Somebody gave me this book and office gadget thing called “Welcome to the RAT RACE”. Obviously, I was interested. Against all my minimalistic beliefs I brought this piece of extra clutter home. There was a foam board and wind-up rat with a little booklet titled “Fighting the corporate treadmill”. Ah, a way to get out of the rat race, I naively thought.
You can get this for a dollar…But don’t buy it! Here’s my review and an escape plan for our friend: Pat the Rat.
See, the booklet was really depressing. The story sort of goes like this: Pat is in this cycle of traffic, deadlines, sleep (or lack thereof) and meetings working as a Generic Rodent Data Entry Telemarketing Assistant. He follows the rules of the rat race. Whenever you feel as depressed as Pat, you can wind him up and watch him run his circles for a couple of seconds and then go back to your daily grind in the rat race while suffering the same fate. Then, there are a couple of pieces of advice for Pat (and you!) in order to make these cycles more bearable. All Pat wants is to make The Big Cheese Happy. So he uses his two-hour commute to catch up on business calls and what not in order to efficiently use this lost time. Even though Pat hates meetings he sees the benefits of free coffee and donuts. Pat always meets his deadlines and will therefore get a promotion before Lazy Louise. Pat doesn’t get enough sleep, and he should work on that. Pat dresses for success, which means he wears the same uniform suit every single day. He might take a break every now and then, but always plans these breaks around work so that his work doesn’t suffer. Pat is cautious in the office kitchen in order to avoid any gossip about him. He goes out of his way to please The Big Cheese and tries hard not to take criticism personally. He’s also aware of coworkers who might steal his great ideas and he’s careful not to lose his superficial friendship with his office mates even though some of their habits drive him nuts. All the while he’s buying more stuff, hasn’t got a social life nor a spouse because he’s too damn busy working. In conclusion: the rat race isn’t easy, but you can always turn to Pat for some commiseration and a reminder that you’re not alone. And this is supposed to be a kit for “helping you survive the corporate rat race” according to the makers.
SURVIVE??? After reading this and watching Pat run around his cycles the only thing you want to do is kill yourself?!!! The message is to become a better rat….well, I don’t want to be a rat caught in the rat race!
Hence, my alternative route for our poor Pat the depressed and extremely unhappy Rat:
Here’s my alternative in close-up for Pat the Rat: