Some time last fall we noticed that every employee at Preation had two monitors, either two LCD screens or two flat CRT monitors with the exception, ironically, or both members of our design team. The software developers seemed to have the nicest and newest screens and nearly everyone on the sales team (and myself) used their laptop as one of their two screens having also a free-standing external LCD screen.
Having dual screens become so renowned in the office that our head of web strategy Neil quickly dubbed the term Twonitor (pronounced Twa-ni-ter), the result of smashing the words Two and Monitor together (new word creation through word smashing is also a bad habit of mine, I call it newomashing for short). Also to note, last year Neil coined the popular office term crepulent, for no specific reason that I can recall, to describe something of low quality that shared both crappiness and a generally accepted disgust from the people who had to interact with it. The perfect term for things like printers that constantly get paper jams.
Anyway, after the realization of the odd mismatch in screen equality among company teams it didn’t take long for our lead designer Randall to politely request a second screen for himself. Naturally it made lots of sense, if not the most sense, for him to have the nicest visual displays for his work environment. When he made his request we put the purchase on a list of upcoming hardware needs and then pretty much forgot about it for a few months until the purchase was to be made.
The time came and the additional 19 inch LCD screen was purchased. But as luck would have it Randall was out on a week of vacation when the screen arrived at the office and it enticed several people as it sat there still in its box waiting to be put to work. Finally the tension was too much and it was removed from the box, salivating likely ensued. Since the new screen matched a screen being used by another employee it would need to be part of a shuffle to get everything into a new arrangement.
I was out of town at the same time (luckily my extra monitor was spared) and when I returned I found the following arrangement (see pictures below) among service team workstations (designers and developers). I thought to myself “I love it!”
The team had not only divvied up the nicest monitors for themselves but had made a point to give Randall the dual-screen setup he requested… comprised of the oldest pieces of junk with screens on them that they could find in the building. Truly crepulent! They also iced the cake by giving each of themselves what could only reasonably be referred to as Tronitor. I’m not entirely sure where the old monitors came from but I bet they have some ties back to our early startup days when we used to purchase computer monitors from the UNC Chapel Hill University Surplus store at Carolina North for fifteen bucks a piece. And I mean PIECE, as the pictures show.
Randall returned the following Monday and as one might imagine was less than thrilled with his new computer system. Although being quite low-tech he may still have harnessed the most pixel power of anyone in the office… I think they were 24 inch CRTs. Although, that assumes that all of the pixels were still working which just wouldn’t have been possible considering their age. Naturally the prank arrangement was dismantled and everyone had a good laugh, but not before Randall got at least a few hours of work done as if he was looking through a stained-glass window. We’re all glad he’s got a good sense of humor!
Prank Workstation Arrangement
Workstations shown below belong to team members in the following order: Phil (developer), Christina (developer), Lee (developer), Randall (designer)