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Water Cooler Factor

water_cooler_1.jpgAll right, I have to ask the question - Does anyone actually stand around a water cooler and have conversations with their coworkers?

I must have heard this tired old saw used three or four times this last week. We supposedly have water cooler conversations about sports, about television, about politics, and today I was told we are having water cooler conversations about OJ Simpson's new book.

Well, in my place of work we don't even have a water cooler. And, while I'm not typically a literalist about these sorts of things, I have to wonder - Do these conversations really exist around said water coolers?


A follow up:

Luke Burbank of NPR reported the OJ Simpson story that prompted me to write this blog entry. He wrote me this morning:

"Funny you should mention the water cooler thing...
because in my original script, after I mention people standing around
the water cooler... I said 'not that anyone actually does that'. Alas,
my editor took it out."

You're probably right. But we do have a water cooler at my office. And since I work in the basement, the only time I see my non-basement-dwelling co-workers is when I'm upstairs in the kitchen filling up my Nalgene at the water cooler. So that's a good time to catch up with whoever else happens to be in the kitchen. So . . . we stand around the water cooler chatting.

(But we could just as easily say we're standing around the coffeemaker, which is right next to it.)

At my last job, we did have a water cooler, and gossip did take place around it. But most of the time we were by the water cooler because the coffee maker was next to it.

All right, my friend, Russ, upon reading this said that he also has water cooler conversations where he works at a local community college, located near the copier. So, I guess these conversations really do exist.

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