It’s your own fault. You sit there grudgingly, hating most of your day, wondering why you have to keep going back but still you get up every morning and do just that. Who can you blame but yourself? The system? Have a word.
You’re an office drone and you always will be. I wouldn’t care – if you want to spend 5 out of 7 days of 65% of the 80 years you have alive getting the same train to the same building with the same people and sitting at the same desk doing the same job as yesterday, before going home and spending a few hours dreading doing the same thing all over again, well, you be my guest.
I wouldn’t care, if you didn’t try to make those of us who’ve seen the light feel like worthless cunts.
I currently have a short-term contract working for someone or other doing some shit that doesn’t matter in the slightest. I’ve been asked to go into their office for a meeting this afternoon about pretty much nothing with a group of people who don’t know what they’re talking about. They won’t specifically tell me what it is they want me to do – an ask I don’t believe is too tall – before I go and sit at a desk with the laptop they’ve made me bring, and do pretty much nothing for the rest of the day. Can’t I just leave?
I can’t leave. Once I’m there, and they’re paying me, I might as well stay there, right? They want to see with their own eyes that I’m doing what I’m being paid for, which is nothing. They have to be there; so do I. They can’t leave, so I can’t leave. My contract states explicitly that I work off-site, which in reality means my living room, where there’s tea and television, music and porn and various other things that they’re jealous about. If they can prevent me enjoying those things they consider it their duty to do precisely that.
The porn, yes, that’s what everyone thinks of. I must sit there rubbing myself all day long like a Barbary ape oblivious to a crowd of fascinated zoo visitors, which is a crowd you’re a member of if you picture me sitting here wanking all day. You are that tourist with the big camera staring in awe at my lazily shifting foreskin as I toss off another civilisation without a care in the world.
And when I’m not staring proudly at my swollen, foaming member I’m doing…what? I’m doing fuck all, aren’t I? Certainly nothing productive, clearly nothing that matches the level of effort you put into your job, though when the pioneers of the agrarian revolution were developing extraordinary new tools with which to reap corn and harvest vegetables it’s unlikely they pictured as the next level of human progress their ancestors sitting behind desks bearing little signs that say Something Manager or Head of This and That.
Because, before you proclaim indignantly that you get up each day and stride into your office to do a crucial job without which the world couldn’t function while I loaf about half outside my pants, if I even bothered with pants that day, just consider what it is you create. Not what you do, not how important you are: what you make.
At the end of a day’s toil I have created a fair few sentences of words that didn’t previously exist in that order, and sometimes those sentences even make people smile. You, meanwhile, have managed. You’ve had meetings. You’ve created nothing, except work for yourself. There’s an episode of a programme called Black Mirror where a person’s job is to cycle while stationary all day long to earn sufficient points to prove they’re a valuable member of society and I hope as you read this you’re enjoying your exercise bike with Manager stencilled down the seatpost.
I get paid for being in an office occasionally but I hate it more than the diseases I’m racked with. You may really fucking love your job, but I bet you’d rather be doing it at home. Don’t pretend you’re better than me because you’ve learnt how to use a train in the morning. You are a hamster in a wheel, and if you shit yourself halfway round the loop and run headfirst into your own detritus that little chuckle you hear will be me.