If you’ve ever entered your workstation in the morning and thought, “Surely, someone has been messing with my stuff during the night,” you’ll be pleased and displeased to learn that you are correct. After the rest of the staff goes home for the day, and the cleaning team has made their rounds, a small army of micro-adjusters gets to work creating a condition known as “workplace confusion.”
Inspired by the way the muscle confusion exercise philosophy increases the effectiveness of exercise by employing muscles in different combinations and intensities, workplace confusion prevents workers from focusing on relevant workplace grievances (e.g., “Why is nothing reimburseable?, or “Why is there a nude drawing of me in the bathroom?”) by instead focusing them on bizarre aesthetic issues (e.g., “Why was the ‘a’ key missing on my keyboard yesterday, yet today the ‘a’ is back and the ‘d’ is gone?”).
Guy Hoole is responsible for hiring, training and deploying the crew of micro-adjusters. “They have a standard set of tools in their toolbox,” he said, cleaning his teeth with a letter opener. “But I encourage them to be creative. You want to replace a guy’s light bulb with one 40 watts lower? Go for it. You want to swap the ‘A-M’ and ‘N-Z’ designations on his filing cabinet? Nothing would make me happier.”
Commonly employed micro-adjusting techniques include:
-Crumbs from food you didn’t consume added to keyboard
-Right armrest lowered slightly lower than left
-Phone receiver coughed on
-Arrangements of desktop tchotchkes slightly altered
-Photographs retouched to change race of subjects
-Phone’s ringtone moved one octave up, made 3x as loud
-Monitor breathed on, penis doodled in resulting condensation
-Something with a cat on it replaced with something with a dog on it
If you’d like to opt out of the workplace confusion program, you can sign up for the Company’s ongoing “I quit” initiative.