Future offers freedom from office politics
TRAVELING in my buddy's time machine to the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show is always worth the trip -- I just wish I could apply the miles to my frequent-flyer program. Here's a heads-up on future high-tech gadgets:
Office Politics Orb: Have you ever been the last one to read a depressing office memo, not realizing its misery had spread like a sci-fi retrovirus until you strolled 20 feet in whistling show tunes?
Well, stop sticking your neck out by failing to keep your head down. Don't hang yourself with one kind of loop because you were too far out of the other one -- instead, use Office Politics Orb.
OPO is a kind of glowing Magic 8 Ball that tracks all electronic communications, including e-mail, instant messages, phone calls and even those new central-nervous-system monitors the whole staff must now wear to qualify for a generous tax deduction from the National Security Agency.
OPO boils all that data down, then vibrates to reveal short, sage advice that only a fool would ignore. Use OPO to take both the "guess" and the "work" out of guesswork.
Is Corporate HQ launching a surprise dress-code e-mail on the same day you decide wearing a bathrobe to work should be OK as long as you tuck it in? OPO will turn red and display "don't go there."
Is the office manager greeting everyone as they return from lunch looking for overtime volunteers? Before you finish your chicken fingers, watch OPO turn yellow and flash "stay for dessert."And if it turns black and disintegrates during an out-of-town sales call, you might as well stay where you are and check the classifieds.
Nielsen Eye-Ear Meter: Many thought the debut of Kevin Federline's album in 2006 signaled the fall of Western Civilization -- turns out, its destructive power was limited to the Recording Industry Association of America's.
Since almost everyone spends 5 percent of their annual salary on entertainment regardless of income, Nielsen Media Research has decided it's OK to ballpark the whole thing, offering all music and video for a flat-fee to anyone wearing its Eye-Ear Meter.
Implanted just under the right temple, the Eye-Ear Meter emits a code that gives you an all-access pass to everything from HBO to that Star Wars kid on YouTube (though he lost at least a step with that light saber once he hit 30).
It also keeps a database chronicling everything you see and hear year-round, and pays each content producer a piece of your entertainment-dollar pie based on how much attention you give to their intellectual property.
For example, if you make $100,000 a year, you pay $5,000 for the Eye-Ear Meter. If "The Apprentice" represents 1 percent of your entertainment time year-round, then Donald Trump gets $50. Likewise, if you produce a show about how great "The Apprentice" is, then Donald Trump will probably watch it 100 percent of his time, and you'd get all of his 5 percent -- millions of dollars. But then next year, you'll have millions of dollars and you'll pay a lot more for the Eye-Ear Meter. This is what is called "networking."
Obviously, the Eye-Ear Meter business model has some kinks to work out. But in 2018, K-Fed's net worth is $3,042 -- so clearly, it has already added fairness to the system.