Olympic office events

While the world’s attention is focused on gymnasts, swimmers, track stars, and weightlifters (along with all those retired athletes pitching E.D. products), unsung heroes are overcoming Olympic challenges in offices and factories closer to home.

10-mile Commute and 100-Yard Hurdles

Employees (who have just raced through rush hour traffic), must now jump ten parking bumpers, three UPS boxes, and a “Caution: Wet Floor” sign to arrive at their desk on time.


Callers attempt to contact their party in record time despite the electronic obstacle course:

“If you know your party’s extension, press 1.”

“For a menu of options, press 2.”

“Press the last four letters of your party’s last name. Use # for Q and * for Z.”

“Press 0 for an operator.”

“All operators are busy keeping other customers on hold.”

[Annoying on-hold music]

“Your call may be recorded to assure quality service.”

Click! Bzzzzzzzzzzzz.


Contestants must un-jam the copier, load a ream of paper, and change toner (Current record 38.6 seconds)


Olympic employees must respond to 100 emails (half of which are junk mail) before the server goes down.


Administrative professionals attempt to read their supervisor’s handwriting.

Balance Beam

Attempt to balance work and family responsibilities. Extra “degree of difficulty” points if job requires travel or child has Attention Deficiency Disorder.

Relay race

See how fast Person A can get work off his/her desk and onto Person B’s desk.

Weight Lifting

If you work on the loading dock or mailroom of your office or factory, you’re already in Olympic shape—or on medical leave.


Contestants must race to the bank after work before it closes.

1,000-Word Dash

Competitors attempt to write a humor column under the current world record time of 4 minutes 42 seconds. (Extra points for technical and artistic merit if column actually makes sense.)

Copyright © 2000 James N. Watkins

Photo: JEShoots.com

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