Fifty Cents

This office is crazy. Filled to the fluorescents with lunatics. The weeping VP and interim CEO both resigned on the same night, at what was surely an interesting board meeting. We’ve had an audit, several inspections, a merry-go-round of suited individuals bobbing through our three office buildings, looking for reasons to shut us down. Drew and I are secretly in favor of this, since it would mean a couple of unemployment checks to ease our getaway.

Still, there is something depressing about working for an organization that can’t get its shit together. Everyone is angry or fearful or apathetic, waiting for the axe to fall. The new interim CEO (what’s that, inter-interim?) has been heard making manic jokes about what’s to become of us, and everyone has taken to checking their emails first thing in the morning: If the email works, you still have a job. Meanwhile, the directors are planning team-building events and barbeques during which they mill around exuding false bonhomie and handing out free tickets to the hockey game, while the employees gather in susurrant clusters and speculate on who will be next to go.

I’m hiding out in my undecorated office, with my bowl of blackberries and my busy-looking papers. The boss gave me a stellar review and a 50-cent raise, completely oblivious to the fact that my full-time job requires less than 20 hours of actual work. What the hell does she think I’m doing with the rest of my time?

I should be grateful, and in some ways I am. After all, the money I haven’t earned will fund our escape plan. But what I’ve discovered over the past year is that I want to be proud of my work. I want the job-application cliché: to contribute to the success of the team. I want to care about what I’m doing, and would prefer a boss who actually notices whether my work is crap. Fuck potential, fuck my professional growth, fuck the ladder. Give me a stack of data entry and count my mistakes. Give me something tangible.

Give me work.

What do you want from your day job?


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