Told Thru Toons: Office Life
As I get older I understand insanity a little more. I work in an office, in an half sized cubicle, where time either slows down dramatically or slips quickly between the spaces of my consciousness. There’s no in-between; I’m losing valuable mindfulness or I’m drowning in artificial screen light. Around 2pm I feel terribly numb. My hands and arms are not mine. They are floating appendages doing “the work”. My head is separated from my body . I’m body-less with a mind soaked in numbers. Everyone collectively gets up from their desks to retrieve more coffee.
If you can be honest with your boss, what would you say? I don’t want to work on this project; I want to play. Here take a pogo stick — let’s hop off this cliff together!
When my co-workers stare at their screens, engulfed in what looks like to be work, I often wonder if they’re not reading and working on anything at all. I wonder if they are spacing out just as hard as I am because ultimately there is nothing really important to do.
Every time I’m tediously entering data in a database, clicking away at my keyboard and mouse, I feel that the only remedy to solve my monotonous insanity is to viciously lash out at a solid piece of metal until there’s nothing left on me except blood and bone, and a whittled version of that piece of metal.
The Horror. The Horror. We were not meant to hear the sound of keyboards for 8 hours a day.
From my office window I can see a homeless encampment. The homeless man emerges from his tent and paces back and forth. He leans on the wall. He crouches down to pick stuff from the ground. He screams randomly at moving cars. He’s doing everything and anything to pass the time. In contrast I’m sitting in a nicely air-conditioned room, leaning back in my chair, and clicking away at inconsequential work. I’m getting paid. Who’s happier? Who’s more free? I am, I tell myself. Thank the good lord that I am.
Why does it feel like I’m going into battle every time I wake up? I dread throutine before settling inside my office: getting dressed in my room, the walk to the coffee shop, the prayer before the start of the shift, turning on my computer, checking my to-do lists. There will be mistakes. There will be misunderstandings. And then — 8 hours later — it will be over for the day. Why do I feel so afraid, so anxious? I’m sitting in a office — safe and sound and comfortable.