Offices, Forever

Office work is so…human. I’ve seen that message that humans sent out to the stars, with the man and the woman and the mathematical equations. They should’ve just put a picture of a man and a woman sitting at a shared desk, the woman leaning back on a personal phone call drinking coffee and the man clearly pretending to work while looking at Visage-Tome in another tab. That there is humanity. All you need to know, seriously, no one would ever need any more information.

There, I just solved the issue of how to explain to an alien race what we’re like, or at least how to effectively begin the conversation. Then the aliens would ask about these ‘offices’, and maybe I’d go into explaining all the ins and outs of office politics. I could even use examples of clever office fitouts in Melbourne as an example of human ingenuity. They would say “these office designs are quite impressive, but is there anything in your culture that does not revolve around an office?” and I’d say “not really, if you dig hard enough.” And that’s true. Everything has offices. Sporting arenas, schools, leisure centres, even HOMES have offices. As a species we’re totally obsessed with them, maybe because we like to know where all the important paperwork is it all times and an office is the best place to keep that stuff. Or maybe we’re all just quite lonely and we want a place to congregate, where we can at least get some work done at the same time. And office designers exist because we’re both creatures of habit and creatures of change.

That’d make for quite an interesting chat with the aliens, because if science fiction has taught me one thing, it’s that every single alien race is totally mundane, has no nations, is run by a central world government and none of them seem to have any offices. They’ll have a great time learning about the concept.