Every time, like clock work, I hear her voice over my shoulder like a shiver inciting spectre, “And don’t forget to update your status on the status board”.
“Thank you Marjorie, yes, I will move my little round blue magnet from the out box and into the in box now that I am in the office.”
Who doesn’t have one of these in his/her office. And of course with anything in an office, someone must be in charge of it (Marjorie). Now, I get the general idea telling someone about being in or out all the way up to the point of having a box and its accompanying magnet. Can you believe that It was actually part of the in brief for new employees? “Remember, when you go out put the circle in the out box and when you are in put it in the in box. Simple, right?”
Now please don’t get me wrong, I am not above telling people where I am or where I am going or when I will return. I do it all the time as we have lost many good people on a simple journey to the toilet. Many good men.
But, me, being the type who gets wrapped around the axle if I sense even a smidge of anyone or thing (like satellites or a drone) following me, and I’ve even been formally consoled on using the board, but still have not gotten my head around it.
So let me try to explain the simple logic:
If I am in, then I put the little blue circular magnet in the in box. (Got it yes, no problem)
The same logic applies if I am out. Little blue circular magnet goes in the out box. (I think you are getting this now).
But this is exactly where the fun starts. Anyone coming to see me and the magnet is in the out box but I am there sitting at my desk in plain view, well, two options exist.
I am in and don’t want to be disturbed
I forgot to move my magnet
This actually creates quite a conundrum. What do you do, disturb the person that clearly doesn’t want to be disturb? Or do you disturb them to find out it was merely an accident an office mis-step? It’s a fifty/fifty chance on that one. Good luck…Now, for the advanced corporate jockey you would immediately look again to see if there are any comments written on the white board portion. Comments like, please come in, or going to the gym when clearly I am not should be seen as open invitations. ( I leave the latter one up there just to show off) However, comments like, stuck doing employee evaluations or report day are a clear signal to leave alone.
What if I am not at my desk and the magnet is in the in box. Should you wait to see if I reappear before your very eyes? Again, two options.
I am in and possibly busy in the toilet
I am out and really out and forgot to move the magnate.
Ugh, what to do now? Well, you usually look around and then ask someone if I am around. Works like a champ as the person tells you exactly what the deal is and where I am and when I am returning or if I have a report to do or something like that.
“Oh, okay,” you say. And you promptly move my magnet into its proper position so others will not have to endure the torture you faced in talking with someone. “I will just place his magnet in the right spot.”
So am I in or am I out. Well, many times I am in but totally out. Can I hear an amen! In fact I would say that the vast majority of time, I am out, regardless of where my magnet may lay. Now, if by complete misfortune and powers beyond our understanding, one of the magnets drops off the board and rolls somewhere never to be heard from again, don’t worry. There is always a surplus of them at the bottom of the board. No one is left without the ability to give his or her status.
And finally, one last parting shot. Is it always absolutely necessary to place a happy face by your name when you go on vacation? No one wants to see that and by the way, I can already see your magnet is in the out box, okay. Good Grief.