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  • Paul Davidson

Exposing The Lie That Is Watercooler Talk

Watercooler talk.

Sure, it’s a neat little lexiconian phrase that people in media can use and it’s sure got a nice twang to it and all, but really, honestly, did you ever stand by the watercooler and discuss the day’s events and drink cup after cup after cup after cup of water out of those annoyingly-cheap conical paper-cups that they make you pee into at the doctor’s office?

No, I didn’t think so.

Find me someone who actually does stand around a watercooler and talk about what they saw on TV last night or how they think Bush is doing in his second term or what they did this past weekend or why they’re wearing pumps instead of heels and I’ll give you someone who (a) gets no work done, (b) goes to the bathroom every fifteen minutes, and (c) has really great looking skin due to the neverending imbibing of H20 every second of every day.

Find me someone who actually doesn’t stand around a watercooler and talk about what they saw on TV last night or how they think Bush is doing in his second term or what they did this past weekend or why they’re wearing shoes instead of boots and I’ll give you someone who (a) is excelling in their career, (b) has oily looking skin, and (c) is really going somewhere in this here corporate world of America.

Translation: Watercooler talk = Great skin, bad career.

Sure, you can stand up and stomp your feet and hurl your fisted-fingers at me and scream and yell about the fact that “watercooler talk” is just a phrase that came from “real watercooler talk in the 50’s” and I will take your fists and your pitch-perfect screaming and tell you that, no, it was not. There were never groups of people hanging around watercoolers talking about anything. You get in, you get out. No loitering.

Today, people stand in their cubicles and type their thoughts to each other over Instant Messenger. They pick up the cell phone and do the same. They shoot e-mails and faxes and the most ingenious ones use a complicated, technologically-advanced form of Morse Code using carrots. But there’s no watercooler talk. And even before all those wonderful advances (obviously backwards-engineered from the alien spaceships recovered at Roswell), no one stood around the watercooler.

Show me a picture of people standing around a watercooler that was not a stock picture, taken specifically for a magazine spread or an advertisement and I will send two pizzas to your house. Seriously. Ask the guy who I sent a ham. I’m serious.

In the meantime, whilest watercooler talk has bit the big one, I would like to provide a variety of alternative catchphrases that the media can use when referring to groups of office workers talking about the day’s events. These fall under a Creative Commons license, and so, if you use them without giving me credit, the Creative Commons Communists will come after you. (At least, I think that’s what it says in the disclaimer, somewhere, somehow.)

What Media Outlets Should Be Using Instead of “Watercooler Talk” Jibber Jabberettes Diarrhea of the Mouth-ernites Slackers on Break, Again Lookie-loos Bill W., Procrastinator South Beach Diet, Water-Drinking Freakaziods Time To Make The Doughnuts Tripping the Light-Fantastic Goo-Goo’ing Hovering Elbow-Resting Wall-Keeping-Upping Morning Lunch Break All-Day Faxers

Now that we’re on the same page, we can continue on with our lives.

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