jump to navigation

Workplace Role: The “Fogey” June 5, 2007

Posted by pointyhead in humor, life of a chogey, pictures, signs you are a chogey, work sucks.
1 comment so far

fogey.jpg

The fluorescent lights flicker, tentatively crackling at first, but then sputtering into full brilliance. The gentle humming marks and pale, color-draining light marks the beginning of the day in our office ecosystem.

There is little activity as most of the workplace dwellers are either still asleep, strengthening their bodies in vain preparation for challenging the Alpha, or securing precious caffeine to heighten their senses against ruthless predators.

The workplace is not completely devoid of life, however. A lone inhabitant leisurely plods through the cube mazes with a confidence (or apathy) that has been earned by years of tracking the patterns of smarter, faster, and stronger office dwellers. This hulking beast, clad in too-tight shirts, polyester pants, and clip-on ties, is the “Fogey”.

The “Fogey” is an interesting chogey sub-class and an enigma to science. By all measurable traits, the “Fogey” is the easiest prey in the office. They are typically overweight, plodding, and frequently announce their position with hacks, snorts, and other sundry expulsions. And yet, the “Fogey” is defined by their age and tenure in the office. There are two prevailing theories as to the survivability of the “Fogey”.

The Tainted Mojo Theory: This theory states that the office predators (especially the “Evil Oppressors”) avoid the “Fogey” out of fear that its taint of failure and mediocrity will somehow be transferred to them if they come into contact. Evil Oppressors typically use lower-ranking members of its pack (i.e. middle management) to isolate “Fogeys” through assigning menial tasks that preclude any interaction with others. This theory also explains the origin of Accounting/Finance. This theory is the most widely accepted…with the only opposition coming from those in Accounting/Finance.

The No-Mercy Theory: Another popular theory is that office predators consider taking down a “Fogey” as an act of mercy. While not as popular as the Tainted Mojo Theory, this theory has some compelling supporting evidence. First, it is universally accepted that office predators (especially Evil Oppressors) are not only completely devoid of mercy, but often go to great lengths in tormenting their prey over an extended period of time. Further, the “Fogey”‘s torment is usually spread out over years and by several predators. This theory suggests that the “Fogey” torment is almost an heirloom or birthright passed down several generations of Evil Oppressors. This theory is certainly worthy of more study.

While research into the survivability of the “Fogey” is making progress, little is known about the early lives of “Fogeys”. It is known that “Fogeys” evolve from another chogey sub-class…but no one has been able to map this evolution with any accuracy. Until more is know, ALL chogeys must be vigilant against getting on the road to fogeydom.

Advertisements

Workplace Role: The “Bogey” May 27, 2007

Posted by pointyhead in humor, life of a chogey, Rules of Chogeyness, signs you are a chogey, work sucks.
add a comment

target.jpg
The modern day office is a complex ecosystem that is home to both prey and predator. Management struts with impunity through the Cubicle Plains with few threats…while Chogeys cower and group together in a desperate attempt to keep their ilk sheltered from the frequent attacks against their ranks. Much like the mercats of the African Serengeti, Chogeys have specialized in order to ensure the long term survivability of the breed. The first Chogey sub-class we will explore is the “Bogey”.

Description: The primary role of the “Bogey” is to distract management attention away from the activities of the pack. While the root causes elude scientists, Bogeys typically receive immediate attention by Predatorial Management upon introduction to the environment. Common characteristics include an inability to use PowerPoint effectively, fix “PC LOAD LETTER” errors, or remember the difference between Venti Skim Machiatos and Double-Shot Grande Lattes.

Regardless of the source of their problems, the bumblings of Bogeys allow other Chogeys to focus on their work within the community. The lifespan of a Bogey is comparatively brief…but their sacrifice is crucial for the survival of The Pack.

