Watercooler

What you'll be talking about this month when you talk about work.

From the Department of Office Tomfoolery Watercooler loves vapid diversion as much as the next cubicle dweller. But we don't feel the need to stoop to preproduced, wacky "office" nonsense to get people's attention. If you're buying Pimp My Cubicle, out this month from Running Press, or the new line of office-related junk from stationery company Knock Knock (www.knockknock.biz), your desperation to get people to talk to you is more naked than Milton's from Office Space. We know it's awful tempting to put an overworked and underpaid nameplate on your desk, but please, have some self-respect. Of course, in the last half-hour, every visitor to Watercooler world headquarters has felt compelled to mention the Pimp box on our desk, so it's possible that you'll be getting one of these as your birthday "gag" gift from the team in lieu of a cake party.

Speaking of overworked and underpaid Salary.com released its 2005-2006 Job Satisfaction and Retention Survey, and 57.3% of respondents felt they were underpaid. A subset of the oppressed gave Salary.com more info about what they make and what they do, and guess what? Only 18.7% of them were, in fact, underpaid according to Salary.com's data. On the bright side, the other 81.3% were given a desk nameplate that read whiner. The survey is a must-read (although you have to register to download it—that's code for "expect an annoying sales call a couple of days after the download"). Most of it is a confirmation of your HR department's cluelessness about the Prison Break-style plotting taking place inside most companies. Our favorite stat? A raise between 6% and 12.2% cures most workplace ills. That chart may be the most-printed page of 2006…

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