There’s been a lot of soccer on TV since the World Cup started on June 12th. This might not be exactly right but in the two weeks since the tournament started, I’ve watched about 10,000 hours of soccer. I don’t know if that’s a healthy way to live but it definitely feels right. However, I am worried that it’s starting to color my everyday life in some unexpected ways. On Thursday June 19th, I decided to chronicle my day in an attempt to see how all the World Cup action was affecting my behavior at work. My findings are summarized below.
Biggest takeaway: You don’t have to be playing in the World Cup to enjoy the perks of being a world class soccer star.
9:00 am: The workday begins. My patriotic fervor, usually a non-factor, is at an all time high after the United States win over Ghana. Instead of just sitting there I decide to kick things off with a stirring rendition of the National Anthem, not unlike the one that spurred Clint Dempsey to a goal in the first thirty seconds of the Ghana match. I assume it will lead to similar success in the workplace but I’m greeted with annoyed and confused looks from my co-workers. I question their loyalty to this great land and feel a new found shame in all of them. The World Cup has revealed them as treasonous and I will not forget this fact.
9:45 am: My body clock has changed since June 12th. Everything happens in 45 minute increments. It’s halftime. I’m settled into work but I instinctively get up to use the bathroom and grab a beer from the fridge. There is no beer. Instead I’m greeted by an array of brown paper bags. I strain to make out what formation they are in. 4-4-2? 4-5-1? I don’t know, this looks like a 7-4-6. I don’t think it’s a legal formation, for soccer players at least. It’s probably fine for paper bags. Still, I spend the next thirty minutes arranging the bags into a strong offensive formation that I think would give Uruguay some serious problems.
11:15 am: We’re having a meeting for lunch which means free food for everyone in our group. Which also means we need to decide what we’re going to have. I push for a taco bar but someone counters with Domino’s Pizza. While normally I’d try to resolve this injustice in a civil manner, I’ve spent the last week watching grown men crowding around a referee, flailing and screaming. I decide this is the approach for me and go nose to nose with my manager. “Domino’s Pizza is a holocaust!” I scream, pointing at everything. Later, as I finish up my last bit of crust alone in my cubicle, I briefly reconsider whether this approach to dispute resolution is office appropriate.
2:40 pm: I receive very positive feedback from a client. Great! The old me would probably just file this away for when my annual review comes up, but those days are over. This is a goal by white collar standards and it deserves to be celebrated as such. I pull my button up over my head until it’s resting on the back of my shoulders then run around sucking my thumb. Soccer players usually do this to give a shout out to their kids but I don’t see why a childless office drone can’t enjoy a celebratory thumbsuck. A woman who I barely know calls me a pervert when we cross paths. But I’m not a pervert, I just like soccer.
5:00 pm: Time to call it a day! This is one of the more exciting work days I’ve had and I can’t recommend incorporating the World Cup into your work day highly enough. On the way out I even get a “good job” pat on the back from my boss but just because the work day is done doesn’t mean my World Cup dreams are over. The second his hand touches me I collapse in a heap on the floor. Rolling around and grabbing my ankle in the hallway of my office building, I feel like a true champion.