Sunday, October 15, 2006

I repeat, Coffee = Morale

OK, this one is going to require a little background. We all work for Raytheon Polar Services, the contractor for the National Science Foundation to provide support services to run the stations in the US Antarctic Program. In this case, it's probably a typical relationship between employees and "The Man" where there's not too much love lost, for a number of reasons.

Denver HQ has this Polar Morale Committee, which sponsors monthly functions like ice cream socials, picnics, golf tournaments, bowling nights, etc. They look like fun, from the pictures that they post in the monthly company newsletter of happy people at BBQ's, wearing shorts or playing mud volleyball. It always makes us down here on the ice wonder whose morale this committee is trying to boost because it ain't ours and maybe instead of "Polar" morale, they should call it "Cubicle" morale.

In fact, this Polar Morale Committee has quite the opposite effect for people who are actually working IN a polar region, 9 hours a day, 6 days a week with only one 2 day weekend off per month. Seeing all of these tanned and smiling people, sometimes all wearing specially made t-shirts for their Take Your Child to Work Day or whatever, in the company newsletter of which they make sure we receive an electronic copy, just turns our morale into toxic cynacism.

So last week, as part of company-wide cost cutting, the free coffee was eliminated at Denver HQ. "The Man" said, "Either the coffee goes or we let go of one employee". Well, we could think of a few people they could fire up there in order to keep the java. But to make things worse, they can't put Mr Coffee makers in their cubicles either due to fire hazards. So now they are caffeine-free in cubicle land. Dilbert knows just how wrong this is:

And boy are people at the home office pissed. We may not have any more coffee filters at South Pole (ran out in August), but we still have a few years worth of beans frozen outside. So, in an effort to show solidarity and compassion for our non-polar comrades, we held our own Denver Morale Committee Coffee Social last night.

OK, so we didn't actually have any coffee, more like lots of wine, beer and Scotch, but we're all hoping that our efforts boosted the morale of the workers at HQ. I'm working on submitting these photos to the company newsletter.

Denis, Jonny O and Holly

Denis, a weird French guy who specializes in sticking things in his mouth or up his nose.

Renee and Jeff during a truce in the round of bare knuckle boxing.

And Michael - he just woke up (works sort of a night shift) and is having scotch and pizza for breakfast.


At 9:06 AM, Blogger reehmeo said...

Man, despite how pale he is, that Michael guy is one good looking man . . . do you have his number . . . .

At 11:10 AM, Blogger Denis said...

Michael, don't be a buffon!
there's your name written in the comment post. We know it's you who;s posting. Hahaha

At 12:31 AM, Blogger shane said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 12:35 AM, Blogger shane said...

Aha , A multi-national pole party , I see a Kiwi drinking Speights!!
Greetings From Casey Station , Wilkes Land , Antarctica. I think you were originally going to play one of our chippies at chess earlier this year...
How do I know about the delights of Speights ? Cuz Im a Kiwi working for the Australians as a Mechanic. Im one of the deiso's for the station and also the Wilkins runway construction site. I came down here Nov '05 and will be out in Jan '07 . I like to check out other Antarcticans blogs , keep up the good work!

At 6:56 AM, Blogger Heidi said...

So YOU'RE one of the formidable Casey chess wizards! I heard about how tough you guys are from Neal here and Roberto at Belgrano 2. Plenty of Kiwis down here - you should come work in our heavy shop!

At 4:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's another coffee-themed Dilbert:

At 2:39 PM, Blogger Bob Schubring said...

FWIW, there are 3 execs under indictment for stock fraud at a certain bankrupt tech company...and the manager immediately below the three writes weekly e-mails to 40 PhD's complaining that they are thirty dollars short paying into the coffee fund! Parva leves capiunt animos, I guess.

At 12:30 AM, Anonymous WaterDon said...

Have you ever known a cubical boss that could find their butt with both hands?
Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert, claims he doesn't make up the strip ideas. People e-mail their latest "dumb boss" story to him and he just draws the pictures.


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