Buckaroo - Game or metaphor for my job?
Many many years ago, on a frosty Canadian Christmas morning, I was blessed to receive a copy of Buckaroo. Later in life, I would come to realize how profound Buckeroo really was and how it really would describe my working life.
Upon opening your Buckaroo box, you will be presented with the centerpiece of the game, the big plastic mule. Good old buckeroo has changed his appearance somewhat throught the years, from the pseudo-realistic primative mule of the original into its more cartoonish look of today. The quality of the plastic is very good and is clearly meant to take the rough handling of younger players. Also in the box are the items that you will burden poor Buckeroo with:
Gun and holster
Gameplay is simplicity itself. Each player takes turns hanging or balancing an item on buckeroo, when the weight becomes too much, buckeroo will buck, throwing all the items off and knocking that player out of the game. The game can then continue with the remaining players until only once is left.
For me, buckeroo is a metaphor for my working life. I am buckeroo, the hapless mule (or jackass if you will) that is subjected to a piling on of tasks from those around me. As a near mindless beast of burden I must submit to this process without question, letting things pile up more and more, weighing me down in both body and soul until I cannot take it any more. When the burden becomes too great, I snap at the person (normally work colleague) who piled on the last item and generally throw off everything and take a day or two off work, claiming exhaustion. All the tasks are gone and the one who broke me is blamed for the loss by all the other colleagues.
Also like Buckeroo, the items that are piled on me at work are of mixed value. Buckeroo is clearly intended to be going on some sort of mining or gold panning expedition. Items like dynamite, a shovel and even a canteen are essential. These are items that I relate to the sort of jobs given to me that I can really feel are needed, that contribute to the company in a productive and useful way and seem reasonable. Some of these jobs are heavier than others, like a crate, but seems to make sense. Other tasks I get are like the hat or guitar, foolish window dressing that serve no useful purpose other than to gratify the jerk who piled them on. Although these items tend to be less burdensome than the shovels, in real like they are the ones that are far more likely to make me go buckeroo on them.
So next time you are playing buckeroo, or hanging around my office, you should ask yourself if you REALLY need that guitar.
It's so true, it's almost sad.