Ross: How to get people back to the office? Get rid of the jerks

Aug 23, 2022, 8:47 AM | Updated: 3:33 pm
(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

There is a struggle going on between companies who want their office workers back in the office, and office workers who would rather quit than return.

This is happening even in companies like Apple where its circular corporate headquarters, known as the Ring, was designed as a transparent, circular Nirvana of serendipitous personal interactions:

“The ring’s exterior is made up of 36 to 47-foot long, curved, glass panels, resulting in an open, seamless panoramic view of the outdoor landscape. In fact, Apple park was designed to be as open as possible in order to encourage the free flow of ideas through chance meetings between employees,” as the promotional video describes it.

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Why would this be?

Well, I overheard a conversation at my gym that might explain what’s going on. It had to do with people who behave like – and I don’t like crude language, so I’ll censor myself – but it had to do with people who behave like [expletive].

The great thing about gym conversations is that they tend to occur in the nude, so social status is not immediately apparent, and people tend to be more open. So, naked guy number one says: “Life is too short to work with [expletive].” And then naked guy number two says: “I agree and I’ve been one of those [expletive] and even I don’t wanna work with [expletive].”

A brief conversation, but it teaches us that even [expletive] know they’re [expletive], and either can’t or won’t do anything about it.

And even if your office is a light-filled Nirvana, one [expletive] can still ruin your free lunch.

But the really amazing thing, as this brief conversation reveals, is that the [expletive] know they are [expletive]!

Which leads me to the ultimate solution for luring people back to the office, and I’m only going to say this once because I’m running out of bleeps.

Instead of imposing some complicated hybrid office schedule, just send out a memo announcing that everyone must come back to work except the [expletive].

And the problem should solve itself.

And yes, I realize only an [expletive] would send out a memo like that. But you do what you got to do.

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News with Dave Ross and Colleen O’Brien weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Ross: How to get people back to the office? Get rid of the jerks