Essential Friday Gear: Beer Goggles May 25, 2007

Posted by pointyhead in humor, life of a chogey, pictures, Uncategorized.
3 comments

beer_goggles3.jpg

This guy has taken Beer Goggles from “concept” to “reality”. I’m thinking Nobel Prize…
beer-goggles.jpg

“Case of the Mondays”: The Unfortunate Trend Towards Meaningless Conversation May 22, 2007

Posted by pointyhead in humor, life of a chogey, unacceptable phrases, work sucks.
12 comments

case-of-the-mondays.jpg
Being a Roaming Chogey, I usually find myself in a nearly-deserted airport when the last remnants of weekend bliss wear off. Today, the haze cleared around 5am in Dulles International Airport when a fellow business traveler asked me (completely without provocation or any indication I was interested in smalltalk), “Early enough for ya?” Apparently not expecting a response, the balding middle-aged khaki-clad business warrior focused on his laptop, ran his fingers through his comb over, and commerced with hammering out slides filled with chevrons and vapid text.

Instead of engaging in what would have UNDOUBTEDLY been riveting conversation, I sat dumbfounded and tried to think of a response that was equally as meaningless. I remained silent, unable to maintain the verbal volley…and the phrase “Looks like someone has a case of the MUN-days” ran through my thoughts like some demented do-loop. When I finally found my mental CTRL-Z, I started wondering why meaningful and sincere conversation was being replaced by a haphazardly-weaved tapestry of buzzwords and cliches.

I don’t profess to have the answer and I am honest enough to enter a “guilty” plea when it comes to avoiding an honest exchange that dares to dig deeper than the last article I read in some trade rag. Sharing original thoughts and opinions requires actually HAVING them…of building a foundation of understanding and then taking the time to create something new. Who has the time for that when it’s far simpler to parrot others?

The realization hit me as I got up(pretending to take an important phone call) and relocated to a position that afforded me the solitude required for such Big Head Thinking. The Meaningless Exchange (ME) feeds the basic, human need for interaction while completely shielding us from accountability, criticism, and challenges presented by opposing views. Hell, who is going to argue with something that came from “The Economist”…even if it’s taken completely out of context and horribly misquoted? The odds are in favor that the unfortunate recipient of said outburst isn’t the author, has read the article, or is even remotely interested (much less informed) on the topic at hand.

We nod politely, utter some inane response like “Hmmm…that’s interesting” or “I think I read that somewhere”, and may even respond with some re-manufactured tid-bit that stretches that standards of relevance. Doing so put us in full compliance with the unspoken Accord of Professional Smalltalk. Our egos remain intact and we can add another tick to our networking tally. The only casualty is another missed opportunity to step out of the “comfort zone”, learn something new. and momentarily shed the facade most of us put up when we have to wear our “grown up” clothes.

This insight was cut short when the gate agent announced the commencement of pre-boarding for preferred passengers and those requiring additional assistance with boarding. As I queued up with the rest of “Seating 2”, Khaki-Man and I shared the obligatory raised eyebrow acknowledgment and silently boarded the plane. Focused on the availability of overhead space, we are saved from thoughts of what could have been.

Pardon the Interruption May 22, 2007

Posted by pointyhead in life of a chogey, Rules of Chogeyness, work sucks.
add a comment

hdtv_tp21.gif
Chogeys of the World (and curious onlookers), we here at Chogeys United would like to take a moment to apologize for the brief disruption in content you’ve experienced (or not) over the past few days. While it would be nice to blame the delay on technical difficulties or managing the delicate work-life balance…the truth is much more mundane and typical of a true chogey. We simply underestimated the effort required to generate meaningful, well-written content that ANYONE would find interesting.

It would be easy (and probably accurate) to attribute this to simple laziness…but a real chogey is never content with placing blame inwardly. Laziness and a complete lack of follow-through are not simply character flaws, but rather symptoms of a disease spread by crappy jobs, idiot bosses, and days filled with performing inane tasks.

Unfortunately, this disease has received virtually no attention from the established medical community. While the cure remains elusive, many chogeys report temporary relief by engaging in group therapy (i.e. happy hours), subtle workplace subversion (i.e. gossip), and avoiding any activity that is even remotely productive.

