Saturday, September 27, 2014

You Want It When?

Every American over the age of 30 has probably seen one of these in an office:

I first saw it during my string of college summer jobs. (This is one of the many images of our time whose origins have been lost. Check out this blog post about it, which seems to indicate it was done by cartoonist Henry Syverson... but which is then followed by multiple commenters claiming their parents originated it. Hah.)

I also saw several others I can't recall, so if you remember the wording to any examples, I'd love to hear about it. This was definitely one of them, though it wasn't designed this well:

I'm fascinated by the tiny bit of worker rebellion that these signs represent, and the way they used to be passed around from copier to copier in the days before the Interweb: an early example of a viral pre-meme.

I was just at a service business yesterday and saw two more of these gems near one worker's desk:

The signs attempt to carve out a bit of mental space for workers who deal with either the public or a large number of internal requesters. Putting up a sign like this in your workspace puts those people on notice that you are not to be messed with. It feels a bit unfriendly but also may keep the requesters more organized and a bit less annoying.


Michael Leddy said...

I remember seeing “Poor planning ...” on the wall in the bursar’s office when I was an undergrad. The office also had a calendar with extra days each month: 32, 33, 34, something like that.

Gina said...

I love these signs. Don't recall ever seeing any of them anywhere, actually. A friend once gave me a figure of a screaming woman that I used while I was temping to warn people that I was overloaded with work and don't give me more.