August 20, 2002

Being a Real Sport in

Being a Real Sport in the Workplace," c. Ryan Rhodes, Nov. 15, 2001

Professional athletes really have it made. Besides the fact that athletic stars make more each year than the gross national product of many third world countries, they have the opportunity to play the games they love and refer to it as "going to work."

And, boy, do they have fun at work. Football players, for example, conduct perversely immature dance routines in the end zone after a touchdown, and they get to taunt each other, and, after the game, they get to whoop and holler, conduct interviews, point their fingers in the air and maintain they are "number one," and say "Hi, Mom," on national television. Good times. Lots of fun.

In contrast, I arrive at work at 8 a.m., sit in front of a computer screen for several straight hours, and return home at 5 p.m. Where's the fanfare? I want to whoop and holler and say "Hi, Mom" after a long day's work. It seems only fair. So, here's how I envision an ideal workplace.

At 8 a.m., I want to run through a tunnel with the rest of my co-workers and be greeted on the other side by a throng of scantily clad cheerleaders. Our names would be called and we'd growl and howl and give high fives or slap briefcases together. We'd shout inane blabber like "Let's go get 'em baby!" and "Who wants some?!"

Once in the building, everyone would huddle up and commence with a rigorous round of butt slapping intended to rouse enthusiasm for the tasks at hand. Once our game plan for the day was decided upon, we'd jog to our offices or cubicles and begin vigorously tapping our keyboards and filling out forms.

After successfully completing a task, I'd shout "Who's your daddy?!" and make my rounds from office to office, where I'd give co-workers additional high fives and head butts. For an especially fine piece of work, I would expect to be pig-piled or carried throughout the building on people's shoulders.

Employees would also be encouraged to engage in immature dances, such as "The Paperwork Shuffle" and "Coffee Breakdancing." Hip thrusting and general bodily gyrations would also be allowed. I think announcers would be a particularly nice touch, especially after completing a tough assignment.

"That was an excellent completion by Ryan Rhodes, the three year veteran out of Winona State University. Rhodes has been impressive this year despite his continued problems with injuries, including eye strain and carpal tunnel syndrome."

Razzing and taunting would replace office politics. Instead of manipulative back-stabbing, co-workers would trash talk one another, face to face, and occasionally have to be restrained by others.

"You call that a report!? That's nothing! You're nothing! Your momma was a temp! You want a piece of me?! Huh?! Huh?! Come and get it you low paid pencil pushing geek!? That's right, bring it on you worthless chair warming, coffee swilling, brown noser!?"

Penalties would also be assessed in five, ten, fifteen, and twenty minute additions to the work day. Referees could penalize workers for coming in late, sleeping at their desks, taking extra pens, taking excessive coffee or bathroom breaks, or simply slacking off without bothering to disguise their inaction.

Trading office cards and playing Fantasy Workplace would be the passion of the outside world.

Workdays would conclude with even more high fives, butt slaps, head butts, handshakes, and, of course, dousing the boss with five gallons of Gatorade. Office workers would be revered and frequently interviewed following a rigorous workday, at which time they would spew forth meaningless and canned statements that would be lapped up eagerly by the press.

"We knew going in that it was going to be a tough day," said Rhodes, the sweat dripping from his brow, and his muscles clearly defined beneath his Men's Wearhouse sport coat. "But we're a solid office team and we don't back down from a challenge. We just take it one day at a time and give it 100 percent when the time comes. We know our jobs and we go out and do them, and we'll be back out there tomorrow doing the same. Hi, Mom."

Posted by Ryan at August 20, 2002 12:34 AM
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