I have to agree completely with this article on compulsory fun in the workplace. They seem to suggest real fun would revolve better around two things most employers ban: smoking and drinking. I think the best quote from this article has to be this:
The merchants of fake fun have met some resistance. When Wal-Mart tried to impose alien rules on its German staffâ€”such as compulsory smiling and a ban on affairs with co-workersâ€”it touched off a guerrilla war that ended only when the supermarket chain announced it was pulling out of Germany in 2006. But such victories are rare.
So what was it that really put off the Germans? Smiling or not being able to shag their co-workers?
7 thoughts on “Down With Fun”
“So what was it that really put off the Germans? Smiling or not being able to shag their co-workers?”
Methinks there may be a correlation betwixt the two options.
I like that they use the nostalgia of a fictional tv show to show what fun we have lost in the workplace.
From the Germans I know, a couple in particular who are committed serial philanderers, it’s not being able to shag co-workers.
I have a German friend who when visiting a few years ago complained about another friend’s girlfriend, and the complicated logistics of going on Family Vacation and making all the difficult and necessary arrangements so that BOTH their *Girlfriends* would be in nearby towns in Spain, with the assumption that their wives were similarly burdened with *Boyfriend* chores. And sheesh, if his friend would only drop The Girlfriend — but nooo, he has to have one also, just to be like his buddy…
Germans are … strange. I mean world-class strange.
I read this article, and I thought it was silly. In the Marines, we had the occasional “Mandatory Fun Day”, usually when we were in Okinawa, where we would have a unit picnic at the USO on a Saturday from 9am until 1 or 2PM. The thing was, it usually did turn out to be at least a little fun, even though you might have preferred to go to the movies or something. It was certainly a whole hell of a lot better than a typical work day.
As for the whole Mad Men thing, it’s even more absurd. On the show, Don, Burt, and Roger get to screw off, take long lunches, and get piss drunk through out the day, but they’re the bosses, and nobody else gets to screw around. The Secretaries certainly don’t. Neither do the janitors, or the maintenance people. Most of the “creative” people, who’s lives the show revolves around, don’t get to have that much fun. They get to drink, which they frequently do to excess, but they’re working, and not getting credit for that work most of the time, as in Peggy’s character.
True, the show does have wild office parties with drinking to excess, random people screwing in broom closets, and the occasional person getting their foot cut off by a lawn mower, but these kind of office party hi-jinks happen just as often today (well, maybe not the lawn mower thing).
They couldn’t figure out why they would want to smile, if they can’t shag their coworkers?
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