What does the ‘New Normal’ modern American office look like when, or if, workers return? Gone will be the communal perks of beer kegs and ice cream socials, as well as amenities often taken for granted, like shared office supplies and conference rooms. Our business lifestyle reporter Janet sat down with Melinda May, futurist and CEO of Syt, a direct-to-business office furniture startup, selling premium equipment to other growing companies. The interview has been condensed for content and purged of all classified information.
Boredroom News: You’ve written previously that one of the core function of the office will be to provide basic preventive measures for future viral outbreaks.
MAY: That’s absolutely correct; not only will office managers respond to this pandemic, but to the potentiality of the next one as well. That’s where a little prognostication comes into play. We firmly believe that a strategic stockpile of masks, gloves, and Sunkist orange soda will be “must haves” for anyone returning to the office.
BRN: Sunkist? Just for the fluids, right?
MAY: No, of course not. But I do have on good authority (my lawyer’s cousin’s son went to Frisch with Jared Kushner) that the U. S. Surgeon General will be directed soon to add Sunkist to the list of approved treatments, along with hydroxychloroquine. However, at least Sunkist probably won’t make the virus any worse…
BRN: Ok, so we’ll all have cans of Sunkist with us, but where are we going to sit? I’m not comfortable with anyone closer than a fathom to me for a while.
MAY: Yes, and that’s where the virus will make us change more than just our behaviors; it will literally reshape our reality. What we propose to any company with more than nine employees per acre is a radical re-invention of the cubicle — the tesseracticle. A smaller, personalized 4-dimentional hypercube that not only protects from the physical threat of Coronavirus, but the impossible geometry also prevents the underlying concept of cause-and-effect to even exist. We’ve found that a typical tesseracticle build-out for a modern office can save a company hundreds of thousands of dollars by trapping employees outside the ravages of space and time.
BRN: What about masks? Is every meeting from now on in full masks and gloves just to use a conference room?
MAY: Of-fucking-course everyone will need a mask and gloves on at all times. However, there will be unintended consequences as well; modern office workers will need to carry professional-grade bear mace at all times, regardless of proximity to known bear habitats.
BRN: I assume you’ll tell me why…
MAY: F-E-A-R, fear! The bears, apex predators they are, can smell the fear that humans signal they have for the coronavirus when they wear a mask; it’s just science. The bears, not susceptible to the virus itself due to divine intervention, will foist themselves into the fear-addled office building in search of tasty treats inside.
[The interview fell silent for two hours, thirty-seven minutes]
BRN: Is there anything else that the ‘New Normal’ office should have?
MAY: If anything, I’d say an overwhelming, yet entirely-false, sense of security is another must-have. Without it, you’d probably be better off working from home for the next decade.