The Sports You Play At Work

Work-life balance. The juggling act for grown-ups. People always complain that working crazy hours keeps them away from things they'd like to do like spend time with family, binge watch 80s wrestling matches or learn that language Chewbacca speaks. Believe it or not you already play a lot of sports at work that you just don't know about. It's true! Here they are.

Email Tennis - That epic 5-setter of emails that goes back and forth between you and another person which could easily be avoided by doing what you should do. Calling them or walking over and talking to them. Tell me what desk-job junkie hasn't had an email thread like this.

Person A - What are you doing for lunch?

Person B - Thinking about Indian

Persona A - How about Pakistani?

Person B - Aren't they the same?

Person A - Yeah. Want to try that new Chinese place on 4th instead?

Person B - There's a new Chinese place on 4th?

Person A - Yeah. Want to try it?

Person B - K.

Person A- Nice

Person B- What time?

Person A - How about now?

Person B - Sure let me send you this email and I'll head over.

Person A - Ok cool

Person B - Thx. (Sent from my iPhone)

Person A - You're welcome (Sent from my desktop as you stand right in front of me).

Finger Skating - This person is usually the 'disruptive marketer' in your office. On their bad days you often see them frantically side-swiping things on their outdated iPad, iPad Mini or other defunct Apple Product attempting to get work done.

Laptop Shotput - That moment when you finish up an email or a job and the computer hangs. Thankfully work devices are portable these days so you can whale that wretched laptop across the room to liberate yourself. I think the Professional Laptop Shotput Association mandates playing Laptop Shotput while telecommuting on company-owned devices though.

Coffee break marathon - The sport everyone wishes they could play. Here's how it goes. When 11 AM hits you get up from your cubicle (let's be honest) and solicit invitations for a coffee-break marathon. Once you find a taker you then enjoy a nice and pedometer-pleasing mile walk to the coffee shop. Then, you own that work-life balance break like a boss by dining in, indulging on your favorite coffee and the awesomeness of your most-likely Government job for 20 minutes. Alas, work needs to be done and all good things must come to an end. So you lace up your walking shoes and take that physically grinding and emotionally refreshing 20 minute commute back to your desk to get back to work. However, fortune smiles upon thee, because it's now noon and time for lunch.

Blog-sledding - The one-time blogging is actually a sport. You know what I'm talking about. Those frantic 10 minutes when you're typing out something and the ergonomic keyboard is on fire as you hinge forward, back off the backrest and knock out that long-winded email as if you've got a plane to catch. Well, that or an Olympic Gold medal to win. Regardless, you know world-class blog-sledders when you see them and those people could teach Mavis Beacon a thing or two about typing.

Customer Karate - We all know customers and toddlers have a lot in common. They hit, yell and throw temper-tantrums at you while you either smile, nod or oblige to their demands. That perpetual compliance is Customer Karate. Customers swinging body-blow like emails with 12 MB attachments or flinging papers at you across a board-room desk are no joke. We all know who the black-belt Customer Karate people are at your organization - the customer service people.

Binge-meeting contest - Meetings seem to be the death of office productivity. Nobody takes notes, everyone wants to jump in with a suggestion and an agenda gets deviated from extremely quickly. Not only that, but the combination of high-sugar snacks combined with a steady flow of non-productive dialogue, make meetings a huge grind. You know, sort of like watching 2 Pierce Brosnan James Bond movies not named Goldeneye back-to-back. Or, listening to your office IT person vomit abbreviations. Binge-meeting contests, days with 3 meetings or more, take years to prepare for and the person left standing really does deserve the hardiest of hand-shakes and a long-stare. Perhaps even a TED talk on the subject.

Mathletics - Any meeting run by the accounting department or involves opening a 16 GB Excel macro (it's never 'just' a workbook) on a 50 inch LCD screen. Mathletic competitions go together like Batman and The Joker; an unstoppable force (end of the fiscal year) meeting an immovable object (the macro). The accountant doesn't want to bore anyone with their macro, but the unwilling audience is forced to see it. Let's be honest, mathletes can enunciate all the numbers they've accrued through the year and present them in a macro that would even perplex the gang at Khan Academy. But the unwilling audience will always have the same expression on their face. The one that says 'Oh....so this is why they have a numbered keypad.'

Greco Employee Wrestling - Long-time corporate employees are real experts at Greco Employee Wrestling. They know how to deal with someone that doesn't copy the right people on an email or how to joust for leverage when budget meetings are held. Grappling for alignment with the right managers and bribing subordinates in other departments to do their bidding are also part of being a professional Greco employee wrestler. The heavyweight champion of the Greco Employee Wrestling world, the company CEO, really should get entrance music when they arrive in the office every morning and the right to walk around with a heavyweight title around their waist. Just think about how many GoToMeeting calls they must have sabotaged on their way to headlining Greco employee Wrestlemania (aka keynoting the company convention)?

Look, work-life balance is a real struggle for most people. It's hard to do everything you want to do in a day when you've got a lot of different things to deal and a work day that seems to get longer and longer each year. But try to be positive...

at least you know you're getting a lot of exercise.

About the Author:

Sajeel Qureshi is the Vice President of Operations at Computan. Computan helps short-handed marketing departments and marketing agencies get more agile by providing them affordable and reliable back-end support. He has a degree in business administration from St. Bonaventure University, and an MBA from Eastern Illinois University.