Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Do you indent...or double-space?

You don't have to be crazy to work here...

As psychiatric practices evolved, the castle was renamed several times, finally becoming the Binghamton Psychiatric Center. The number of patients at the site began to decline in the 1960s, and by the 1990s many of the psychiatric patients there were deinstitutionalized, as were many other such patients around the country.

By the time part of the facade collapsed in 1993, the building was being used only for office space; later that year, it was closed. —NYT

For the second edition

The "Here you go!" e-mail, followed by "Oops, here's the attachment!"

Monday, April 28, 2008

I'll Tell if You Will: the last taboo?

"At 22, Ms. Green, like her friends, is less afraid to flirt with what many over 35 consider the last taboo in American life: discussing salary openly with friends and colleagues."
— Alex Williams, "Not-So-Personal Finance," New York Times


"Maybe blogging about how much I dislike my desk job while at my desk job is not such a good idea." —Up From Cubicle

The Good Starbucks?

(Signs of Life, via MUG.)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The pleasure of your company

"Everyone who works on the Senate’s vast central administrative staff, from secretaries to accountants to carpenters, serves at the pleasure of the majority leader. Members of the majority can not only turn off the minority’s cellphones if they feel like it, they can also turn out the office lights." –NYT

Despair, Inc.

"Despair Inc....sells scores of posters satirizing the banalities of the motivation industry (including the inevitable cute cat clinging to something, although in this case it says: “Give up: At some point, hanging in there just makes you look like an even bigger loser”), along with calendars, T-shirts, a book and a clear coffee mug marked to show precisely when it’s half empty." —Rob Walker, "Empowering by Disempowerment," Consumed, NYT magazine

(Via Rachel.)

Friday, April 25, 2008

"Is it my fault you have meetings out the wazoo?"

Ohio Attorney General's e-mails are a "mix of bureaucratic jargon, party planning, frequent hair references and oddly chummy repartee." —The Columbus Dispatch


Thursday, April 24, 2008

International cubes

—Photo by Zack Canepan, "Debt Collection Done From India Appeals to U.S. Agencies," NYT

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Rest mode

Boring jobs turn our mind to autopilot, say scientists—and it means we can seriously mess up some simple tasks.

Monotonous duties switch our brain to "rest mode," whether we like it or not, the researchers report in Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences."

—"Dull Jobs Really Do Numb the Mind," BBC News

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

All that time together

"Personal Days feels like a lot of jobs do. It starts off a lighthearted adventure in white-collar living, then spirals into something more sober. This intricate, often witty tale of corporate America—the first novel from Ed Park, cofounder of the literary magazine The Believer—centers on the employees of an unnamed New York company that's undergoing a half-brained downsizing...[Park's] sardonic humor will ring true to cube monkeys everywhere, and he succeeds in creating an oddly haunting, ultimately entertaining portrait of office life and the tenuous yet powerful relationships we build with colleagues: 'Week after week you form these intense bonds without quite realizing it. All that time together adds up.' " —Fast Company ("Read" for May 13)

Monday, April 21, 2008


By Jessica Hagy, at Indexed

Sunday, April 20, 2008

"Wired" review

"[H]ysterical...Told in first-person collective through outlined agendas and desperate e-mails, Park's story is set in an absurd yet believable workplace where personnel, shutting down their computers for the weekend, earnestly consider the pop-up question 'Are you sure you want to quit?' " —Jay Ruben Dayrit, Wired (May), 8 out of 10 circle thingies

Emphasis mine

—The "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotes

Friday, April 18, 2008

"Also with respect to the air-conditioning unit..."

“[...]Al Qaeda isn't all that different from The Office, replete with nasty memos and red tape. ” —Wired

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Stressing Doggedness


“We need to return to stressing doggedness,” Mr. Pink said, in "Prepping Children for the 9 to 5" by Lisa Belkin, in today's New York Times.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Ed kicks off the new Beatrice reading series along with Jane F. Kotapish (Salvage) tomorrow (Weds., April 16) at the Mercantile Library in NYC — more info here...and here!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Review: The Office

In real life it is often awkward/annoying to see your coworkers outside the office, so it makes sense that on TV it seems to be that way too. The characters become more human and more loathsome at home. Did it make me like them more? Maybe.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Cards of identity

"The primary goal of the Business Card Menger Sponge Project was to build a depth 3 approximation to Menger’s Sponge as shown above, out of 66,048 business cards
..." —The Institute for Figuring

(Via Jenny)

Back to work: tonight!

"It’s because The Office is how America sees work, while 30 Rock is how New Yorkers see work."

— Adam Sternbergh, nymag.com, 'The Office’ vs. ‘30 Rock’: Comedy Goes Back to Work

Monday, April 7, 2008

Of mice and snakes

Rainy-day activity with discarded keyboard: the work of Choi Jung Hyun.

(Via BoingBoing.)

Friday, April 4, 2008

Theme song sadness

Via the Boston Globe:

Did you happen to watch any of the "Office" reruns last night on NBC? Over the credits, the show ran a clip of Nathan Alden Robinson from Newton playing the "Office" theme song on the the piano. Nathan, 15, died last month from flu-related complications. "The Office" was his favorite show. Here's the YouTube clip, which was filmed a few weeks before his death (and here is the Globe's sweet obituary). The song never seemed so sad. —Matthew Gilbert

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Reason #5

"No matter what changed, when you dread going to work in the morning, it's time to quit your job." (From About.)

Torch typing

"We have a medical transcriptionist on staff who has been using the same keyboard for the last 8.5 years. My co-worker replaced it yesterday, and when he first showed it to me I thought someone had taken a blowtorch to it! The most frequently used keys have been completely worn through, exposing the mechanism beneath...." —BoingBoing (Via Jenny)