I've a confession to make. I have yet to actually get a “real job.” I’ve worked for my parents, I’ve worked as a freelancer, I’ve built my own websites and I’ve taken a stab at running a recording studio, but I’ve never actually gotten a desk job or any other 9-5 type occupation of any sort.
Granted, I'm a young lad as of yet and not a fortune-teller by any means. Regardless, I have strong reason to doubt that I will ever actually seek out a so-called “stable” form of employment.
I have a number of (hopefully erroneous) ideas about “employment” that are none too pleasant, but I will save those for a later date.
This piece is my recollection of a surprisingly amusing dream I had a while back regarding what I imagine to be the mindset of a typical, enthusiastic corporate employee.
The dream played in the form of a commercial clip featuring an out-of-shape, middle-aged employee in his cubicle – ranting and raving over all of the duties of a good employee and the allure of corporate wage-slave life. I hope you enjoy my subconscious mind’s odd sense of humor. As for me, I woke up in the middle of the night laughing like a madman.
Without further ado, I present to you the “Employee Lifestyle Commercial:”
Darkness fades to harsh, sterile light in a beige cubicle. A short, rectangular desk supports a mess of papers, oddly bound with paperclips, and an old CRT monitor that could likely withstand a toss from a second floor window.
Before us, is a man.
He wears a shoddy white shirt and an uninspired black tie. His frumpy physique is heightened by his ungainly mannerisms and posture. His eyes are sunken into his fleshy head – giving him the sort of tunnel vision a man with no creativity might regard as normal.
His balding head reflects the artificial light of his phony environment like a beacon of misplaced hope - scorching the retinas of the unwary. He smiles at us and speaks:
- Well, look who decided to show up! I knew you’d end up here someday. You need this place. You need this office as much as I do, pal.
Let me tell you something, I once had a dream. Then I said “Enough of that! Dreams are for dreamers! I need a job!” And guess what, I was right! Man, oh man, was I right. Mr. Boss gave me an opportunity to sell my dreams for a cubicle and I cried tears of joy.
I cry every night, in bed, and every day, in the employee bathroom, when I think about it. Words are not enough to express the love I feel for this work-space!
Just look at the ruddy, dull glow of my computer’s monitor! Breathe the wafting aroma of day old coffee, almost clean carpet and paperwork deep into your lungs. Feel the spirit of the workforce!
He motions around with savage, wild excitement as if orchestrating the cacophony of keystrokes and footsteps that permeate the place, then he licks his lips and slouches lazily in his chair – spinning it around awkwardly as if it were the most comfortable seat in the world.
His eyes return from the ceiling to us and he goes on speaking:
- Yeah, pal; you’ll miss those dreams about as much as you’ll miss other crap and garbage… like freedom! Who needs freedom when you’ve got a coke machine in the hallway, baby?
You know what I do when I start feeling all free, these days? I slap myself in the mouth as hard as I can and give myself a pokin’ with one of these thumbtacks over here, then I get my butt back on the grind. I shoved my face so firmly into my computer monitor my nose went flat and I lost sight in my right eye for a day.
That was a good day.
You’ve got to stomp all over your hopes and dreams with your polished workin’ shoes just like Mr. Boss would do if you fell behind on your repetitive task quota for the day! You need to feel the burn when you work; the burn of your life’s best years falling someplace where you can never get them back.
You need to feel the finger burn you get from clicking your computer’s mouse silly, doing a job that you’re only half sure has any bearing on the company you work for.
You see this?
He gestures at his own body from top to bottom as though he were a work of art worthy of privileged beholding, then continues:
- This is the bod of a man who trades push-ups for pencil sharpening every day of the week. I keep my body as fried as my brain, man, and twice as greasy! You see, to do the same thing day in and day out, you don’t need to be smart or creative.
In fact, you need the opposite!
Save creativity for your suicide letter and unleash the boring, button-pressing chimp inside yourself that’s aching to get out and show the world what little it can do! No more books or Internet articles!
You don’t need to read any more than the words on your trusty computer monitor. Stop building knowledge and start building the fat to support some boss man’s sad sack of broken dreams!
Here, he assumes a sloppy impression of Uncle Sam and points right at us as the screen fades to black and the sounds of shifting file cabinets sweep the darkness with all the grace of a tiny ten-car pileup.
This is how corporate life looks to me. I hope I'm terribly mistaken. Let us know how you feel on Twitter (@odd_nugget) and stay odd, ladies and gents!
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