Saturday, September 22, 2007

Executive Toys

Over the last few weeks, I've had the misfortune of spending more time than I'd like in a number of different offices - including those of some executives.

Something I've noticed is that the more 'important' someone is (or believes themselves to be), the greater the likelihood that they have one (or more) 'toys' in their office.

I don't mean Slinkys, or dartboards, or stuff like that; what I'm talking about is crap like indoor artificial waterfalls (varying in size from desktop models to something that likely needed a dolly to haul it in), personal water coolers (the kind with bottles on top), and any number of other things that could have some vague functionality and usefulness. Except that in a few rare cases, these 'toys' are not in real, actual use - in fact, most of them had clearly not been used in quite some time, but were still cluttering the office of the executive in question.

I'm left wondering: did these indivuals buy these things with money from their own pockets, or (as I'm afraid) did they manage to exercise their 'authority' to get them in a probably petty exercise of power? If these items were purchased with 'company' money, what did the rest of the staff think about it, and what was the effect on office morale?

For myself, I don't think I'd want to work where anyone was allowed to buy crap like that using 'company' funds - it seems to suggest that there's simply too much petty politics, power games, and other nonsense to make it tolerable, never mind enjoyable, place.

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