We here at CU will try our hardest to not let this affliction get the best of us. While the quality and frequency of our posts may be sub-par when compared to sites featuring cute animal pictures (link)…please keep in mind we’re fighting a much nobler battle. =o)

Chogeyboy Goes Coed! May 9, 2007

Posted by chogey6 in Chogeys in the Field, life of a chogey, pictures, work sucks.
add a comment

Since my company forced me to take harassment training (which really I am happy about because now I know how to be a better harasser), I think we should take a moment to recognize the other half of chogeyboy. I will not go so far as to call it chogeygirl, because that would not be in the spirit of CB and just plain stupid. But, I do fully recognize that women possess the talents to be full on members of Chogeyboy. And this photo goes a long way toward saying it better than I ever could.

chogeygirl.jpg

Yellow Stickies + Fetal Position + Thumb-Sucking = Workplace Defeat May 8, 2007

Posted by pointyhead in humor, life of a chogey, pictures, work sucks.
5 comments

hate-job.jpg
Flickr Link to Artist (KatieW)

For the record: sucking your thumb is cause for automatic expulsion from the Brotherhood of Chogeys. In fact, I believe you’d get your ass whooped in most Chogey Circles. Just sayin’…

On Fridays, that’s how I roll… May 4, 2007

Posted by pointyhead in humor, life of a chogey, Office Space, pictures.
3 comments

In order to truly appreciate Fridays, try to get in touch with your Inner Peter…ummm…wait…
officespace_friday.jpg
“Lumburgh, can’t you see I’m pretty busy right now?”

Friday: The Weekend’s Pearly Gates May 4, 2007

Posted by pointyhead in humor, life of a chogey, work sucks.
2 comments

It is common knowledge that Friday is the undisputed best day of the traditional 5-day work week. Conventional wisdom suggests the cause for Friday’s adulation is rather mundane—two days away from the work place. While that is ESSENTIALLY true, I think there is a deeper, more mystical cause for Friday’s “goodness”.

To support this assertion, I spoken with many chogeys that report having experienced NWEs (near weekend experiences) when they wake up on Friday. Regardless of their culture, race, religion (except Evangelical Christians), profession, or level of education; these individuals recount visions of lounging, sleeping in late, poor hygiene, casual sex, and consequence-free alcohol consumption. They describe this as an almost-timeless bliss…where they are free to explore hobbies and personal interests! While scientists contend this may be stress-induced hallucinations, I like to think it’s a “taster” of the afterlife…or, at least, the after-work-life. At the very least, I believe it is proof that a Greater Power exists.

In an effort to avoid derision, ridicule, and physical assault; I’ve never actually uttered the words “Thank God It’s Friday”…or “TGIF” if you’re into the whole brevity thing. But deep in my soul I suspect that Friday’s are the gateway to an existence The Big Kahuna intended for us. They lead to a time of true free-will and happiness…however brief it may seem. Perhaps it is God’s way of bringing us all together in joyous, unshaven unity in an effort to forget our petty differences, our Evil Oppressors, and the depressing reality of our work-week lives.

I believe that Friday—and the promise it holds beyond its threshold—is the ONLY thing that could bring atheists, pastafarians, Christians (except Fundamentalists), Buddhists, Catholics, Jews, and all the other made-up fake religions together in unison to give God (the REAL one) mad props. It’s this mystical unification that has earned Friday its title of “The Weekend’s Pearly Gates”.

Thursday: Friday’s “Pilot” May 3, 2007

Posted by pointyhead in humor, life of a chogey, work sucks.
add a comment

I would like to say that the delay of today’s definition of “Thursdays for Chogeys” was intentional. A more adept writer could have used the delay to illustrate how things just take longer on Thursdays. According to yesterday’s highly-accurate graph, Thursdays are largely dedicated to surfing the internet and personal emails…with a little spacing-out thrown in for mental health. While such a delay is supported by empirical data, I personally believe it would not have done justice to Thursday’s TRUE nature. While the specific details of this morning’s activities hardly warrant discussion, I CAN tell you that magenta toner is difficult to wash off of one’s hands…and impossible to remove from a white shirt (facts that most Office Chogeys probably already know). With that crisis behind me, and only a faint carcinogenic hue on my hands…I sit here (shirtless) and ready to give you…[drum roll]…Thursday: Friday’s “Pilot”. That preamble probably bored most to tears…and will leave those remaining sadly disappointed by what follows.

