Alice is ticked off at her job. She has a Bad Boss
, her coworkers are obnoxious, and the employment benifits stink. Too bad there's nothing she can do about it.
But what's this? The boss has a suggestion box outside his office. Oh goody! Maybe this guy isn't so bad after all. So she sits down, writes out her complaint in a polite and thoughtful manner, and slips it through the slot. She begins to walk away, hopeful that her complaint will be heard.
But wait, what's that shredding sound? She glances back at the box, and notices that little strips of paper are coming out of the bottom...and into a trash can. Alice has just fallen victim to the Superficial Suggestion Box
Basically, a trope where a suggestion box is present in a work area or elsewhere that's really just a joke. Employees can put all the suggestions in it they want, and the employer responds by throwing them out without even reading them, or even punishing them for making suggestions.
- In Drop the Dead Donkey this was inverted, Pointy-Haired Boss Gus was very serious about his various suggestions, and sign-up schemes. It was the rest of the staff that treated them all as a joke.
- In NewsRadio the problem with the suggestion box isn't that Dave ignores the suggestions, it's that the others use the suggestions for jokes and insults.
- In Scrubs, Dr. Kelso's suggestion box is his trash bin.
- The special features of In Plain Sight, Mary and Marshall use the suggestion box for dueling suggestions, driving Stan crazy to the point he actually puts suggestions in his own box.
- A Mad Magazine article on How To Tell If You Work In A Sweatshop: The last guy to use the suggestion box hasn't been seen in days.
- In Dilbert, when the Pointy-Haired Boss senses a creative idea being formed, he sets out a suggestion box to identify and destroy it.
- The Far Side: One cartoon is several demons in Hell reading suggestions out of a suggestion box and laughing uproarously.
- One issue of Tina's Groove (where the protagonist works in a diner) had a payoff similar to the The Far Side strip where she and the other employees laugh over entries in the Suggestion Box.
- Most of the Suikoden games have a "suggestion box"... which is actually just your collected characters griping about each other, suggesting you buy their stuff, or wondering what to write for the suggestion box. Very few actual suggestions are ever made.