as science fiction. The general idea is to make it stickable in every corner. Light is mostly artificial, gets reflected in the PC screen and hits you right in the eyes. Air conditioning is cheap and badly placed, so that someone gets blow dried and the rest keep freezing. Its basic functions are dust sneezing and stimulation of the virus-exchange among co-workers.

The Boss

The office is his second home, not to say the prior. At home he's probably a lonely bachelor or a henpecked husband, i.e. nobody. At work he's something else. For he's the boss, which nobody can deny. Everyone has to laugh at his jokes, fulfill his wishes and tiptoe anywhere near him. In the office the world goes around him, at least while he's in the room.

But that's another fairy tale where the king is naked. You can hardly be friends with the man who decides how much money you make. Good news is he doesn't want to be real friends with you but simply to act like it. He knows too well that apart from the fancy car and the dressed up women waiting in line for him, and beneath the expensive suit and perfume he's just as much of a loser as his least significant employee. The difference is he has the power to make people suck up to him and the money to buy high-tech gadgets to pet his ego.

The Divas

They are the office nymphs. They get together in small gangs, strut along, strike poses and sound tweety when they actually mean to hiss like snakes. They're generally considered beautiful but what really defines them are high heels plus hair and makeup that don't take less than 40 minutes. They majored in some humanitarian subject and are currently working on their master degree in something, they have a boyfriend but also have something going on at work, feed on muesli, graze salads and smoke slims. They work in PR, marketing, branding, consulting, project management, customer support, public administration or business development. The mall is their temple.

The Worker Bees

In every office there's a beehive where pots get filled with honey on a production line. That's where the buzz of the worker bees comes from. Their appearance may vary but they definitely have the aura of major nerds. They do the most boring and inevitable job. They process the data and manufacture the product the company's selling. There's usually one mother bee reporting directly to the beekeeper and that's all the hierarchy there is. There are no career growth opportunities because if everybody starts growing the beehive would explode. The worker bees never dip fingers in the honey they make. They're fed on cheese sticks and crackers and unlike divas they rarely get corporate extras like party invitations, tickets, discount flayers, gifts from clients or any merchandize. They often skip lunch and work late. They do sting but normally only get to do it once and then their stamina dies out. It's worth seeing though because it's surprisingly dramatic, mostly for the bee, but sometimes for the stung one also.

The Playas from the Sales Department

They can't keep their mouth shut, act yuppie-like and hit on absolutely every female co-worker. They're totally in love with all the latest technology, especially if it has a fruit-shaped logo. Divas are crazy about them because they suit up and enjoy babbling. They're the cocks in the hen-house walking around as if they own the place or lay golden eggs. If they fail to close some deal though, their comb goes down pretty fast.

The Silent IT Crowd

The Lords of mice work in a slightly different genre - not exactly a sitcom but rather a sitcomp because they hardly get off the computer. These are the people with real power in the office but they tend to be a little anti-social, so they gave the floor to the boss. They know how to enter any computer and trace the entire information in the office - mails, files, chat history. They can even project the desktop of any employee on their own screen and watch what he's doing in real time: chatting and watching videos at work, mails to clients, siphoning company information, practicing some online piracy. They know so much and yet every time you ask them something, all they have to say is “Have you tried turning it off and on again?”

The Secretary/ Receptionist/ Personal Assistant to the CEO

She's not free but at least she's a butterfly. She's all pretty flying around the boss and treating him like a flower. She makes him coffee, sandwiches and reservations. She answers boring e-mails for him and when somebody calls and he doesn't want to talk to them, she says he's not there. She's not allowed to take a break before he leaves the building. Her work hours are very flexible and if so is she, it's considered an advantage.

The Trainees

Of course slavery is not outdated. It's actually a very adequate business practice in times of an economic crisis. If you're looking for cheap labor force and OK with occasional failures, trainees are just what you need. You can squeeze out their fresh ideas and assign them the boring work you'd gladly avoid plus some monkey tasks as gluing marks on envelops, folding invitations, tying ribbons, etc.

The Witches

That's what divas become when they grow old but are yet too young to retire. They can't live with the fact they don't catch anybody's eye anymore and take it out on everyone who still does. They spy on you and talk behind your back. They're touchy and hold grudges. If you passed them by caught up in some thoughts of yours, they claim you did it on purpose and were rude enough to not even say hi. If they ask you to run some errands for them and for some stupid reason you say no, consider yourself stigmatized.

The News Agency

He or she, most probably she, does some job that requires interaction with all departments. It could be a secretary, an administrator, a coordinator, a cleaning lady. That person goes around, hears everything and is too generous to keep it to him/herself. If there's something he/she doesn't know about, it's simply never happened.

The One-man Show

If you tie this person's hands right, you can pull this off on any level in the company. Someone does the job of three people and gets paid as much as one. Scientists believe this is the missing link between the man and the robot.
Any resemblance to real persons is not coincidental but purely inevitable.
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