Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Pop Quiz #2

A couple months ago I put up a pop quiz that was sorta about work, and inspiration struck me on a 40-minute Metro ride back from Silver Spring to do another. So here's another:

1. You're at a full-day meeting in-town but out of the office on Tuesday; everyone expects you not to come back until tomorrow. The meeting, miraculously (and unrealistically) ends at noon instead. What do you do?

a) Put a call into the office to tell your staff that you're on your way back in and look forward to the unexpected chance to get some work done today.
b) Grab a nice, long lunch and slowly meander your way back to work.
c) Blow off work for the rest of the day since nobody's expecting you and go home and relax.
d) Take the rest of the month off.

The answer depends on who you're talking to when you tell the story. If you're talking to your boss' boss, it's a). If you're talking with your boss, it's b). If you're with your co-workers, it's c), and if you're talking open-endedly in an electronic public forum to a bunch of friends it's d).

2. That really annoying but really friendly guy down the hall has taken yet another 20 minutes of your valuable web-surfing time away from you with his pointless banter. How do you refer to him behind his back?

a) a "maybe-too-friendly" guy
b) a weener
c) a weirdo
d) a freak
e) a fucking dick-sucking douchebag motherfucker

The answer depends on who you're talking to. If you're talking to your boss' boss, it's a). If you're talking to the hot blond with the sweet rack, it's b) (chicks love dorky 80's throwback colloquialisms). If you're with your boss, it's c). If you're with your co-workers, it's d), and if you're drunk in a bar bathroom muttering to yourself as you piss all over the seat it's e).

3. If you had your choice, which Nintendo (NES) villain would you like to see go on a rampage through your building?

a) the Hammer Bros. from Super Mario Brothers
b) King Hippo from Mike Tyson's Punchout!
c) The Amazon from Pro Wrestling
d) Death himself from Paperboy
e) Metal Man from Megaman 2
f) Giant Gay Free-style-walking Alien Mutant Boy from Contra

The obvious answer might be f) for comedic value alone, but don't underestimate the carnage a pair of armored, vulturine turtles can muster when they start lobbing hundreds of hammers through the air in a confined space.

4. When sitting in a 1.5-hour meeting beginning at 8:30am on Monday, what unrelated topic will your mind wander to first?

a) the chick on the Metro with the sweet rack
b) the boiling revenge you desire to be visited upon the enormously obese woman on the Metro who squeezed you out of the spot from which you could see the chick with the sweet rack
c) if any bagels will be left in the cafeteria by the time the meeting ends
d) trying to remember what you did last weekend, even though it ended only 12 hours earlier
e) wondering why you wore brown socks with black pants, then mentally dropping it, but then readdressing it 5 seconds later when you notice it again

You'll inevitably thoroughly cover all of these topics within the span of about 20 seconds, leaving you with nothing to think about but how bored you are for the following hour and a half. So there's no real answer to this, just pain and suffering.

5. Somebody you barely know tries to start a conversation with you at about 100 decibels in an elevator with 6 other people in it. How do you respond to their declarative/interrogative/imperative/exclamatory remark/question/suggestion/observation?

a) "Uh-huh."
b) "Oh yeah?"
c) "Mmm."
d) "Huh."
e) "Heh."
f) [faint nod]
g) [deafening silence]

All the ground rules of common etiquette and interpersonal interaction are thrown out the window upon entering an elevator, it's like sitting in a shiny coat closet with 8 strangers for 30 seconds. With that in mind, the nature, subject matter, and tone of the person's statement is completely immaterial, so you can get by with any of these answers as long as you make no eye contact whatsoever and just keep staring infatuatedly at the numbers counting the floors you pass. Though personally, in a crowded elevator, I prefer the most nonverbal affirmation of existence possible so as not to imply amicability or even familiarity (nor encouragement) with the loser who's trying to start a 15-second conversation because he wonders how what you think of the difference between the first and last two weeks of April's weather compares to his/her own judgment of it. Answer g) is by far preferable if you can realistically pretend the person never even walked onto the elevator, but f) is usually the safer option.

(ABOVE) "At Cass Screw Machine Products, You're One In A Million!"

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