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Dear Ping-Pong Table: An Open Letter to the Façade of “Fun” Office Culture

Ping-Pong Table

Dear Ping-Pong Table,

The jig is up! Your fraudulent behavior has reached an absolute peak and it’s time for you to be exposed for the charlatan that you are.

You used to be fun. You used to be a fixture in rec rooms, summer camps, and finished and unfinished basements across America, a symbol of casual amusement. You were even a key plot device in one of the 90s’ best movies! Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Now, you’re nothing but a corporate shill.

You appear on company websites saying, “Hey, everyone! Look! I’m here! That must mean this is a fun working environment!” Lies. Nothing but lies. While you’re prominently displayed on the “office culture” page of a website, in reality you don’t even do any work. You’re most likely sitting in some basement or closet collecting your paycheck and dust. Or even worse, the people who actually use you are often judged for doing so, and you never defend them. You just sit there like a…well, a table. You make me sick.

At this point, you’re basically the aquifer pump from Mad Max: Fury Road. Nice to brandish for appearances, but only masking a much deeper issue.

Well enough is enough.

Here in North Carolina, we have the state motto Esse Quam Videri, which means, “To be rather than to seem.” It’s also a staple here at New Kind. We believe authenticity is the key to having a strong brand. And your brand is hurting, PPT.

Instead of thinking about how you can trick people as some thinly veiled form of culture clickbait, think about how you can inspire people.

How can you create a purpose people can get behind? Do the employees feel like they’re contributing to something? Do they feel like they’re making a difference?

It doesn’t have to be anything as grand as working to solve world hunger or global warming. It could be something as simple as making the employees feel like they’re truly helping their customers or they’re contributing toward a badass product.

People are more inspired to join a culture centered around doing meaningful work. And when employees are working toward something they believe is meaningful, they will work harder. Because purpose beats ping-pong any day of the week.


Craig Carter

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