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better living through t.p.s. reports

by antwon at 10:19 PM on March 25, 2002

So my place of employment has been on a bit of a morale-boosting kick as of late. Which is kind of nice, I suppose. What with folks like me being apt to fret about "Q1 revenues" this and "potential wage freeze" that, it's probably for the best to have a coordinated attempt to keep us from pondering such matters too deeply. Gotta be cheaper than recomping us for Valium prescriptions, anyway.

One of the latest ideas implemented in our War Against Woe was a company-wide accrual of peer feedback. Essentially, some Power That Be would circulate a mystical sheet of paper amongst the co-workers with whom you most closely work; said co-workers would then write up anonymous paragraphs about how you were stupendously outgoing, generous to a fault, freely giving of your time, magnificent in the sack, etc.

How did you know that your peers were going to think so highly of you? Why, by official edict, of course! Since this exercise was about "morale building" and not "informing Bob in Accounting of the bitter blood feud he has initiated by stealing my goddamn Lean Pockets from the kitchenette," it was requested that you leave only glowing and positive contributions about your fellow officemate. Which, as one might expect, led directly to heartfelt revelations roughly on par with high school yearbook signings. ("Boy, for having such a long commute, Tim sure is punctual! Stay cool & have a good summer Tim!!!! XOXO marissa")

Anyhow, once this information had been assembled, we had a happy little get-together and as a group, tried to divine who was being lauded from any given page of accolades— you know, so that everybody could hear for themselves about all the awe-inspiring things you ostensibly did. Some folks were pegged within a sentence or two, instantly associated with some big-name product feature or endearingly quirky anecdote; others took a little more prompting for the rest of us to clue in. But kitschy though the event may have been, goshdarnit, it was kind of harmoniously uplifting.

'Course, then came the reading of my sheet. "Oh, OK, here's another puzzler, one without too many details for y'all. 'Hard working.' 'A real team player.' 'Eager to please.' 'Adapts well to change.' 'Undaunted by looming tasks.'" And so on and so forth. You get the picture. In short, a long string of platitudes completely devoid of any concrete examples of do-goodery. "Boy howdy, Antwon!" the statement intonated. "You are far and away one of the most crushingly boring individuals whom we have ever had on the roster here at our fine organization!"

Not that I think it's a particularly inaccurate statement or anything. I don't go out on Friday night beer bashes with the guys. I haven't attended a weekend barbecue commemorating so-and-so's housewarming or such-and-such little-known holiday. Even sticking with primarily work-themed activities, I haven't done anything especially showy or high-profile: I've been assigned low-visibility tasks that I've quietly performed with workmanlike efficiency. My solitary claim to fame is that I rolled with the punches in the face of high-churn task-thrashing and reorganizational whirlwinds. Clearly, I am the dullest employee ever to be brought forth into creation during this modern day and age.

So their analysis was starkly accurate... but not really the sort of thing I much wanted to hear, and certainly not the sort of thing I would use to spur me towards new motivational heights. Morale-boosting activity indeed....

Which is, of course, why I spent the last twenty minutes on the clock, sitting here in my cubicle and telling the good folks of Bad Samaritan about all my worldly woes. I'll design my own morale-boosting little schemes, thankyouverymuch. And hey, I feel better already. :-)

comments (9)


U R sooo funny! Don't change!



by Shar at March 26, 2002 4:42 PM

Wow, reminds me of where I work!

I don't participate in any of the social gatherings either, because it's just another way to suck up to the directors.

Also, I've noticed that everywhere I work...there's Cake or some form of baked goods that people have to constantly be eating and talking about instead of doing their actual job...Why is this?

Anyhow, I found your post amusing, because it relates so much to my current posistion, and it reminds me of the movie 'Office Space', which I as an IT Professional live my life through everyday.

Nice piece of work man. ;)

by Justin Garfield at July 22, 2002 6:56 AM

What is a T.P.S. report?

by Just Curious at January 27, 2003 1:12 AM

what does TPS stand for?
I need to know!

by at May 10, 2003 9:23 PM

Please ref this link to access the .pdf of the Initech TPS report cover sheet.


by locum at May 16, 2003 12:21 AM

Naw... TPS Reports is from "Office Space". Go rent it.

Here is a definition:

If I wanted to have a pissing contest - which I generally do - I would say I am even more boring than you. =)

by Naw Jaw at October 28, 2003 4:41 PM

Hey, anybody seen my Swingline stapler?



by Milton at April 18, 2005 4:25 PM

Uh yeah Milton, I have your Stapler, and I'm keeping it as compensation for burning down the workplace.....oh yeah YOU'RE FIRED TOO!!

by Bill Lumberg at July 14, 2005 6:15 PM

Yeah. It's just that we're putting new coversheets on all the TPS reports *before* they go out now. So if you could just remember to do that from now on, that'd be great. All right!

by Bill Lunbergh at January 24, 2006 12:11 AM

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