Tuesday, April 8, 2008

A True Story From One Of My Jobs

Hey, kids! It's time for another True Story From One Of My Jobs!

My office has just announced a friendly competition to encourage employee fitness. It's reportedly modelled after a game show - sorry, "reality show" - called The Biggest Loser. (Incidentally, if you really want to upset people who take TV way too seriously, refer to people appearing on American Idol as "game show contestants" - which they are.)

Here's the plan: participation is completely voluntary (which, as with any self-improvement initiative, means that those most in need of it won't take part). Participants weigh themselves periodically. Anybody who has gained weight kicks a dollar per pound into the pot. Whoever loses the most weight over the duration of the game takes all. Or possibly takes half, with the rest going to charity - that's usually how they work these things, to their credit. Having little interest in that section of the rules, I didn't read them too closely.

The funny part is that these rules incentivize some rather antisocial behaviour. You see, there are two complementary paths to victory. You can try to lose as much weight as possible yourself, but to maximize your winnings and increase your chances of victory, you should also encourage your co-workers to gain weight.

I foresee lots of saboteurs putting cheesecakes and pies on display with big cheerful "Help Yourself!" signs. This pleases me. I may not need to take lunch with me for a while.

Enough rambling. Here's a picture of the CN tower, as seen from the building where a friend of mine works. (That friend has threatened to begin a blog of his own, so I have to use up his pictures before he gets a chance to start using them.)

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