Saturday, January 31, 2009

Ask a Stupid Question

One of my coworkers is putting together an all-division "town hall" meeting where we get together to hear managers pontificate and malcontents question them uncomfortably. There is a "let's have fun" component of the program where the emcee will put managers' responses to selected questions on the screen, and the audience will try to figure out which manager responded. I think there may be prizes involved.

There is a woman, Kathy, in the other half of our newly-combined organization who was given the task of interviewing the managers to get the answers to the aforementioned questions. During a brief meeting for some other purpose, where three of my direct reports, Kathy, and me were present, she took the opportunity to ask the questions.

Poor woman. She knew not what she was about to experience.

Kathy: How long have you been at Mega Corporation One?

GDad: About ten years and some change. About six years in the operations area and four in the IT area.

Kathy: What is your favorite cartoon character?

GDad: I have many cartoon characters that I like, but my current favorite is Philip J. Fry from Futurama, followed closely by his robot buddy, Bender Bending Rodriguez. [My three direct reports start to chuckle.]

Kathy: [looking slightly confused] If you could be a flavor of ice cream, what flavor would you be?

GDad: Cookies and cream, of course, because then you'd cover me in hot fudge and whipped cream, and then... Oh dear, I've said too much.

Kathy: [looking somewhat alarmed] OK... If I were to ask your coworkers or direct reports about working with you, what would they say?

GDad: You're in luck! These three gentlemen are some of my direct reports. I'll stick my fingers in my ears and hum. You ask them whatever you will. [Sticks fingers in ears and hums. The three gentlemen laugh and talk for a while.] Nod when you're done.

Kathy: [nods] OK.... What is the strangest thing you've ever eaten?

GDad: Hmmm... So many choices.... My mom has told me this one, even though I don't remember it. When I was a wee toddler, my mom found me in my playpen with half of a large bug sticking out of my mouth.

Kathy: What kind of bug was it?

GDad: I'm not sure I know. Mom said it was pretty large. So, I guess the weirdest thing I've ever eaten is "the other half of a large bug."

Kathy: Um... If we put these answers in the presentation, will people be able to guess that this is you?

GDad: Without a doubt.

Three Gentlemen: Yes! I agree! Of course!


Guinea Pig said...

Yeah, I remember why I'm an independent contractor now. WHAT A WASTE OF TIME!

Poor girl. No sense of humor yet huh. A little to young apparently. Time will fix that problem. One way or the other.

Bill said...

You just sparked an early memory. You must stop doing that.

One morning, while my parents were still in bed, I found a D-cell battery that appeared to have Coca-Cola foam oozing from the top.
It wasn't.

Dave said...

Your company must be in great shape. Silly manager games seem to surface when there's extra cash to be used up.

One company I worked at long ago gave us all Myers-Briggs evaluations and then we got to have nifty meetings to share and hug and stuff. These things can be excuciating.