I've just started a new job. It's been a very long time since I worked in an office, so I wanted to make an impression. I lined my cube with Successories® desk accessories and posters, making sure to choose from the "most popular themes" section of their online store. (I picked up ENDURANCE, COMMITMENT, PASSIVE-AGGRESSION, KNOWING WHEN TO KEEP YOUR FAT MOUTH SHUT, FARMING IT OUT TO INDIA, SUBTLE CONDESCENSION, SOBBING IN THE COMPANY WASHROOM and their #1 best-seller, COCAINE.)
I bought a bunch of collectible figures from the Beatles' Yellow Submarine and The Family Guy and left them, still in their blister-paks, in neat rows along my desk. (It barely left me any room for my Stress Balls so I had to keep those tucked away in my rolling file cabinet, but fuck it. You can't put a price on projecting the most intimate details of your personality, can you?)
Since I sit with my back to the office – my desk faces a postage stamp vending machine – I draped a funny t-shirt over the back of my chair. I found it online. It says, "KISS MY WHITE ASS, DICKLICKS!" –– Oscar Wilde. Whatever! Writers are infamous for being smart-asses, and I can roll with the best of them.
I packed a snuggly cardigan sweater in my storage cubby for days when the AC is just too darn cold, and I packed a pair of Reebok training shoes for the days when my heels are killing me. Also, I filled a candy dish with condoms and placed it by my computer.
Then I plastered a series of Dilbert comic strips – I had the ones from the sunday papers laminated – around my desk and on my overhead shelves. This was sort of a problem, though. One of the human resources people told me that other employees sort of frown upon this practice. "You kind of have to earn these," she said. Apparently, you can gradually post relevant comic strips over time, to create a very funny narrative of your life as an office-worker, but it's considered poor etiquette to front-load a bunch of strips at once. People need to see something new at your desk every once in a while, to give them something to chat about with you. It usually goes like this:
THEM: "Hey there. Working hard?"
YOU: "More like hardly working!"
THEM: "Yeah, I wish! Say, I haven't seen this Dilbert."
[4 second pause]
THEM: "Heh. That's a good one. OK, later."
YOU" "Please kill me."
THEM: "Did you just say something?"
YOU: (shaking head) "Mmm-mm. You going to Thirsty Thursdays?"