I love when my life starts to feel like the movie Office Space.
Consider this rather bizarre exchange from this morning, as I struggled to figure out where to put my weekly production meeting, since our usual space had been taken over by a bunch of journalists. Granted, I had been warned–verbally–of the conflict two weeks ago, at which time I requested a reminder in writing so I could change my schedule accordingly. Said written reminder never happened. So I moved the ten employees who have to take part in the meeting to another conference room, one that is never used for conferences, but that currently houses my intern. Our meeting was interrupted at the outset by a blustering administrative assistant.
Administrative Assistant: Did you reserve this room for your weekly meeting?
Me: No, but the space that we have on constant reserve for our weekly meeting is currently being used by someone else…and I was not sent a follow-up email about that schedule change.
AA: Well you can’t meet here. This space is being used by your intern as an office right now, you can’t have a meeting in here.
Me (to my intern, who technically should be part of the meeting anyway): Are we bothering you?
Intern: Not in any way, actually.
Me (to AA): We’ll be done in 10 minutes. Technically she should be part of this anyway.
AA: You need to reserve this space before you can have a meeting here.
Let me reiterate: this all-important space is used by absolutely no one in the office except my intern. But regardless of logic, bureaucracy rules. I went ahead and held my meeting in the forbidden space, because–well–we had to have it.
And approximately seven minutes later I received an email memo from the office manager, which read:
“This is just a friendly reminder that all conference rooms and the library need to be reserved before use. Thank you for your cooperation.”
Sometimes the complete idiocy of “systems” just floors me.