Showstoppers: When work just can’t happen

I screamed at our cat, and watched in delight as she scurried out of my way. This happened right after I slammed the phone down on my bitter half, because of an argument I obviously started. A few hours ago, I also scathingly replied to a mailing list post by some smart aleck who thinks that all websites should conform to his personal “standards.”

Someone needs to outlaw these menstrual cramps.

I consider cramps one of my “showstoppers,” which basically means a (seemingly) valid reason not to work.

Each person at work has his own list of showstoppers. The ones which are generally unavoidable, less frequent, and “reasonable” are usually tolerated. For instance, my boss finally considered cramps as valid showstoppers when a colleague found me crawling in the bathroom (although it’s not exactly a vacation staying at home and watching DVDs with a hot bottle on your tummy).

What’s in your Showstopper List? Here are mine:

  1. Menstrual cramps. A cramp, or dysmenorrhea, is a painful menstruation. Some women experience it, some don’t. Apparently, when the angels showered the women the blessings of unobtrusive menstrual cycles, I was locked up somewhere in a dungeon.
  2. Desktop computers. Not exactly a showstopper, but I have always considered it a major annoyance. Desktops are not only meant to take up the desk space, they are actually a form of Chinese torture meant to imprison me in my cubicle, to deafen me from the office noise, and simply to bore my brains out.
    Lest you think I had it going well in the workplace, I did experience working on a desktop in a previous job. Believe me, it was a major test of willpower. It was also a major test of resourcefulness — in the continuous search for office corners offering peace, quiet, and emancipation, and in figuring out the least eye-straining way to draft a report on a Nokia 9210.
    One good thing happened in that experience though: I rediscovered my handwriting, thanks to the numerous Release Bulletins I actually wrote in longhand while sipping a nice Chocolate Frappuccino in Starbucks.

There is no doubt in my mind that there would be more showstoppers to come. Stay tuned to this page.

And before I forget: what are yours?

4 thoughts on “Showstoppers: When work just can’t happen”

  1. Here\’s mine:
    [*]Empty water dispensers!
    [*]Officemates who gab on the phone for hours
    [*]When people near me play their mp3s in full volume
    [*]Long boring meetings

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