Thursday, September 8, 2011

Degrees of urgency

You know where this is from, right?
The other day at work I was faced with the filing of some essential paperwork and received some help from the assistant of the office. As I had basically finished filling out the forms but felt a bit confused on the urgency level as I was faced with three options: "standard", "speedy" and "urgent" written on the form to cross one in. As I asked the assistant for advice the conversation went something like this:

Salaryman: (slightly puzzled) Hey, for this, what level of urgency should I pick? It's not that urgent, but it can't take forever either?
Assistant: (cheery) Mark "urgent", we always do that since they never get to it otherwise.
Salaryman: (slightly hesitant) You do that? But isn't there a risk that other more really urgent stuff gets delayed then...?
Assistant:(still cheery) Everyone always do "urgent" so it just gets done in the order it comes in.
Salaryman:(feeling the pull of the corporate void) Oh, I see, maybe they should divide "urgent" into "urgent", "very urgent" and "extremely urgent" then instead?
Assistant:(thoughtful) Hmmm... Maybe that would be good actually.
Salaryman: (getting into it) Yeah, and then they can just remove all the options except the urgent ones since no one uses it anyway
Assistant: (thinking deeper) Yes, we could do that since it's no point to keep the other options
Salaryman: (pleased with myself as the lunacy trap is set) Yeah, exactly, and when there's only the three urgent left they could be renamed to "standard", "speedy" and "urgent" instead!
Assistant: (looking confused) No? That would not work as there is only one degree of urgent then?
Salaryman: (deciding that enough is enough) Yeah, you're right, didn't think of that, how stupid of me! I'll just check urgent then!

Always nice with some good 'ol fashioned corporate insanity! 

8 comments:

Chris said...

"Salaryman: (slightly hesitant) You do that? But isn't there a risk that other more really urgent stuff gets delayed then...?"

If you had said this to me I woulda said..

"Dude...you see my name on the letterhead?...just mark it urgent and move along"
;)

mid-Japan-crisis said...

This sounds exactly like my work place.
It reminds me of the trains.
Express.
Semi-express.
普通...

Momotaro said...

Hehe, having a bit of fun with things like that is the key to keeping your sanity, I chuckled a bit reading it.

wakanai said...

Spinal Tap!
http://www.wakanai.net/greatsongs :)

BiggerInJapan said...

and on we go, keeping our sanity intact. Or our insanity unchecked. You decide which box to check.

Mr. Salaryman said...

Chris - You're right, I should have gone with "it's not urgent at all, but it's me and should take the top priority anyway for obvious reasons"!

MJC - Yep, I can see how this would infect a lot of companies... But hey, would you really take a train that said "slow train" ;)

Momotaro - I chucked a bit inside during the conversation as well, I have to take my enjoyment where I can ;)

Wakanai - Yep! Gold star for you! Spinal Tap indeed!

BiJ - To quote the Joker of Batman fame from "The Killing Joke" - "reality? No, I have found that it interfere with the hallucinations"

jlpt2kyu said...

The volume on the BBC iPlayer application also goes up to 11. Now that is something that makes be proud to be British :)

Salaryman, just grin and smile, it is the only way to survive the void.

Or to use a great quote I once heard:

"Never argue with an idiot. Tthey will drag you down to their level then beat you with experience"

Mr. Salaryman said...

"Never argue with an idiot. Tthey will drag you down to their level then beat you with experience"

Yep, I dragged her down and beat her up with it pretty good ;)

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