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Corporate Etiquette 107 . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Monday, April 07, 2008

{The workplace is a jungle filled with jackals, wineheads and bosses with mouths like a crocodile. There are also decent people, but I'm starting to question the percentages. This is the seventh in a series of corporate encounters which offer no easy resolutions.}

It was 4:52 p.m. on Friday, and my first drink had just arrived when my Blackberry went crazy.

My wife, brother and other assorted friends were en route to a downtown bar for Happy Hour, however, my spirits were already sinking as I read the email from my boss declaring an "Emergency Conference Call" at 5 p.m. Absolutely nothing positive is announced that late on a Friday, a fact that filled me with trepidation as I began to envision elaborately awful scenarios.

I finished my drink, and stepped outside on the patio to dial into the conference bridge where musak greeted me and made me want to punch someone.

At 5:03 p.m., my boss started the call five minutes of blather, thanking us for our time and yet telling us nothing about why we were forced to have this call. I figured that the company had been sold or my boss had quit/been fired, our department was being eliminated or some disgruntled employee had burned the place to the ground.

I just knew that something monumental must have occurred that would dramatically affect my weekend, and possibly my future.

Then, my boss simply announced that a Vice President from another department had been fired. He called the meeting to get ahead of the "office grapevine," so we were informed with accurate information. Whew.

I was relieved, then angry as the call went for another 15 minutes filled with platitudes and kind words for our departing colleague, a person I did know and felt sorry for their situation, however, the firing information was far from vitally important to my everyday world. Calling an "Emergency Conference Call" on a Friday afternoon should be reserved for impending disaster-type scenarios that simply cannot be kept internal.

Otherwise, hold that shit until Monday because the only Happy Hour scares I need concern an empty glass.



  1. Couldn't your boss just have crafted a well worded email or text message. Something along the lines of "VP Bill Johnson is no longer with the company." Or whatever the guy's name is. Obviously I just made up a name here.

  2. Heff Says:
  3. No shit. The LAST thing I give after I leave the office on Friday is "a damn".

  4. WhatIgot - Exactly. An email would have been sufficient, and even if I didn't know anything about it until Monday (I'd already heard the news anyway), I'd be just fine. Finally, Bill Johnson thanks you.

    Heff - Exactly. I don't either unless something truly awful (i.e. something affecting me) has happened. Otherwise - a damn is the extent of things.

  5. Miss Ash Says:
  6. I would have ignored the message and then enjoyed my drinks! You could have been indisposed and unable to answer the call or attend the "meeting". Granted that was after I knew what the crisis was....had your building actually burned down or your position been terminated, I suppose that's something you would want to know before Monday.

  7. JLee Says:
  8. I think you could have made the conference call fun if you had already been shitfaced and after hearing the news, gave a big "HAW HAAW" like the kid on the Simpsons. That's how it played out in my mind anyway...

  9. Gypsy Says:
  10. Well lets drink to a crisis averted....bottoms up. Hey, I'm an Aussie....we'll drink to anything over here and no excuse is too small or ridiculous.

  11. Miss Ash - Yep. I would have ignored it except if I did it would have ruined my drinks because these calls have been very rare indeed. I'm glad I ended up taking it because it also got me a celebratory round of drinks afterwards. Ha.

    Jlee - I like that scenario (as I do w/ most "Simpsons" ones), and if I could throw my voice . . . maybe. It all comes back to disguising your voice - a talent I've already admitted to lacking in the extreme. Ha.

    Gypsy - I can get behind that kind of Aussie philosophy, and a crisis averted is a fine thing to raise a glass to. But it's never as good as a pure "something great just happened" moment. Ha.

  12. Claire Says:
  13. Dude. That's so an email or a save it till Monday thing. Conference calls should be saved for big scaries, always.


  14. Good to hear that it didn't end up affecting you in a negative way. Aside from ruining a good half hour or so of your Friday that is.

  15. Claire - Agreed. 100 percent because if you call one - especially late on a Friday - it better be vitally important to me. This one was far from it.

    Native Minnow - Thanks as I definitely glad to be in the clear too. I definitely regained that 30 minutes back following the call, which turned out to be a poor decision the following morning.

  16. cats Says:
  17. i reserve melodrama for monday mornings.

    i really hate cell phones sometimes.

  18. BostonPobble Says:
  19. You have to be freaking kidding me. The sad thing is, I know you're not. You will sell your script. You will become a big name movie writer. You will be able to tell people like this guy to go jump. Keep the faith, my friend.

  20. Cats - Exactly. Monday is built for melodrama, however, Fridays are meant for better things and you shouldn't reverse the course of nature. Ha. But I do believe that too.

    Bostonpobble - Thanks. I needed that on a Monday afternoon as I am still holding out hope and working towards it (more on that later - no jinxes right now). And I wish I were kidding as it ruined my Friday for about 20 - 30 minutes. Then, I rallied.

  21. Oh Puleaze... the ego of the guy. At least you only had to wait 8 minutes to get the "BIG News."

    Heff's comment is the best.

  22. Very bad form. Now if there was a chance to save the dude's job then yes, conference call. Circle the Wagons. But there was nothing anyone could have done. Monday would still have seen him gone.

  23. Grace Says:
  24. Like everyone else said, I'm all for e-mails in those kinds of situations. I doubt that you would have gotten any grapevine info during the weekend. An e-mail on Monday morning would have been perfect.

  25. Anonymous Boxer - Agreed on both fronts as I'm sure it was called to seem "managerial," which is a joke on everyone involved except it wasn't very funny - at least at the time.

    Getoffmylawn - Poor form indeed. And you are right about trying to save his job, however, it was a done deal as somebody else had already been hired as well. This announcement had Monday written all over it.

    Grace - Exactly. That's a fine reason why email was invented, and the note could have gone out Friday afternoon if it just couldn't wait until Monday. But it definitely could have as I had already heard it through the grapevine before noon that day (so I guess it does exist, eh?)


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