Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Sound Of Life Today

There's a girl at work who spends large portions of the day stamping.  I don't mean she stands there stomping her feet on the ground like some mightily recalcitrant child in Tesco just been denied a Chomp, I mean she stamps documents with a stamp.  Stamping.

Stampy stamp stamp.

It's loud, it's incessant, it's annoying.

To be fair (at the end of the day) if I had to do the same, I'd do it as loud as I possibly could too.  I'd make sure everyone knew I was stamping.  I'd be breaking desks with the sheer force of my stamping.  Stamp.

Believe it or not, it's actually more annoying than my repeated use of the word 'stamp', or variations thereof. 

It has been joked ('joked') that when someone has a day off they should be provided with a dictaphone recording of the stamping, just in case they miss being in the office.  This got me thinking about how such a tape would be guaranteed to induce stress.  Now, if you're anything like me (and I pray to God for your sake that you're not), at least 90% of all your popular culture knowledge comes from watching The Simpsons.  In this particular instance I was reminded of the episode where Homer sends off for a self-help weightloss tape, (8F22, “Bart's Friend Falls In Love”, geeks) and receives a vocabulary tape instead.  With hilarious consequences.  (Reading this back, this looks like it was supposed to be sarcastic.  It's not.)  I was thinking how a story about someone who sends out 'office ambience' tapes labelled as 'stress-reduction' could be a good idea for my Nanowrimo story this year.

Other highlights from a possible 'office ambience' tape could include a fire alarm being tested, a phone ringing without being answered, and the annoying telephone voice of a co-worker.  Corporate accounts payable, Mena speaking.  Just a moment.

Other tapes could be made in this series, like the sounds of being stuck in traffic, and so on.  Subliminal tapes that could guarantee rising blood pressure, and immeasurable levels of stress.

Or, you could just make them listen to the new Kaiser Chiefs album.


Anonymous said...

I used to stamp stuff for a job. The same stamp in the same place on the front of every document. Sometimes we would lay the documents out in lines, overlapping each other but leaving just enough of a stamp-sized space visible on each one. We would clear two desks for this, painstakingly creating snaking lines of paper, inking up our stamps real good, then launching into the sort of stamping frenzy that would drive non-stamping colleagues to distraction.

People complained, but we managed, somehow, to convince them that it was a "necessary" part of our job, and that the snaking stamp lines were in fact a work of time-saving genius that would revolutionize the office.

I was fired, and weeks later the rest of the staff were made redundant. The work was outsourced to Xerox, who apparently had big machines that could stamp way quicker than we could - than we could even imagine - but as machines could derive absolutely no pleasure from the experience.

Anonymous said...

We call her Stampy.