Thursday, October 23, 2008

Ethics of Boiler Ragging

Each year my company requires its employees to participate in an on-line ethics awareness training program. They require this in case one of us commits an ethical sin, they can show the courts it was not the company’s fault since the employee was ethically trained. It protects them from getting sued because they’ve hired a bunch of email porn swapping derelicts, gift-accepting whores posing as managers and coked-up salespeople. And data pirate janitors.

I completed the ethics training this morning. It presented a combination of video and text instruction with pictures of appropriate looking individuals from all races, sexes, creeds and colors. But, surprisingly, no fat people. I guess the fat people in the company only work in the particular office I’m based out of. Multiple choice quiz questions followed each section to make sure the employee paid attention. I didn’t pay attention to most of the instruction. The excitement level caused me to doze a little. When the questions appeared, I chose the least fun or most imbecilic obvious answer, and that was enough to get by. Wait a minute, you mean I’m not supposed to make copies of my co-workers' medical records I happened to come across while breaking into the Human Resources office to find out what kind of raises others received and distribute them to everybody in the company? You got me on that one.

At one of the rare occasions I was paying attention, I heard the austere, yet comforting, but slightly impudently tainted voice of the narrator say that I “am the face of the company”. At that moment I happened to be doing some boiler ragging, which is a polite way I invented to say I was scratching my crotch. From the inside of my pants. My mom used to scold me at the dinner table when I talked about my crotch scratching exploits, so I began referring to it as boiler ragging, and she was none the wiser. She thinks boiler ragging has something to do with my job. In fact, she’s proud of my boiler ragging, and will ask me to tell strangers in the street about it. So I do. And they stay strangers.

So, I’m sitting slumped in my chair, with my hand inside my sweatpants tending the crotch itch, wearing the same crumb, sweat and stain ridden shirt I’ve worn all week, unshowered, and my hair, which I haven’t had cut in about a year and three months, is slumber-combed and in my face, and I hear this man tell me I am the face of the company (I work at home, by the way). Imagine the pride that demand instilled in me. Not to mention the trepidation. THIS is the face of the company? This slouchy, rag-donning, shaggy, smelly, boiler ragging mess is the face of our company? Is this why I haven’t gotten a raise in three years? Who is our marketing director, the Coen brothers?

Luckily, there is nothing in the ethics rules against boiler ragging, as long as it is done discreetly and not on top of other people’s desks. I wasn’t sure about this rule, having ignored most of the training, so I called the Ethics Compliance Office to make sure. The lady who answered the phone happened to be one of the strangers my mom and I met in the street once, so she was well versed in boiler ragging. I hope to see a section on proper office boiler ragging in next year’s training session.

1 comment:

marshall here said...

Ha! The old pinch and rub.