It’s “System Administrator Appreciation Day”!

Okay, cubicle-mates: It’s time to give it up for the humble system administrator. You know, the company nerd who comes to fix your computer when it’s busted. If you work in a big firm, there are probably sysadmins you’ve never even met — working selflessly in unnumbered sub-basements, madly configuring routers all day long, all so that you can pretend to work while actually watching the Big Brother live feeds and playing Bookworm.

Well, July 30 is System Administrator Appreciation Day, so get off your butt and go buy your sysadmin a gift. Need ideas? Check out the official web page, which has one crucial suggestion: Avoid the following stuff …

- Promotional marketing gifts (also known as “Swag” or Schwag”) with your OWN company’s corporate logo on it. I’ve already got it. When I signed for the box, I opened it and helped myself. I’ve got plenty of [ CoffeeCups | MousePads | Pens | SweatShirts | NylonJackets | GolfBalls | MemoPads | TeeShirts ] for my whole family.

- Swag (also schwag), noun: 1. promotional toys given freely by companies in a attempt to get you to use their product or service; 2. Booty; 3. good swag: food, chocolate, items that have a high monetary value; bad swag: tooth brush, keychain, absolutely useless trinkets that a even monkey would find completely pointless.

(Thanks to Flashes of Panic for this one!)

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I'm Clive Thompson, the author of Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better (Penguin Press). You can order the book now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, Indiebound, or through your local bookstore! I'm also a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and a columnist for Wired magazine. Email is here or ping me via the antiquated form of AOL IM (pomeranian99).

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