Culture: Public Holiday L-Z
Take Your Manager Literally Day   (+24, -1)  [vote for, against]
Not, Take your manager, literally, today - that's something else.

I got to the office this morning with one thing on my mind. My meeting with Jenkins. I was screwed. I'd been spending so much time selling office equipment on ebay, I'd not come up with one viable action- oriented solution driver for him to present to the board. As with all bosses I'd ever encountered, he'd got to where he was by being a tiresome jumped-up HR manager who'd had a few lucky breaks and had absolutely no innovative thoughts of his own. He was relying solely on me.

But as I swiped my security card and swung open the door, I remember instantly feeling there was something in the air. It wasn't despair either, as I had previously anticipated. Usually the place was humid with disappointment, it seemed to drip off everything, and squelched underfoot as people drudged up and down the walkways. But not today. The air was chipper, but I couldn't put my finger on it. I held the door open for a guy I didn't know as he dragged a small football goal inside, and then I went to my desk.

As I passed the marketing department, Sandra and Caroline were walking up and down a row of empty desks, with one hand gesticulating as they nattered about the previous evening's soaps, the other pressing envelopes to the table as they pushed them around. Opposite them, Jez was erecting a Guy Fawkes. I knew something was up as I walked past the sales department and several of them had taped their testicles to the wall.

Wait, of course! It's Take Your Manager Literally Day, isn't it?

I stepped into Jenkins' office. He span round on his leather chair and grinned at me through glinting, lying teeth. "Ok buddy," he said to me, "Let me have it. I want you to come at me all guns blazing."

Wish I'd had some time to prepare.
-- theleopard, Jul 01 2009

Huey says, "It's alright, don't be uptight."
Fun Lovin Criminals video for you [21]. Enjoy! [theleopard, Jul 01 2009]

...and for the other 364* days of the year... Metaphor_20Actualisation_20Agency
[* 365 on leap years] [hippo, Jul 01 2009]

If it's good enough for Huey and Electric6......
[gnomethang, Jul 01 2009]

Or even for Rammstein...if you don't mind acres of naked Manflesh
What on Earth was Till wearing? [gnomethang, Jul 01 2009]

"Open the Kimono" http://www.doubleto...ry/open_the_kimono/
I'd never heard this one before - it does rather carry unfortunate imagery. [zen_tom, Jul 02 2009]

Someone did just this
[tatterdemalion, Jul 08 2009]

All very well until you ask him what he wants you to do with that 120 page report and he says "Shove it up your Arse"!
-- gnomethang, Jul 01 2009

That's called "malicious compliance". I have a fruit salad recipe which i've called that.
-- nineteenthly, Jul 01 2009

Let me see if I can't run this one up the flagpole, balls out.
-- zen_tom, Jul 01 2009

Proviso: Completely voluntary.

Although [21], being told to //get bent// might adequately be construed as an offer to leave the office for the day to attend a yoga class. Or a gay bar, perhaps.
-- theleopard, Jul 01 2009

//Usually the place was humid with disappointment,//

New favorite line of all time. Wow.

(okay, just finished reading the entire idea. Ha. Funny, very funny. +++++)
-- blissmiss, Jul 01 2009

Thanks [bliss]!
-- theleopard, Jul 01 2009

All that leveraging and running things up the flagpole has done my back in.
-- hippo, Jul 01 2009

"Can I use your dictaphone?"
-- MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 01 2009

We could do a double act...
-- MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 01 2009

Please, no.
-- AbsintheWithoutLeave, Jul 01 2009

I usually do!
-- DrBob, Jul 01 2009

"I'm tied up right now"
-- afinehowdoyoudo, Jul 01 2009

"Well that's my end, let's just put a pin in it and get back to it later..."
-- 2 fries shy of a happy meal, Jul 01 2009

"I just wanted to touch base with you... "

"I wanna see all your chips on the table... "

"Whip me up a few reports... "

"Screw those people in that department... "

"Put a cork in it... "

"How do you feel about working here?..."
-- daseva, Jul 02 2009

"Let's tackle the low-hanging fruit first..."
-- tatterdemalion, Jul 02 2009

My last boss

Have you bought me a beer in the last month?

If you said yes he would say when and you have to go in to detail.

If you said no he would yell "your fired, now get back to work."

All work reviews were in the bar. oh fun times
-- dev45, Jul 02 2009

There's a part of me wants to add to the list with particularly egregious City firm examples ("open kimono" being my personal disfavourite) but I think that in so doing I might be implying that I have a degree of support for the idea as stated. So, except to the extent that I did, I won't.

While it is clear that management speak and wasted-syllable attempts at spicing up what would, in the mind of the speaker, be otherwise tedious requests for action or information are wearing, I think that the flaws with this idea are two-fold.

The first is (as nineteenthly shows) that the idea is so not new that it has a name, though arguably the application of such compliance here is against mannerisms of communication, rather than a manner of working within only the very narrowest remit of the instruction.

The second is that when the focus of the idea is on the communicative tics and foibles of other human beings, acting them out - or even replying as if they were meant literally - is, to my mind at least, an order of magnitiude less funny than the already demonstrably unfunny mannerisms challenged ("Hurf durf you said ping me an email and I said ping when I sent you an email"). Such behaviour strikes me as being a well worn sci-fi comedy trope (robot takes metaphor literally, hilarity is purported to ensue) and, as has been written in tablets of stone from times of antiquity, sci-fi comedy is the least fertile of all the furrows of funny. And as it is, again to my mind, obvious that this is not a funny practice (though, I concede, it may be pretty funny to consider it on the internet) actually doing it is a fairly childish, malicious thing to do.

Yours aye,
Captain Joyless.
-- calum, Jul 02 2009

Poor Calum, keep a stiff upper lip old man.
-- dentworth, Jul 02 2009

-- blissmiss, Jul 02 2009

Whilst I agree with Captain Joyless that the idea is, essentially, childish and unoriginal, it isn't necessarily malicious. I know a few managers who would be only too pleased if their staff actually did what they were told for once!

<Climbs wearily into pulpit to deliver sermon>
I also find myself in disagreement with the assertion about comedy in science fiction. There is some tremendous stuff out there and the fact that it's buried under great piles of dross perpetrated by mainstream writers who have added the sci-fi tag to their work because they can bilk more spotty teenagers out of their pocket money that way is hardly the fault of the genre in general. And besides, it's well known that Historical Romance is the least funny genre in fiction.
<ends sermon with vague admonishments about repentance, fire & brimstone, eternal punishment & L Ron Hubbard>
-- DrBob, Jul 02 2009

That is an amazing piece of writing.

My boss 'gets f**ked' a lot.
-- jetgrrl, Jul 02 2009

Reminds me of a joke that ends with the boss saying to one of his employees "I'm sorry Mary, but I'm going to have to lay you or Jack off."
"Could you jack off please? I have a terrible headache."
-- shudderprose, Jul 02 2009

-- theleopard, Jul 06 2009

Is that like a low calorie car race?
-- daseva, Jul 06 2009

random, halfbakery