My first internship was at the last local television channel available in Chicago. The majority of it was spent in a windowless room going over reels of local commercial telecasts and writing down how long each one ran. You know those shitty car dealership commercials that look like they were made for $200? Those ones.
Some days at the internship when I’d be eating my hand-packed lunch at my desk and wishing to be kidnapped and sold into human trafficking circles, I’d daydream about my early years. Specifically, the games I used to play as a young’n. I’d feel a tugging at my heartstrings and long for the freedom to still play those games.
“But John, wait!” I’d say out loud to nobody in particular, because they went to a group lunch I wasn’t invited to. “You can play those games, and right here in the workplace.” Below are my five favorites, updated and adapted to the work environment.
Pretty standard with little rule changes. Once the day begins at 9 a.m., the first person to use the word “synergy” out loud is designated as “it.” The game is played during business hours by all coworkers and the boundaries are your office’s floor only, including the restrooms and stairwells. Whoever is “it” by EOD loses a vacation day. This also goes for anybody who uses the acronym “EOD.”
2. Kick The Can
The next time you’re in your boss’s office and he or she says, “let’s think outside the box on this one,” you and all your coworkers immediately scatter and hide throughout the office. It’s up to your boss to tag each and every one of you to put you in “jail” (located under his/her desk). However, if some spry young salesman sneaks past the boss and kicks the boss’s coffee mug to smithereens, everybody is freed and the game continues.
3. Duck, Duck, Goose
During the weekly sales call, if your VP in New York starts throwing out percentages that aren’t fiscally possible, like “giving something 110 percent,” immediately put the phone on mute. The person sitting closest to the phone is now “it.” Go around the table tapping heads until you find a goose. Whoever is goose by the end of the game has to walk home from the office — no matter where he or she lives.
If somebody brings up the fact that he or she is having a baby or getting engaged, immediately lift your feet off the ground, because the ground is now lava. The goal is to get everyone to climb across stationary items in the office, such as cubicle walls and the copy machine, without touching the ground. You need to get away from that person as quickly as possible.
5. Ghost In The Graveyard
This game is best played in the early summer months when the new summer intern arrives. On the intern’s first day, he won’t know it, but he’s the designated “ghost.” Everybody has to hide from the new intern until he finds somebody. When that person is found, he or she screams “Ghost in the graveyard!” and everybody scatters and avoids being tagged by the intern, who won’t have a clue what’s going on. This will continue all day until the intern leaves in tears and ends up writing about it six years later for a website..