The Office Count-Down

Remember when you were five and you misbehaved?  And your parents would count to three?


But of course, they’d never get to three.

Because in those few seconds between “Two!” and “THR..”,  that’s the point at which you’d cave and start acting right again.

Because you’d be too terrified of what would happen if Mom or Dad ever finished the dreaded three-count.

(Probably nothing too serious, actually).

You were almost tempted to find out, though.    But it just wasn’t worth the risk.

And your parents knew you’d never call their bluff.   That’s why they used three-count was used so often.

But it only works up to a certain point.

Because as kids get older, they get smarter, and they start pushing the boundaries and questioning authority.

Idle threats used on a five-year will no longer work on an older child. He won’t feel respected, and he won’t respect his parents.

Good parents realize this, and they’ll adapt by using more sophisticated, age-appropriate methods of discipline.


Fast-forward, 40 years.

At the Factory, they want everyone to fill in their Weekly Timesheet Forms (WTF’s)  by Monday Noon.    No exceptions.

Because the World will End.   Civilization as We Know It will cease.  If  the bean-counters don’t get their WTF’s by Monday.

And they’re going to enforce this.

If you miss the deadline the first time, your manager will have a chat with you.

If you miss the deadline the second time, then the Director will have a chat with you.

But if you miss the deadline for (gasp!) the THIRD time…(Wait for it…)

…then you will get a one-on-one chat with the SENIOR DIRECTOR-GENERAL GRAND-POO-BAH:  Lester McFester.

And BELIEVE ME (they tell us, trying to get us to tremble in our boots), you do NOT want to he having THAT chat with Mr. McFester!



It’s like “One….Two…THR”,   all over again.

But I’m not five anymore.

One of these days, I’m  NOT gonna fill in my WTF’s.

Just to see what happens.

What’s Lester gonna do?


Time OUt

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19 Comments on “The Office Count-Down”

  1. Bandobras Says:

    You’re luck my dad would backhand us right after 2 never getting to 3.
    By the time I was 14 though I had figured that out.

  2. Brett Legree Says:

    Parents who have kids requiring “the three count” sometimes have a hidden drinking problem.

    (No, not *me*, honest hee hee…)

    I wonder if Lester has a drinking problem too.

    That would explain why he has such a *great* sense of humour and smiles all the time, right?

  3. Friar Says:

    So…you were a quick learner, eh? 😉

    Actually, I bet you there’s an official 50-page Procedure somewhere, on how to apply the three-count at the Factory.

    But that Lester. Such an amazing personality. He warms my heart, he does.

  4. Kelly Says:


    I have to go with Bandobras on this one. Modern kids, sure. My kid can time the three-count down to the last nanosecond between 2 and 3, and so can every other little person I know these days.

    But my mother *never* counted, and my father never had to worry about “just wait ’til your father gets home.”

    Between Fear of God and Fear of Mom, we didn’t need Fear of 1-2-3.

    The good old days…



  5. Brett Legree Says:

    I think Kelly’s on to something there.

    See, in the “good ole days”, kids didn’t know any better i.e. they believed everything that mom & dad said, they believed they’d burn in Hell if they didn’t brush their teeth, and so on.

    Just like in the “good ole days”, employees believed everything the boss said.

    Sort of like a lot of the people who are still at The Factory, to be honest.

    You know the ones I mean, the ones who believed there would never be lay-offs (there were) and that no one would ever be fired (three were fired this week).

    The ones who think that everything will remain blissfully the way it was in the 1950’s, budgets will keep increasing to infinity, and a rainbow will shoot out of a unicorn’s butt.

    Hey, that should be the official company logo.

    A rainbow-farting flying unicorn.

  6. Kelly Says:


    I still fuel my days on Fear of God and Rainbows From Unicorns’ Butts.

    That’s why I’m a realistic optimist…


  7. Eyeteaguy Says:

    I have to say that I give my kids the 5 count. When I get to 5, well let’s just say Child Services would not be pleased. I actually spank my kids! Thing is that its not a spank, its more of a pat but they get the idea.
    When we play I always give them a whack in the ass and they think its hilarious. If I give them the same pat after a 5 count its tears and hurt feelings.
    But I have not had to resort to a spank in a long time.

    Best part is I no longer even count out loud. I just start rasing fingers. And it works from across the room too.
    As they get older I’ll have to think of another ploy but 1-2-3-4-…. works like a charm.

    Now get the WTF (what the form?) back to me by noon tomorrow or I’ll send you to your office with no lunch.


  8. Friar Says:

    I guess some factories still haven’t progressed progressed beyond the “One-two-three” stage.

    Sad thing is, this includes the workers, as well as the management.

