“Office Madness!” the headline shouted from the front page of USA Today. Among the unafflicted, like me, “Office Madness” prompts images of letterhead in the wrong drawer of the copier or computer glitches that appear after every software upgrade. But for the other 310 million people in the U.S., those words mean the annual epidemic of NCAA fever has taken hold of offices across the country.
No rights for the writer
I am immune to this three-week epidemic and able to concentrate on my work. As punishment, I’ve been asked (told) to write a blog about March Madness. (My co-workers and bosses are too busy checking scores and streaming games).
The gist of the USAT article is that while some employers do their best to stymie NCAA pools in the work place, other employers “embrace the Madness to build camaraderie.” Apparently 55 percent of HR professionals (and 100 percent of JWM bosses) think office pools have a positive effect on morale, with copywriters being the exception.
At JWM, our office manager, Kim McGuire, runs the NCAA pool and usually some family members of staff also participate. Regardless of who wins the pool, they share the bounty by buying everyone DQ Dilly Bars.
The first round had no sooner begun this year when Kim had a family emergency and drove to Chicago. Connie Collins, one of our art directors, realized she forgot to make a copy of her picks and wanted to know how her teams were doing. When the bracket sheets could not be found at work, Kim (in transit) was texted. Turns out Kim had the sheets with her so she could calculate the first round winners. (I had trouble writing that last sentence because she is so annoyingly responsible and considerate.) She pulled over (at least that’s her story), took a picture of the aforementioned bracket sheet and e-mailed it to work. Crisis averted; camaraderie intact.
Dilly Bars for all
Personally, I think JWM has a great environment and we work very well as a team; we don’t need March Madness. However, I can see how much everyone else at JWM enjoys picking their teams, rehashing yesterday’s games and of course, eating the Dilly Bars. So in the spirit of camaraderie, I’ll write the blog so my coworkers are free to check the scores.