It seems that the old water-cooler is now virtual, since companies now have geographically dispersed teams and many work-at-home employees.  I’m sure the company’s purpose in creating an IM system was to improve productivity, and they probably never expected some of the uses it gets put to today.  A prime example of which is the following conversation that I just yanked out of one of my IM windows (and sanitized to remove any identifying information)…

Coworker – what is considered to be impolite to leave stuck in your rice in Japan except at funerals?
Me – Your chopsticks?
Coworker – yep
Me – I had never known that, but the context of the question suggested the answer.
Coworker – the question was on a chocolate wrapper
Coworker – an authoritative source
Me – What kind of chocolate?
Coworker – Reeses
Me – I guess in previous experiences with Reeses that I must have missed these pearls of wisdom on the wrapper in my haste to partake of rich chocolaty-peanutty goodness…
Coworker – well, I am getting around to eating bell shaped Christmas ones <OtherCoworker> gave me
Coworker – sort of cleaning out my office
Me – Uh….
Coworker – they’re still good
Me – You better make sure your insurance is paid up…
Coworker – oh, come on
Me – I guess they could be, based on shelf-life… but still… something about 7-month old chocolate seems… well… offputting to say the least.
Coworker – ha, that’s fresh for me
Me –  grin
Coworker – I prefer the Nestle’s Treasures
Coworker – but no thought provoking questions on the wrapper
Me – Unfortunate.

Surely, with vital communications such as this coursing through it, our IM system is enhancing productivity and creating synergies throughout the company…  cool smirk

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