As most Application Develop Chogeys (ADC for short) know, a “pilot” is often used to ensure a smooth deployment for high-visibility/highly-important products. I submit that there are few activities that are more important to a Chogey than Fridays. Friday is not only the gateway to the weekend, but also an important weekly milestone–survival of yet another week.

The reckless amongst our ranks may contend that a pilot is unnecessary for something as beautiful, magnificent, and recurring as a Friday. They may ask: “how hard is it to avoid work all day”? On the surface, it is a reasonable question. However, the truth is much more complicated. Simple avoidance of work (especially on a Friday) is not that difficult. True chogeys hone that skill into what can only be described as an art. What the reckless fail to recognize is that work avoidance is only a means to an end. The “end game” is laying the plans in place to optimize the weekend. This optimization requires extending work avoidance to anything even RESEMBLING work (e.g. chores, yard work, bills, quality time with the significant other, etc.) for two whole days with minimal effort. A daunting task, even for the adept. It is therefore essential to run a pilot. And that’s why God gave us Thursdays.

Actual pilot activities will differ from chogey to chogey, but there are some common critical success factors to consider:

1) If there is a chance your boss may require you to work on the weekend, Thursdays are the absolute LATEST to manufacture, “battle harden”, and subtly share excuses with the Evil Oppressor. Family (including the significant other) is ALWAYS a good fallback, but be careful not to overdo it. Try to throw in athletic events and volunteer work to avoid suspicion and make you appear more well-rounded than you are.

2) Take advantage of Thursday Happy Hours…especially work-related ones. EOs frequently like to have “team building” events on Thursdays that may involve the consumption of alcohol. ATTEND THESE! While it’s important to build the Buzz Foundation, don’t go overboard. It is more important to get the EO drunk and claim he/she cleared your weekend while they were in a state of dimished capacity.

3) Use your several hours of personal emailing to make coordinate mutual alibis with your Chogey Network. If you said you’re doing volunteer work, have a trusted chogey act as a front. I’m not suggesting that you outright lie, but a Saturday drinking beer at a fellow chogey’s house could be “reframed” into “helping an associate work through a challenge supply management problem”. This gives the appearance of building your personal network and voluntarily expanding skills that may be outside of your sweet spot–all of which make EOs drool.

4) Finally, create a “slug stopper” for a piece of medium-importance work that your EO has asked for in the past. While the EO may have forgotten about (or never even explicitly assigned you) the task…through a few slides/pages together that are JUST good enough to be accepted by the EO and subsequently placed in “the pile” or better yet the trash. This makes the EO think you’ve been working all week and that you are actively seeking their guidance and assistance. It’s like jingling keys in front of a baby. Don’t worry, a true EO will never read the content.

While there are countless other techniques employed by chogeys worldwide, these 4 should be considered “must dos”. Feel free to share your own…a good one may get a t-shirt!

Wednesday: The Day That Defies Math May 2, 2007

Posted by pointyhead in humor, life of a chogey, work sucks.
1 comment so far

It has become a part of the great American lexicon to refer to Wednesdays as “hump day”. I have always thought that doesn’t do the day justice. Sure, when you look at the cold, hard data, Wednesdays shouldn’t feel as good as they do.

Consider the math. Assume a typical chogey puts in 10 hours/day. When our hypothetical chogey wakes up on Wednesday (happy to have reached “hump day”), he has only worked 20 out of the 50 hours. Without further assumptions, the 3/5 of the week is remaining…more than half! Are marathon runners psyched to have ONLY 15.6 miles left to run? Do school children start getting ready for summer in the middle of February? Probably not…but herein lies the beauty of Wednesday: It defies all laws of mathematics…or does it. Let’s consider a few additional assumptions that may explain why Wednesday feels so good.

First, almost every bar in every city steps up their happy hour game on Wednesdays. While there’s no mathematical support for this, I submit that dollar draughts create a temporal distortion that actually makes the rest of the week shorter. Of course, this is only possible with proper buzz maintenance and hangover avoidance techniques. A hangover has been proven empirically to have a time-stretching effect that transports the chogey back to the Evil Treadmill—Tuesday. These are radical theories that will be explored further at a later time.

