From Britain comes the story of a new ordinance which will not allow workers at the Health and Safety Office to move their own furniture, even if only to rearrange it slightly for a staff meeting. Employees must contact professionals to come in and move their furniture for them, and signs warn them against touching anything. The Labor Party rep for the area called it “health and safety gone mad.” (http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_2270736.html?menu=)
I say it’s about time. We’re all just drones, working our butts off to make the rent, so why not start delegating some tasks to make us feel important? It increases morale, makes those of us that are peons feel like they have someone to boss around, and the extra red tape creates jobs for more bean counters. Once again, the Brits have pioneered something that will probably soon reach our shores. And I say bravo. Let’s start budgeting for a whole bunch of new jobs to take the pressure off the rank and file:
THE LUNCH INFORMER – Stands just outside the boss’s office and tells him when you’re going to lunch. Saves you the effort of talking to someone you loath.
ELEVATOR FLOOR PUSHER – Waits in the hallway by the elevator, pushes the “Up” or “Down” button for you. Higher salary paid to those who can hum pleasantly while waiting for the elevator to arrive.
PHONE PICKER-UPPER – Waits by your phone. When it rings, he or she picks it up and hands it to you. Saves you the effort of moving, which increases your stamina, which increases your effectiveness as an employee. At least that’s how they sold it at the stockholder’s meeting.
TONER REPLACER – Perhaps the most vital of all newly created jobs, this is a person dedicated to replacing the toner in the copier, never leaving the machine’s side. You may fall in love with this person, so exercise caution.
PAPER JAM FIXER – Same as above, only with paper jams. Forget love, you will lust after this sexy beast.
GREETER – Much like at Wal-Mart, a blue-vested man or woman in their golden years stands by the door as you arrive each morning, saying “how was your weekend?” or “do anything fun last night?” Downside is that unlike at Wal-Mart, you’re kind of obligated to stop and talk to them.
I’m sure you can think of lots of other inconsequential jobs that could help make your workplace less, well, work-intensive. And we have the Brits to thank for it. So far, they’ve given us Bob Hope, the Beatles, Kate Winslet and American Idol. But we’ll forgive them for Bob Hope.