Just for kicks, I’m going to suggest to my coworkers that we start working together the way Congress does. I don’t think any of my team have actual experience serving in Congress, and if they do, they’re too embarrassed to admit it. But I still think we can pull it off because we were all children once.
We’ll divide up based on which party we’re registered in, and from then on, instead of our once cordial staff meetings, we’ll meet separately to strategize—one side in the men’s restroom and the other in the women’s. We’re a small department so we don’t need a lot of space, plus the bathroom is a good metaphor for how things are going to go from here on out.
When we emerge from our secret bathroom meetings, we won’t want to talk to the other side, but we will want to talk about them. So we’ll give a lot of media interviews where we’ll take credit for anything good that’s happening in the company and blame the other side for anything bad. We’ll say it’s because we’re smart and principled and have the best interests of our company at heart, and they’re self-centered, incompetent and as uncooperative as a herd of drunken mules.
As much as we prefer to work with our own kind, eventually, we’ll have to come together, so just like in Congress and junior high, we’ll only sit next to our friends and we’ll vote with them no matter what the issue is. Sometimes this will be because we really believe it’s the right way to vote, but most times, it will be because that’s how everyone else on our team is voting or because we’re still mad at the other side for calling us drunken mules.
Unfortunately, we won’t be able to vote based on what our largest campaign donors want, like some congressmen do. You have to campaign to get campaign donations, and we don’t have that kind of time.
Sometimes we’ll really want to make a point or just hold things up, so we’ll stand up and pontificate for a while—a long while. We’ll read out loud from Shakespeare or Dr. Seuss or the telephone book to fill the time. We’ll blab and preach and carry on until the cows come home and then turn around and leave again because they just can’t take it.
And we might do like they do in the senate and tack unrelated riders on to whatever else we’re voting on. For example, I plan to sneak in a rider calling for loud 70’s rock-and-roll to be played in the office because I don’t see any other way to get everyone else to agree to it.
There you have it! From now on, this will be our mode of operation day after day, year after year. Go to your corner, come out voting, then have recess. It will be fun.
Still, I suppose there will be times even this system won’t be quite dramatic enough for us. So now and then we’ll have a dispute so serious that we’ll shut down our business for a few days over it. This will be a great inconvenience to our customers and will cost our company a lot of money, but on the bright side, we’ll still get paid. On second thought, no, we probably won’t. Never mind.
(Dorothy Rosby is the author of several humor books, including I Used to Think I Was Not That Bad and Then I Got to Know Me Better.)