workplace-humor

I Said There Were No Bad Ideas. But This Brainstorm Was Useless.

I challenged you to think outside the “virtual coin” box. You failed.

This satirical column is part of our series The Break Room. Each column takes a humorous look at an aspect of the workplace. All the characters and scenes are fictional.

I know that when we started this brainstorm I said that there were no bad ideas. But now that our hour is up I feel compelled to say something: You people have been completely useless.

I had high hopes coming into this meeting. I really did. We gathered here to brainstorm ideas to encourage people who once downloaded our app, then deleted our app, to download our app again.

I had high hopes coming into this meeting. I really did.

Usually, we just give our users virtual coins, but for this initiative I really wanted to break out of the whole ‘virtual coin’ box. I was hoping you all might get there on your own, but after we spent the first 20 minutes simply suggesting different amounts of coins and debating how many coins were too many coins vs. how many coins were not enough coins, I decided I should step in to move things along.

I invited you all to stop thinking just in terms of virtual coins. Could there be a physical gift? Maybe a gift card or Amazon credit? Could there be a contest or sweepstakes with prizes? I asked you all to write down one thing you’d love to win and pass your papers to the front of the room.

Tom, you wrote, “Free firewood for life.” …I’m sure that would be useful for you, Tom.  We should remember, however, that our users live all around the world, and not everyone has a fireplace.

Tammy, you wrote “Free poodle grooming.” Of course, again, not everyone has a poodle to groom.

From there the suggestions veered into the outlandish. A superyacht. A trip to space. Etcetera. Which of course would bankrupt this company, since our app is free to download.

When I first organized this brainstorm, there was a part of me that actually thought it would be productive, maybe even fun. I can see now that was naive thinking on my part.

Bruce, you simply wrote, “Lunch!” with an exclamation point and I can tell by the way you’ve sat here with your arms folded over your chest, not saying anything, that you really don’t want to be here and are in fact just eager to get to lunch.

Gale, we invited you down from HR because our company manifesto states that, “We believe good ideas can come from anyone, regardless of department or title.” Your presence here today has made me question whether our manifesto may need to be revised.

When I first organized this brainstorm, there was a part of me that actually thought it would be productive, maybe even fun. I can see now that was naive thinking on my part.

I only have myself to blame. And of course all of you also. Not only have you wasted an hour of my day, you’ve made me seriously question the potential of this company, as well as my overall faith in humanity.

So in closing, thank you all for making the time to be here today. I guess we’ll just go with the 500 bonus coins.

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