There is a white board in my office and it is killing me slowly. It’s not really the white board. I would hate to falsely blame the poor thing. In all honestly it spends most of it time looking rather bleak. It’s hanging on to the wall like an unbiased office sentinel. Taking no sides and having no opinions. It's just perched there, empty yet hopeful. Staring at me, begging me to write something meaningful on it. Just some small thought to validate its existence.
Of course I do end up writing something on it. Some overly exciting geek game plan. Like how to get all our logs to spit back some benign report "REQUIRED IMMEDIATELY" by the managers. This thing that someone is convinced that they need, but no one knows why. They just want a report with pretty graphs in their e-mail, so they can forward that e-mail it to someone else and say "FYI".
So after I spend an hour or two brainstorming this worthless project on my white board, I leave it there. I leave it for weeks at a time. I don't do this because I'm lazy, but because I cannot erase it. I have a white board eraser, but it doesn't work. So it sits there, on my wall for three or four weeks at a time. Every day I come in, sit down and stare at a board full of wasted work and poorly executed diagramming.
"Remember when you needed me to do that pointless job? Was this blue tetrahedral suppose to be a server or a turtle? I can't tell"
This makes me very unhappy. I hate poorly executed diagramming
What to do? Many of you are thinking, "Fool. You're doing it wrong."
You know who you are. Self important white board experts. Look people, I’ve used plenty of white boards and I’ve never seen this. It's not difficult. Pointy color things write on the board, blocky gray thing erases board. Maybe I have neglected it too much. Maybe I don't show it enough attention and this is some sort of dirty protest.
"NO! I will not be clean. I like your cluttered thought process, and enjoy taunting you with wasted man hours! Don't touch me with the fluffy gray block!!"
That must be it, some desperate and pitiful call for help. Please love me, fill me with your thoughts! Or maybe it’s malevolent and suffering appeals to it. I suffer greatly when I am not in control. The white board must have found out somehow. That actually fits better and I'd rather have passive aggressive office paraphernalia then a emotionally deficient one. You don't have to care as much. In addition it makes my next move seem less calloused.
So, since I cannot have rebellious office equipment I strike back with the only weapon I have. Noxious board cleaner. This can take ten years of caked on dust off the butt of a yak. One downside. It makes me high.
I’m not sure I can relay to you the effect this has on me. I find myself smiling for no reason. I cannot get upset, stressed, or even out of my chair. I stumble to the phone and tell callers my favorite color. Really bad corporate mojo there.
"Server guy is high again. What do we do?"
"It'll pass. I hope he doesn't have to go to the bathroom and black out in the hall again..."
Whoa! This is a serious drug. I hate it and love it. It easily kills dry erase marks, mountain lions and cancer. This stuff is potent. It gets the job done. I’m frequently torn after we have a meeting in my office. Should I leave the board dirty, or do I clean it? Do I want to be happy or do I want to be dead? Sometimes immediate happiness is all that matters.
"Boss... We need more white board cleaner..."