    PS. A rainbow-farting flying unicorn.

    Hmmm…mabye one day I’ll post something about that. 😉


    See? You were brought up with strict standards. No counting at all.

    Meanwhile, slacker parents like Eyeteaguy will count up to FIVE.

    No wonder today’s kids are messed up.

    Goody! If I get sent to my office with no lunch, I can be just like all the soup-martyr senior manager wannabees.

  9. Davina Says:

    Tisk. WTF, ha, ha.

    Ahem, they should can the manager and the senior director, skip the hand-holding, send you (course, not YOU per se) to the Grand Poo-bah the first time and just get it over with. Has anyone ever had this CHAT with him… the mysterious powerful Oz might not be such a great wild card after all.

    I don’t remember ever getting the 1-2-3 count. We just got “the look”; and if looks could kill…

  10. XUP Says:

    I would think a Senior Director General would have bigger things to do and worry about than who filled in their time sheets. Maybe they need to trim some fat at the top of that food chain? Also, can I assume that your weekley timesheets are somehow related to your pay? In which case why don’t they just not pay whoever doesn’t hand in their time sheets in time for the bean-counters to make up the payroll?

  11. XUP Says:

    Also, I think your Factory could maybe do with an internal communications plan so that instead of just telling people to do stuff and threatening them with tongue lashings if they don’t, maybe there could be an explanation along the lines of that the bean-counters have a job to do, too and are responsible for submitting whatever to whoever by a certain time and how they getting their job done in a timely fashion somehow benefit each and every one of you. (A good comm person could spin it so it becomes less of a chore)

  12. OK, I love that the form is called the WTF. Does the factory also produce an LOL report and an OMG form?

    I’m with Davina: Mom never had to count. All she had to do was give my sister and me “the look” and we were silenced. It worked especially well in church, where we were known to act less than Godly …

  13. Brett Legree Says:


    They send us on Special High Intensity Training, too.

    Then you can tell everyone that you know shit.

  14. Brett Legree Says:


    I’d be afraid of poo-scented rainbows too.

  15. Friar Says:

    I don’t know anyone who’s had to have a Chat with the Wizard of Oz.

    But I’ve heard the director is bad enough. (So I guess the staff are all s’posed to be all shocked and awed, with the concept of talking to the Grand Fromage himself).

    And a lot of Factory people are, as Brett points out.

    Wel, that’s my point, EXACTLY. You’d think they’d have other lesser-peons delegated to handle this mickey mouse stuff, instead of involving the Senior Director General Grand Poo-Bah.

    But (sigh). That’s the way the Factory works.

    For example, we have PhD Scientists put in charge of “housekeeping” inspections of our office/cubicles.

    @XUP (Again)

    I just don’t understand why it has to be so complicated. For example, if a secretary spends 30 minutes fixing up your document, she has to have a “charge number”.

    Geezus. We’re all in the same company, we’re all on salary. The money all comes out of the same pot, ultimately. Why count so many beans?

    I used to work in another company that did similar work. Different people worked on different projects. Plus contract work with commercial clients. It varied from week to week.

    But (heaven forbid), we never had to worry about our WTF sheets. They had OTHER people to take care of that…We just got to focus on our actual work.

    Well (ahem), I was perhaps a bit liberal with my description of “WTF” forms.

    But you get the idea…. 😉

    How can anything so beautiful and colorful as a rainbow smell bad?

  16. @Brett: LOL! Well played.

  17. Patricia Says:

    You could always work for the church – they just don’t put anything in the basket if you don’t entertain well enough – no one eats or pays bills if you are not up to their standards and because people are treated poorly at work and have no say – they let all the air out of their lungs on church boards and committees.

    If you are one of the first 11 ordained women in your country/denomination, let me tell you – the grand poo bah refers to you as the “BITCH” at meetings and refuses to place you in employment and 36 years later they are still wondering if they need to keep you on the list…

    I am one hell of an accomplished, talented, intelligent, gorgeous woman and I paid $48,000 a year for 5 years to get those degrees and that Ordination – they will not have it or take it away. And I will not fill in any more time sheets or be intimidated by their counting games.

    I prove myself to myself and how I take care of my spot on the planet…what counts is my relationship to others – those connections.

    I honestly believe I have contributed more to this world than any 10 of “them” combined – the world is a better place because I was here – and that is all that matters.

  18. Friar Says:


    Wow…the Grand Poo Bah calls you a bitch?

    Maybe you should think about changing churches…(??)

  19. Patricia Says:

    The grand poo bah that calls me a bitch retired 2 years ago – new poo bah thinks I am old and ignores me…he is young and single – maybe gay…and thinks that women’s rights are all taken care of – the most creative entertainer wins now

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