A more plausible (or at least mathematically supported) reason for Wednesday’s appeal is how the remaining 30 hours of “work” are spent. The graph below was created after gathering extensive data on how a typical chogey spends his/her week:

work-chart1.jpg

While the total number of hours per day remains constant, the distribution across standard chogey activities (e.g. work, personal emails, net browsing, and “spacing out”) varies over time.

According to the graph, there are only 6 hours of actual work remaining on Wednesday. The remaining time is largely spent making plans for the weekend, spamming friends with funny emails, blogging , and the ever popular “spacing out”. THIS (and the dollar draughts) explains the goodness of Wednesday.

Spotting Chogey’s in the Hall of Mediocrity and Disgruntlement May 2, 2007

Posted by chogey6 in Chogeys in the Field, humor, life of a chogey.
add a comment

As a proud founder of the Chogey concept, I enjoy teaching my younglings how to spot and then mock chogeys in the environment. Today, I took my paduwan into what is known as the Hall of Mediocrity and Disgruntlement. For those of you who have never consulted for the government, you will not know of what I speak, but I am sure you will soon recognize your own local version of said locale.

Setting: Crystal City. Just south of the Pentagon there is a complex of government buildings in the center of which is a “mall” if you could call it that. There are 8 food shops, all selling the same food, with the same poor quality. At lunch, this becomes a beacon for chogeys, as they eagerly gather to tell tales of how the day is progressing and break bread consisting of an overpriced sandwich, chips and a coke.

Let us pull in for a closer look.

The first thing you notice is the demographics. 90% men. With 90% of those white. An immediate clue that we might be operating in a land a chogeys. This may seem racist, but I am white, and can recognize my own, so for those of you put off by my candor, go up to your favorites and punch in your favorite Hello Kitty link and have fun. For those of you still with me, you are soon going to learn, that this is how I roll.

So, here we are with a large collection of white men. Next is their clothing. Suits that do not fit. Or worse. Short sleeve button up shirts with a tie. When you see this attire on a man, you can immediately brand him a chogey. Think about it, who wears that? IT guys, supermarket managers, government workers whose best days have long since past.

But the true mark of a chogey comes out in words. Let’s walk by the lunch tables and listen to what we hear….

“I gave it to him for his guidance two weeks ago, and he still hasn’t gotten back….” Guidance = his “Opinion” and obviously the guy who is going to provide the ultimate decision. The chogey boy is betrayed by not only his lowly position that he must go get “guidance”, but also by the fact he has to wait two weeks for it.

“I had that same idea 4 months ago, but John brings it up in staff meeting and gets the credit and the project and promotion.” Again, the chogey is revealed by his sour grape nature and his lack of balls, that held him back from not only talking about an idea, but actually doing something.

“What this place needs……” Any statement about culture, climate, or general atmosphere in the workplace denotes a chogey. You are in no position to change it, (so you think) so you bitch. And, again, in classic chogey fashion, your victim mentality betrays your true nature.

So my younglings, you should by now be able to begin your quest to locate chogeys. White men, poorly dressed, bitching and complaining. Good hunting.

Tuesdays: The Workweek’s Evil Treadmill May 1, 2007

Posted by pointyhead in humor, life of a chogey, work sucks.
2 comments

tuesdays.gif
What is Tuesday like for a Chogey? The best explanation for this requires a little thought experiment. Imagine yourself held captive in a dark, musty dungeon. The only illumination in your cell is provided by a buzzing, flickering fluorescent lamp missing one of its support chains. Despite the complete lack of fresh air, the lamp miraculously sways…casting eerie snapshots of the room’s sole object—a treadmill.

As part of some demented psychological torture, your captors require you to stay on the treadmill for at least 8 hours a day. Sometimes you have to walk. Sometimes you have to run. Sometimes you stand still. There is no discernible pattern or reason…but you must remain on the treadmill to receive your daily gruel. Refusing to do so only lands you in another cell, on another treadmill—both just as bad as the last one.

