Thursday, March 11, 2010

10 Reasons Why “24” Is Just Like the Place Where You Work

1. Most of the people in the office don’t have anything important to do.

Despite several redesigns of the CTU headquarters over the years, one thing has remained the same: There are always tons of people hanging around even though you don’t know what purpose they might serve. They sit and stare at monitors or fiddle with high-tech props that are not actually plugged in. They never say anything, and they certainly never come running up to any of the serious employees, excited about some critical piece of intel they have just discovered about this week’s terrorist.

Meanwhile, the same three or four people have to carry the workload for everybody else. Jack is running out the door every five minutes to bring down a jetliner using nothing but a rubber band and some pebbles, but these boring and useless people never lift a finger. A disillusioned maniac has just snuck into the building with a single drop of poison that will annihilate the entire staff? The losers don’t care. They keep surfing the internet for porn and let somebody else kill the bad guy. Then they file a grievance with the union about the distracting noise caused by the killing.

2. The Human Resources department is completely worthless.

Okay, first there was CTU’s hiring of Kim Bauer back in the day. That girl could barely figure out how to use an ATM machine or escape from cougars, but suddenly she’s a well-qualified, crime-fighting data technician? I don’t think so. Yet there she is, pounding on a keyboard and decrypting files while Daddy is in the other room torturing prisoners with a ballpoint pen.

Anyway, the shining example of HR ineptness this season can be found in one “Dana Walsh”. Here we have a woman who had a previous life as “Jenny Scott”, a country gal who did something naughty with her boyfriend that resulted in jail time. Once released from the slammer, Jenny/Dana apparently bought a new wardrobe and filled out some change of address cards, and that’s all it took for her to get hired by CTU.

Are you kidding me? CTU is supposedly on the cutting edge of information technology, where Chloe can hit one button on her keyboard and instantly know exactly what some villainous Russian had for breakfast 37 years ago, but they can’t figure out that Dana was involved in criminal activity on the dirt roads of Yahooville? Please.

3. Some people get away with taking really long lunches.

Dana, or Jenny, or whatever name she is going by this week, is able to slip away from the office and drive to a remote pond in the hopes of confronting her ex-boyfriend who doesn’t understand that she has different needs these days. There are NO remote ponds in New York City, so you know this girl had to hoof it over to Jersey. That takes time.

Oh, and she’s joined by her NEW boyfriend, who also works at CTU. (This would be Freddie Prinze, Jr, he of the weird pancake makeup that results in him looking like an extra in one of the lesser Anne Rice novels.) Both of them are busy killing people and shoving them in the remote pond, which is clearly not company policy. They need to quit screwing around and get back to CTU so they can answer the phones.

4. Upper management is clueless.

We go through this every season. Some big wig doesn’t understand that Jack Bauer ALWAYS knows what he’s talking about. So we have to plod through scenes where Jack’s advice or talents are questioned, thus resulting in carnage on the subways or a needless delay in the saving of the planet. Eventually the loser leaders finally come to their senses, but not before a considerable number of actors have dropped out of the opening credits.

5. Annoying, sexist people always sit in the cube next to you.

Arlo. Enough said.

6. Employee parking sucks.

What’s up with the odd, underground main entrance into CTU? This is a busy place, but there’s only two parking spaces in a stupid tunnel that makes no logistical sense. And really, if you study this set piece, there’s no way for people to actually leave this area without backing up. Throw Kim Bauer into the mix, and nobody’s getting out alive until she remembers her lines.

Of course, there’s that OTHER parking lot we’ve seen, monitored by a questionable guard that apparently doesn’t think twice about unwashed thugs rolling up in a Grateful Dead van. The sky’s the limit over here, you can do whatever you want, including blackmail your ex-girlfriend into helping you rob an evidence warehouse while your messed-up buddy kills someone with a baseball bat. Good times.

7. The cafeteria blows.

These people are working around the clock, just trying to save the country so they can go home and watch “Modern Family”, despite the fact that it‘s on a competing network. Yet nobody’s providing any nourishment. Have you ever seen any of the CTU folks eating anything? This is an outrage. At the very least there should be a vending machine. In a pinch, Jack can use the contents of this machine to create a nuke-yuh-ler device. (I’m thinking a bag of Funyons and a bottle of Grapette would do the trick.)

8. The Health Care plan is abysmal.

People are always getting sent to “medical” in this joint, but nothing good ever happens there. Chances are really strong that you will get killed by an attending physician, some random cast member will hurt you with surgical instruments, or you will decide to take your own life by shoving your ass through a glass wall. It’s not a happy place.

9. People on conference calls don’t speak clearly.

This is for you, Kiefer. I know you’ve got that sexy cool rasp going on, which is hot, but we can’t always hear what you are saying. You can still whisper from time to time, that’s fine, but when some terrorist has his gun up your butt I’m thinking you could probably manage to use ALL of your vocal cords. Just a suggestion.

(On a side note, I’d really like to know who provides the CTU folks with their cell-phone coverage. They always seem to have great reception, even if they’re huddled in a fallout shelter in Bangladesh. I can’t even get a good signal from MY service when I’m standing next to the broadcast tower.)

10. The best employees are always the least paid.

Why is Chloe still treated as a minor underling in all this mess? She should be head of CTU by this point, despite her inability to smile or her questionable social skills. She always manages to triumph of over tremendous odds, like Jack constantly yelling that we’re running out of time or her mystifying marriage to a husband that is clearly gay. Give her a promotion, even if it takes another one of those legally-questionable documents faxed from the White House.

As long as Chloe’s got access to a computer and Jack on speed-dial, the entire world is a safer place. Word.

Oh, and for the record? Cherry Jones rocks as the President.



  1. Ten epimone's of corporate America:
    1) Disillusioned maniacs THINK they possess a gift.
    2) DOES HR conduct background checks?
    3) Long lunches - give them enough rope and will eventually HANG themselves!
    4) Upper management IS clueless.
    5) Annoying people have NO boundaries.
    6) IDIOT employees continue to use visitor/ guest parking.
    7) Corporate cafeterias BLOW.
    8) Health care SUCKS.
    9) Conference calls - IDIOT in next cubical refuse to use headset.
    10) Hard working employees are always least paid and those that HOB-KNOB and SUCK, climb their way to the top.

  2. I myself would like to man the position of Chloe. I'll helicopter in each morning, purse on one shoulder, oozy on the other, weather black leather boots, outfit, and beret.

    And I will be the highest paid.
    I'm just sayin.