The Monotony of Office Life.
The heat has been unbearable.
I woke up this morning, tired, though I went to bed early last night and woke up late today. As I laid in bed, I felt an air of change. I got up and rushed around a bit, got dressed, packed my lunch, and left for work.
We arrived a little early, so I stretched my legs a bit. “Do you have your wallet?” She spoke to me. Any time she speaks to me, I may as well be a child again. “Yes, I have my wallet.” Yes, I am big now. I can take care of myself to some extent. At least that’s what I think.
The train arrives and we get on and sit down. I am feeling tired, but after many weeks of this morning commute, I have learned that trying to sleep in the middle seat of the train is impossible. It’s uncomfortable and frustrating. So, I start reading Jack Kerouac’s On The Road.
I get through the long introduction and the first eight pages of the book in the 40 minute ride. Then, I am off. Through the smells, sounds, and the blur of hundreds. Hundreds of people that are in more of a hurry than you and everyone else. As I pass through the doors, I catch a quick glimpse of myself. I look away in disgust.
We get outside. I feel a few drops of rain. Then a few more. It’s drizzling, lightly. This is great. It’s much cooler down here than at home. It will surely cool off a little more. “Do you want to walk inside?” She speaks to me again. “No,” I say. No, a little rain is not going to hurt us. We don’t speak again until we get to work. I give her my lunch, I swipe my ID and I enter the building.
I go to the cafeteria and look around at the food. I am hungry, but there is not a lot that I can eat here. I look at the muffins, which I have been eating until recently when I found out that they contain milk. I looks like it will be biscuits. Biscuits are a lot cheaper than the muffins, anyway. I buy two biscuits and I grab some jelly packets.
When I get to my office, it seems as if no one is here yet. The light is off. When I get inside, I realize that the front light has gone out. Mark is here. We greet each other as usual. The greetings are short and generic. Mark is a shallow man. He talks about girls and action movies. At lunch, Mark sits outside and watches girls walk by. Mark is a 45 year old married man with an eight year old daughter. I must never become like Mark.
I eat my biscuits and turn on my computer. Every morning is the same. Eat breakfast. Turn on computer. Launch Internet Explorer. Check my eBay. Launch Entourage. Check my e-mail. Launch AIM. Check my buddy list. Launch iTunes. Play music. What will I listen to today. I think, maybe, The Cure.
Mark leaves and comes back a while later with Tony. They have gone to Starbucks for coffee and cakes. Starbucks; the epitome of the business world. Starbucks; the fuel for the workingman. I hate coffee.
It’s Monday. This Monday is exactly like every other Monday. Slow. I do a little work. I mess around a bit. I waste as much time as I can until noon. Noon is lunch. I look forward to lunch as soon as I eat breakfast. Before noon, all I live for is lunch.
I go down to the second floor to grab my lunch out of the refrigerator. “Hi, how’s it going today?” She is speaking to me while I am trying to get my lunch. “Pretty good, slow as usual.” I hang around for a minute and head outside to the courtyard.
When I say courtyard, I am referring to Pioneer Court. Pioneer Court is a giant slab of cement, cover in fountains, trees, and plant boxes. People come here to watch the girls go by. I come here to watch the fountain. I eat my lunch in about 15 minutes. This leaves me 45 minutes to do whatever I want. 45 minutes is a long time for looking at girls. I head over to Virgin Megastore. Virgin Megastore is a good place to look at over priced CD’s. I head upstairs to the book store. I spend the next half an hour looking through art books, photography books, and design books.
When I get back in my office, Mark is talking to Sindell. They are talking about action movies. Mark says, “The bloodier, the better.” I can’t be a part of this conversation, so I head over to my cube and sit down. Same routine. Check my e-mail. Check my eBay. Check my buddy list. No mail, but my eBay auctions have shot up.
I do some more light work. Mark periodically complains of my laziness. I can never tell if he is joking. I do my share of work and when I state that, he always responds that he is only joking. He says this everyday.
At 4 o’ clock, everyone in my office leaves. I get off at 4:30, so I go down to the second floor and wait. I sit around for 30 minutes and we leave for the train. We talk about work on the way to the station. Everything we say is superficial. Work is boring and neither of us particularly like our jobs. We board the train and wait for departure. I read a little more On The Road.
I think about what I am going to do tomorrow. Tomorrow is Tuesday. Tuesday is just like Monday, except it is one day closer to Saturday. I used to look forward to Fridays. I work on Fridays, so now, I look forward to Saturdays. I used to look forward to the recreational time that was the weekends. Now I just look forward to being able to get enough sleep so that I am not constantly exhausted.
When I was in school, I used to look forward to coming home to do the things I really wanted to do. Now I look forward to coming home from work so I can lay down and rest. When will I do the things I really want to? Maybe on Saturday.
I spend the rest of the evening with Liz. My only leisurely activity. She leaves around 11:30. I lay down and rest, again. Names fly through my head. I am plagued with names. I spend my entire work day looking at names and numbers… Michelle Bonk. Loc 10066. Joan Fergus. Loc 10128.
I start to doze off, but I’m suddenly awakened by the sound of gunshots in the distance. This reminds me to set my alarm so I can wake up on time; too early to get a restful sleep.
Soon, I am dozing off again. This time, I actually fall asleep. I sleep well. I sleep the sleep of someone who is exhausted. The sleep would be perfect if the alarm would not wake me at 6 o’ clock. I would be happy if I would not have to go to work everyday. I would be content to do the things I actually want to do everyday, instead of wait for Saturday.
I suppose that is the trade off you make. Recreation for money. Sleep for schedules. Free time for work. I suppose it’s not too late for me to make a change. After all, it’s only Tuesday. Four more days. Hopefully, it will have cooled off by Saturday.