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2:07 p.m. - 2004-10-06
51 E-mails Later....
Just a brief rant….

Close your eyes, and let's travel back in time to my college years. I did competitive speech and debate, and we had a very opinionated team with widely divergent food preferences…one vegetarian, one who wouldn't eat veggies…you get the idea. Deciding where to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner (we traveled out of town extensively) was very similar to World War III. At one point, we agreed that we would pick restaurants before we left. Well, we did. Then, we get to a tournament, no one wants to eat where we decided, and our coach, in utter frustration, starts screaming that "WE'RE EATING AT WENDY'S DAMMIT." (That is what had been agreed upon earlier in the week.)

What is the point of this story, you ask? Well, group decisions still pretty much suck donkey balls, and the degree of suck increases exponentially with each additional person involved.

For those of you who are not aware, Boss's Day is October 16th. At my office, we pretty much like our bosses. So, at 8:30 this morning, the e-mails about what we're going to do about Boss's Day start. As of this writing, I have received 51 e-mails regarding this momentous decision.

My office is huge. There are about 40 people just on my floor, and there are just as many on each of three other floors. We have e-mail groups for staff, part of the staff, part of our floor, all of our floor…well, let's just say our IT guys aren't taking care of bidness, because the people upstairs got e-mails we intended for just our floor. So everyone has pretty much put in their two cents. In an effort to stop the insanity and reach a decision, a woman in the office next door sent around an e-mail with a definitive proposal:

From: CDP

Sent: Wednesday, October 06, 2004 9:39 AM

To: Five


After reading all of the e-mails this morning, some of us discussed how obscenely complicated this whole Boss's Day thing is getting. We think that the little folks on five should be doing their own's the proposal.

I've called [Spa Name Withheld], and they offer a head-to-toe, hour-long massage for $71.00 (this includes tax). If everyone on 5 contributes $6, that will enable us to purchase a massage for [Direct Supervisor], [Office Administrator] and [Trainer], plus a card for each of them.

Anyone who wants to is still free to participate in the breakfast/lunch/whatever activities upstairs.

Please let me know if you agree with this proposal. If the majority of us do agree, please have your money to MNC no later than next Wednesday, October 13th as she will take care of purchasing the gift certificates. Thanks!, CDP

This sparked another 20 e-mails, none of which agreed about any proposal on the table. Finally, in desperation, I sent this:

From: GoingLoopy

Sent: Wednesday, October 06, 2004 11:36 AM

To: Five

Subject: RE:

...because [CDP] heard that was a really good spa, and we didn't necessarily think they would go during the day....

I think the point of this e-mail was to see if we could actually make a decision and stop with all the e-mails flying around (and ending up making the actual decision at the last minute) was not to try and make anyone feel left out or obligated. It just seems like we've spent all morning back and forth with everyone upstairs and downstairs and everyone disagrees and everyone wants to do something different for different people. [CDP] was just trying to sort of streamline the process a little.

I think, at least at our end of the hall, we're fine with whatever. This was just a suggestion. If everyone wants to do something else, fine, but let's just get it done already....this shouldn't be this complicated.

Of course, there is still no decision, but someone e-mailed me back and said that she thought it was decided when the first e-mail was sent at 8:30 this morning?!?

One final point, and then I will stop my bitching and do some actual work. On Secretaries' Day (or Administrative Professionals' Day, or whatever the fuck stupid politically correct term they've renamed it this year), everyone on the staff gets a thank you card, $50, and a two-hour lunch. Therefore, why can't we just chip in and get some Visa gift cards or something easy? Why we got to be spreading dissension about massages and flowers and candy and cooking breakfast for the whole office?

Maybe the people in our office are just not busy enough.



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