A paranoid work environment is an environment which exhibits a pervasive pattern of distrust and suspiciousness. Namely, an inability to trust, distortion and fabrication, pathological mind-control, and instinctive aggressive counter-attack.
It's 2/2/06. All is quiet on the temp attorney floor. The quiet, humdrum of the constant clicking is the only noise which fills a lifeless room. Gasp! As quickly as lightning shoots across the summer sky, Anita emerges from her glass-encased cubicle. A sudden chill fills the air. Several temps caught off-guard by Anita's sudden emergence scatter to the wind. As we all have become acutely aware of Anita's tendency to feed upon her unsuspecting prey, we all brace.
Anita gazes around the room. Seemingly not in the mood to pick off another temp, Anita, in an apparent fit of boredom, heads off toward the Xerox machine. In stunned silence, we quietly watch as she photocopies and hangs up around the room over a half a dozen owl pictures. "Attention everyone," shouts Anita. "Don't read anything into this. The owls mean nothing. This is just to prevent you all from walking head-first into the glass-encased cubicles." As quickly as she emerged, Anita once again seals herself off within her glass cube.
The temps, meanwhile, stare at each other in stunned disbelief. What can this all mean? Of all things, why a picture of an owl? Why not a "beware of the glass" sign? Could it be that we are all reading too much into this -- maybe we should take Anita's word at face value? Who knows. For the rest of the day, everytime I look up, an owl stares down into my workspace. His eyes, piercing and always watching, brood over a hopeless temp attorney dumping ground.