The Real Power In The Office

My boss called me into her office and silently handed me a piece of a paper instructing me to use my position as the office “gopher” to implement some productivity initiatives. First, I was to surreptitiously exchange the French grind coffee in the break room with a generic supermarket grind. This she believed would decrease the number of breaks for refills and also cut down on catering costs. Next, I was to gradually shift the file cabinets to decrease the standing space around the water cooler in order to hasten workers’ returns to their desk. Finally, I was instructed to replace the cushioned two-ply in the restrooms with a coarse paper which made toilet breaks on office time a less appealing proposition.

Well, her predicted results manifested themselves soon enough. But what I enjoyed most was not the sense of power I had in being instrumental in the changes; but rather the lucrative side-business I ran selling first-rate coffee, and plush toilet paper from my mail room trolley.


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