Cubicle Warfare II: This Time, It's Personnel
If you and your rag-tag bunch of IT Professionals don't do something, quickly, you know your domination of the office is at risk.
The first thing you do is send your R/C X-Plane ($122 at Buy.com) on a reconnaissance mission to their floor. With its built-in camera, you can take pictures from behind enemy lines.
But, upon its return, you download the images only to find that the Personnel floor is already mobilized. The images show that they're all lined up at the elevators ... with MegaZookas! They're coming, and they're coming NOW.
You immediately deploy your forces into positions around the elevator bank. And you wait. The air smells of recycled air conditioning. It feels like an eternity before the elevator's floor indicator DINGS and the doors start to slide open. This is it.
The necktied hordes from Personnel spill from the elevators. You call for the front line to unleash a barrage of smoke from their Zero Fog Blasters ($18 at CoolStuffCheap.com). The dense circles of smoke and fog obscure the attacking co-worker's vision. You can smell the sweet cherry scent of the smoke — yes, the fog is scented like cherries — and smile, knowing that Personnel is accustomed to your floor smelling more like sweat, old electronics, and JOLT Cola. This additional layer of confusion will give you an all-too-precious split-second pause in their advances.
Smitty, your second-in-command, lobs a Sonic Grenade ($13 at ThinkGeek.com) into the oncoming attackers. The noise deafens the advancing combatants. Unfortunately, the screeching device has also deafened your own people.
Cubicle war is hell.
You make a mental note to bring this mishap up at Smitty's next performance-review, then order your commandos to open fire. The ones that can still hear you unholster their Derringer Rubberband Guns ($5 at X-TremeGeek.com) and Tommy Gun Rubberband Rifles ($35 at ScientificsOnline.com). They begin pumping rounds of rubbery death (or, at least, minor skin-irritating welts) into the remaining attackers.
Even with magazines of 12 and 33 'bands, respectively, the Derringers and Tommy Guns soon run out. An eerie silence descends on the lobby. As the cherry-scented smoke clears, you see that the lobby is strewn with fallen troops. More of theirs than yours, thankfully. You seem to have won the day, again!
Then you hear a sound that will haunt your nightmares for years to come, if you live that long: The DING of the elevator as, once again, its doors slide apart and another wave of Personnel shock-troops disgorges from that steel coffin.
With your men out of ammo, you call for a retreat back to the small kitchen area. As you follow your division's retreat, you think to swipe some items off the desks you pass, in hopes that you'll be able to construct a home-made trebuchet (free because it's made from office supplies).
Arriving at the kitchenette, you're thankful that you'd thought to outfit your team with Potato Guns ($2 at KidSurplus.com). Now, those old, leftover potatoes that have, for some reason, been in the back of the fridge for years, silently sprouting, can be used as precious ammo.
Your handful of troops raise their spud-loaded guns to the door. They're nervous and some of them look to you for assurance that everything will be all right. You're nervous, too, but you can't let on, so you simply say, "I'm very proud of you men." Then, with a mean glance from Shelly, you add, "And women." Everyone falls silent ... and you wait.
With a little luck, and a healthy supply of potatoes, you may be able to survive the day. You might even come out victorious.
To Be Continued ...
Jeff Somogyi is a dealnews Senior Staffwriter. He is a veteran of the 3-day Cooler Wars of Floor 7 and still breaks into a cold sweat when he sees tiny, cone-shaped paper cups.