Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Workplace Comedy

Sometimes it's funny how the weirdest, littlest things can make me ridiculously happy. Today's happiness source: The Office is back on NBC after one week off. Watching this kind of counts as work, since I write workplace comedy, and as I no longer have an actual workplace, I need a refresher. I don't really have a boss, other than maybe my editor, who is in New York and doesn't know whether I'm working diligently or cramming at the last second, as long as I meet my deadlines (and as long as she isn't reading here). I don't have co-workers, unless you count my neighbors' pets. I don't have office mates, other than the hibiscus, who's pretty easy to get along with. That limits office politics (and if I can't beat a houseplant in office politics, then it's a good thing I'm out of the rat race).

So, I have to watch someone else's workplace. I realize the dangers in using fiction as a source, but this show in all its wackiness is true enough to life to remind me of places I used to work. In fact, I used to work in an office with a very similar atmosphere and even practically the same boss (he even had the same first name). Watching the antics of the fictional Michael Scott takes me right back in time to working for the kind of boss who would have bought his own "world's greatest boss" coffee mug and still would have thought it meant something. This guy was a big fan of those cheesy "motivational" posters with things like soaring eagles on them. Oddly enough, with all my past bad bosses who have been somewhat immortalized in the pages of my books (Gregor and Mimi were inspired by real people -- in composite form), I haven't yet used that boss, though there might be bits of him in the head of sales. Hmm, in case I need a new character to torture ...

In all fairness, I should say I haven't always had bad bosses. My fictional good boss, Merlin, actually shares some traits with good bosses I've had. He has his own flaws and quirks (as you'll see in Once Upon Stilettos), but they aren't mean or cruel flaws, and those flaws grow out of an honest desire to make things better.

Tonight I'll be giggling and grinning and so very glad I no longer have to work in a place like that. There are some things I miss from the day job, like the friends I've made, going to lunch and gossiping about the boss, but my current life is a lot less stressful. Well, except for all those scary deadlines I have this week. Back to work!

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