To help stem the tide of vitriol between Management and us, the creative troublemakers, we were asked to submit a “design approach.” This would be the document that detailed the rhyme to our reason. Anyway, I’ve always liked the sound of it–the phrase itself seems so thoughtful, so courteous. Kind of like, “design suspicion,” or “design flirtation.” And certainly nothing so hard as a “design edict.”
So we came up with our take on the official design approach, and presented it to management, who then grabbed the sheaf from our palsied hands and scuttled off into their meeting room for study as they searched for weak spots in our armor. They’re so cute when they do that!
Meanwhile, I got to thinking about this design approach. Back to the actual phrase, I mean. The more I thought about it the more I became certain that it was all this approaching that caused the trouble to begin with. Namely, Management endlessly approaching Design with requests. So, on the side I decided to come up with a “negative reinforcement work request discouragement approach.”
I haven’t actually tested this for efficacy, but it seems like it may finally be our ticket to peace. The idea is for Design to be positioned with its back to the wall so that we can see them coming. As they enter our invisible activation sphere I will begin to emit an even tone that will rise in volume in direct relation to their distance from my desk. I’ll do this until they’re standing right in front of us, holding the paper out with one hand, while trying to cover both ears against the now deafening screech with the other. The way I figure it, they will soon learn.
“Now, you don’t want to get too close to him,” they’ll tell the new employee. Everyone will nod soberly, their pupils dilated in fear as past experiences replay in their heads. Someone else will lean in to the new recruit and whisper, “He will make a sound that will harm you.” The boss will clear her throat then–no point getting wrapped up in something that can’t be changed. She’ll say, “We keep his inbox downstairs in car park, far far away, where it is safe. Someone will show you how to find it.” And order will be restored.
The excitement is almost more than I can bear. I think maybe I try my new technique tomorrow.