Now, imagine that you have been on the treadmill JUST long enough for the wonderful afterglow of freedom to have faded…but not nearly long enough for the second wind that comes from knowing the end is near. That’s what a Tuesday feels like to a Chogey.

Chogey Checklist: #72 Hate All Former Chogeys that Become TOO Successful April 30, 2007

Posted by pointyhead in chogey checklist, humor, life of a chogey.
add a comment

Chogeys love to hear stories about their comrades breaking away and “sticking it to The Man.” Every chogey dreams of the possibility of turning their million dollar ideas (which all chogeys have) into their ticket out of Chogeydom.

The Dot.Com years provide countless legends of suspected chogeys having bags of VC money thrown at them with little thought given to long-term viability. The truth is, very few ACTUAL chogeys benefited from the Dot.Com craze…or its recent second cousin: Web 2.0.

A real chogey may draw hope and inspiration from the likes of Google, Digg.com, Napster, and MySpace…but actually hate those t-shirted, smirking CEOs who were able to break out of Chogeydom forever. Common reasons provided by active chogeys are:

  • “That idea is not so great.”
  • “I could have done that.”
  • “It’s all a bunch of hype!”

Chogeys of the world, what idea did YOU have first…but failed to get off the ground?

Mondays: The Chogey Day of Mourning April 30, 2007

Posted by pointyhead in humor, life of a chogey.
add a comment

I would like to start by acknowledging that not ALL Chogeys begin their work weeks on Monday. Many of our Chogey Brothers and Sisters in retail don’t have the luxury of a Mon-Fri work week. While my heart goes out to this sub-class of Chogey (more on the Chogey Class System later), the “Seven Days of Chogeydom” is written primarily for the M-F Chogey. That being said…

For Chogeys worldwide, Monday is the Universal Day of Mourning. The day begins with the ritual Chogey expletive upon waking and the realization that Life’s Cruel Treadmill is ready to be mounted. Many Chogeys use a few minutes of quiet reflection in bed to exercise the “snooze” button in a vain effort to extend the weekend. It is common to use this time to figure out an excuse (ANY excuse) to avoid work. For most, this brainstorming continues through the clean up and grooming period. The point of no return generally comes once the work clothes are donned. There are many theories for why the work clothes diminish the will to avoid work, but those will be shared another time.

The Morning (or mourning) Chogey Ritual differs widely at this point. Some need coffee. Some read the newspaper (often hoping some calamity has struck their workplace). Some Chogeys even try to exercise. The end result is the same, however–the Pilgrimage of Pain.

The Pilgrimage of Pain can be as short as walk from the bedroom to the den or as long as cross-country flight to “the client site”. Regardless of the distance, time passes in Matrix-like “bullet time” that offers the maximum amount of painful reflection per unit of distance. Despite efforts to distract the mind through music, books-on-tape, or swearing/gesturing at other Pilgrims; there is always time to wonder “why”.

Eventually the Chogey arrives at work and settles in to The Routine. Unfortunately, The Routine is virtually indistinguishable from day to day. Although, the Day of Mourning usually has more email traffic to gather details/verify Chogey actions over the weekend. It’s not uncommon for one Chogey to ask another “did I really do that Saturday night” or “do you remember…”. These emails are quickly followed by either apologies or outright denials.

The Day of Mourning officially comes to an end once the Chogey crosses the threshold of his/her abode. With a mild sense of accomplishment or quiet resignation, the Chogey may crack a beer, watch “24”, and brace themselves for Tuesday…

Sevens Days of Chogeydom April 30, 2007

Posted by pointyhead in humor, life of a chogey.
add a comment

For many, the realization of being a Chogey comes in a blinding flash of insight. It is common for this epiphany to occur at 4am in front of a color laser printer, praying to the God of the Cyan Toner cartridge to allow ONE MORE “deck” to be printed. As devout Chogeys soon realize, the Gods of Toner (Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow especially) are cruel and often answer these prayers with paper jams or the divine introduction of typos. It is at this point that many first realize they are chogeys.

For those of you still unsure (or in denial), CU will describe the Seven Days of Chogeydom–how Chogeys view each day of the week. Up First: Monday–the Chogey Day of Mourning.