Thursday, September 22, 2005

Welcome to the Office

The trouble with pointless work is that, eventually, you reach a point where you can’t continue. First, you have the excitement of something new. The facts and figures overwhelm and the magic of procedural doctrine belittles your mind into a state of abject fear.

Then, after a while, you begin to understand. You learn the rules behind the rules. You learn what is necessary and what doesn’t matter. Jenny, the former controller from Houston, takes care of that paperwork glut and Bob is a whiz with computers. Tina, the hot temp from the second floor, serves a greater purpose than visual stimulus while Jason, the assistant manager your boss exemplified as the paragon of efficiency, sleeps at his desk and pours whiskey into his coffee at lunch.

You learn and you adapt.

Soon, you know everything and you begin to point out inaccuracies and inconsistencies in the way things run. The waiver form is useless and the records are not kept up to date. Jenny would appreciate your hard work at managing efficiency in the paperwork department and Bob sits at his desk waiting for someone to ask for help with their computer. Better to ask him then to wait on line for the (no) help desk. You slowly position yourself within the company to have Bob run out of town on a rail and you while away your free time wondering if Tina is keeping a record of your actions to report to management or if she is just making eyes at you.

You hope it is the latter.

This lasts for a while and things seem good. Then, it happens. Sometimes it is sudden and other times it’s gradual, but it eventually happens in work like this. You have an epiphany, an insight, a clarity of thought and vision that leads you to one, immutable truth.

Your job is pointless.

The company will never fire Bob, no matter how many times he comes towork drunk, your efficiency improvements go unnoticed as the management team casually mentions, on their way to the golf course, that the new software upgrade do away with that type of work altogether. And Tina? She doesn’t even know your name. The reason she kept looking at you was because her contacts get dry whenever she in on your floor and she has to stop for a moment to clear her vision.

There is no getting around it. Your job is pointless. The people at work don’t care about you and, in all probability, they hate your guts. This is where you are and this is where you will be for the rest of your life if you don’t make a change. There is no hope for promotion. There is no leniency or stay of execution. This is your death in tiny, tiny increments.

Welcome to the office. Have a nice day.

1 comment:

Uber_Tech said...

no one remembered to invite us to the departmental cookout friday
So i feasted on bile...

As long as the checks dont bounce and my kids keep on greeting me at the door when i get on from work
Its all good

well except for the guy who seats in the cube next to me and serves up 15-20 big wet belches everyday