Why you should leave your useless pathetic corporate life and start something useful

(An extract from my book “Adonis expelled from yoga”)

The day at the office started horribly. It was raining outside, but it was even worse inside. Adonis’ colleague was drinking her coffee vehemently and grinding cookies like a ruminant animal chewing herb. She was also calmly citing the advantages of the French cookies compared to other sweets. The small cards she hung behind her desk were a source of torment for Adonis. Those were cards with some bad and stupid quotes like “love is the key to success” and “smile at life.” Adonis pictured himself as a dictator who would ban these ruminant noises and lock such people up. He would also impose fines on useless discussions that made no sense and give money to creative people who enjoyed the morning silence. Such people would have taciturn children who did not feel the need to say anything to fill the void around them. They would probably not buy books titled “How to reach your goals” or “The eight habits of ambitious people” or even worse “The lessons of a vegetarian yogi.”

Time went by very slowly and Adonis looked at his watch every five minutes. His watch always showed 10 AM. Yet, this was a well-functioning Casio. He pretended to work but his thoughts were elsewhere. In his head, he sang the song that was playing this morning on his neighbor Bechara’s radio. He thought about the bookstore girl. He wondered where she was right now. She could be on the bus or still in bed under her covers that smelled like tobacco, jasmine and a French shower gel. She was probably wearing the pink silk panties that she bought one Saturday afternoon in early summer when she was feeling lonely and careless.

Adonis’ colleague interrupted his thoughts with a dull and irritating voice, like the voice at the McDonald’s drive-thru:

- I’ve been waiting for Mr. Rizkallah’s file since yesterday…

- It will be ready tomorrow. I am finishing up Jamil Zarif’s file, said Adonis.

In fact, Adonis had been working on this file for a month but hadn’t opened it for the past week. Still, Mr. Nkoula liked him and gave him a two percent raise.

- You’re wasting my time. Give me that file as soon as possible; otherwise, the general manager will be upset. I have career projects. I smile at life. Your nonchalance will cause me some serious problems and ruin my reputation.

When she said “I smile at life,” Adonis was startled. His nervous system most likely failed to analyze this phrase. “Why did this bitch have to utter all these words?” he wondered. Then, he calmly opened the window to his right and threw the documents out, one by one. He did that very coldly while looking at the sky and the diverse buildings behind the flying sheets. The day ended at the office of the general manager who started the conversation with a quote probably by Georges W. Bush or Jacques Chirac. Mr. Nkoula had come along Adonis but he remained silent all the time.

- Adonis, our firm is a large family striving on respect and solidarity and one that has a social objective and well-defined values, concluded the general manager.

The young man recalled he had heard that exact same speech yesterday on TV. The director of a powerful British oil group was launching some exploration operations in Iraq. This is definitely one of the outcomes of the war launched against the people who lived peacefully between the Tigris and the Euphrates.

He decided not to speak for himself since he thought that justifying one’s actions was useless. He wondered if the general manager always memorized speeches like the speech of the Oil God. Did he know that the museums of Mesopotamia were torched, and looted and that some precious art works were on their way to London, Switzerland and some rich Arab capitals? Of course not, he thought because, had he known that, the manager would have warned Adonis’ colleague and banned her from eating cookies.

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