Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Tomorrow at 3:00pm in Uranus...

We have nine conference rooms at my office and through the powers of uncreative thinking and laziness all nine are named after planets in the solar system (well, 8 planets and one very ambitious asteroid which I personally tried to have renamed "The planet formerly known as Pluto" complete with a confusing petroglyph but no one took the bait). Upon moving into the new office last May the cool kids tried very hard to avert this disastrous first step from cool tech company into the land of polite smiles, water cooler chit chat and sensible shoes, but alas, we failed (though the resistance movement has so far been able to sustain our general cool or at least the super charged denial that allows computer nerds the world over to continue to believe that the geeks finally have inherited the earth.).

I might have been able to abide this boring naming structure if even a little bit of effort was made to sensibly assign planets to rooms but sadly the logic used to name each room resides snuggly in a reality where Copernican astronomy never really caught on (who knew my office was located inside the bowls of some fundamentalist church). To recreate this elegant system at your own office simply follow these steps:

  1. The biggest conference room should be called Earth
  2. All other conference rooms should be named in reference to their distance from the center of the universe (aka Earth). (If you don’t have any idea how far a planet is from Earth just remember that both business and science love a creative guess!)

Along with the never ending hilarity of scheduling meetings in Uranus this naming structure leads to such ridiculousness as the smallest conference room being named after Neptune and a pronounced lack of rings around Saturn. This sort of inconsistency is exactly the kind of chaos that causes mild mannered left brained freaks like me to lose their minds.

The company would likely be saddened to know the number of working hours that I have lost to thoughts of how these rooms could be reordered or renamed in a fashion that more accurately represents the actual solar system. But even more distressing is how the influence of this broken system has turned me stupid. Last Wednesday, after wasting at least 10 minutes sitting alone in a conference room waiting for the other meeting attendees to show up, I discovered that my subconscious is so committed to righting this system that it has managed to override both memory and the desire not to look like an idiot in front of my coworkers. For proof of how the company’s disregard for astronomy has lead directly to my social and mental downfall see the following conversation:

Setting: Instant Messenger

Bri: Are we having this damn meeting? Because I’m sitting in Venus all alone.

Coworker: No you’re not.

30 second pause

Bri: oh…. Right… I’m in Mars.

While I was in transit from Mars to Venus (not passing Earth NOR collecting any space dust on the way but it should be noted that while rocketing along I did fall through some sort of wormhole that caused me to briefly fly by Saturn) this little vignette was, of course, read aloud to all meeting attendees. Ok, yes, I have worked in this office for 1.5 years. Yes, I should have completely internalized the conference room locations by now. BUT I was in a meeting in Earth right before the scheduled rendezvous in Venus and I thought to myself “oh, perfect, Venus is right next to Earth, NO PROBLEM.”



Lisa said...

The best/worst part is all the puns you can create with Uranus.

Hilare post, btw

Bill Purdy said...

My elementary school, Cottonwood Creek Elementary in Englewood, CO, named all of the grades / classrooms after national parks (e.g., 6th Grade = Yosemite, 5th = Glacier, 4th = Yellowstone, etc.).

So 1970s.

Anonymous said...

I had a modeling job from PDI last night. They have this Art Studio Space. And a whole list of things you could and could not do in the ASS. Made me think of your Uranus post;)