Thursday, May 3, 2012

Time Capsule

Greetings, reader of the future!

I know not how you stumbled upon this ancient "blog" with its curious "postcards" and talk of queer locations which undoubtedly no longer exist (or only exist as irradiated wastelands, above which you live in domes). I can only wonder how you're consuming this information. Perhaps with some kind of bio-chip neural interface, or maybe something a little less wholesome. No matter! The important thing is, you found this entry, and are eager to learn about our past-dwelling ways.

For example! By this point, I'm sure you've evolved beyond any need for vocal communication, either through bluetooth telepathy or secretion of pheromones, but back now we must speak to one another in order to convey desires or ideas. In a customer-server conversation, this exchange of meaningful noises is in general brief and to-the-point, as our baristas have not yet been replaced with machines that read your every thought. An example:

Barista: Hello, sir!*
Man: Greetings. I would like to purchase** a tall mocha created using non-fat dairy product, but topped with high-fat whipped dairy product.
Barista: Right away, sir! Nice day, isn't it?
Man: Yes. The weather*** is indeed quite fine. I will be taking in a sports match at Wrigley Field this afternoon.
Barista: Here is your drink, sir. Enjoy the Cubs game!****

Baristas and other employees engaged in customer-server interaction are discouraged from freely speaking in front of their customers, as this indicates employees have thoughts and feelings unrelated to fulfilling the customers needs, which shatters the illusion of total customer dependency. Many a Barista has been censured for referring to events outside of work while in front of a thirsty patron. This makes for restrictive, but predictable, conversational patterns.

However, in a different context, conversations can be fraught with ambiguity. Picking up a member of the opposite or same sex in a bar or party environment is an exhaustively-researched example, but another is the Office Chat.

In the Office Chat, one worker leans into another worker's office, cubicle, or general personal space in order to briefly converse. This conversation may have a work-related point, or indeed may serve no purpose at all save for general socialization. It is far more flexible in nature than a customer-server interaction, with no set end point and no set topic. Normally such conversations--or "convos," as emerging segments of our population call them--are pleasant and enjoyable, but if one member of the "convo" is new to the office or unused to flexible conversation at work, he may find himself wondering several things, including:

a) Should I keep working while we talk?
b) Is it appropriate to call other workers in the cubicle block into our discussion?
c) How casually may I behave?

The main concern we address today, though, is: what is the proper thing to say when the conversation ends? The usual salutations--goodbye, take it easy, mahalo--are ineffective, as the coworker is in most cases not leaving. So, does the worker simply walk away? Return to his duties? Or perhaps end the conversation intentionally? All are valid approaches, but to a recent hire or import from the customer-service sector all seem equally dangerous. If you have solved this mystery, by all means, let us know via time machine or messages sent through wormholes! If the future is bleak and populated only by marauding machines, let us know as well, so that we might stop worrying about health or pollution and simply drive muscle cars while consuming salted porcine meat.

These murals undoubtedly exist in greater numbers and across geographical boundaries, now that China is one of two remaining superpowers. But in our day, real murals were hard to come by, and often quite old!
I assume female toplessness is allowed and encouraged in your future, but back now it's illegal in many places and often thrown into entertainment or advertising in order to shock and titillate. Not sure if this should change, honestly, as the forbidden nature adds a sense of excitement.

*In our society, physical sex is inflexible, and sexual reassignment surgery is cosmetic in function. If your society has moved past this through means magical or scientific, disregard the gendered noun.

**Assuming your society has reached post-scarcity, "purchase" means to exchange a form of capital--usually precious metals or coinage representing the idea of precious metals--for goods and services.

***Mankind currently has no way to control the weather, although we have successfully created lightning. If this innovation at any point leads to commonplace lightning-based warfare, we are deeply sorry, though feel sort of proud of ourselves all the same.

****You will of course be familiar with the Chicago Cubs due to their 104-year championship drought, and their subsequent 200-year winning streak. Or at least you god damn well better be.

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