Oliver Green is a modern life burnout/angeraholic living in Bali, Indonesia and writing about life instead of making things worse by having one.
W O R K
Have you ever been at work and stared at the fire alarm and thought maybe you’d pull it? Big deal. Have you ever looked at it and thought maybe you’d disarm it so the fire has a better chance of killing everyone in the building? It’s not because you’re psychopath, it’s because you are an employee.
Now, there are two types of Smurfs.
The Smurfs who are named after their personality IE: Vanity Smurf and Jokey Smurf – the happy ones. And the other type who are named what their job is IE: Handy Smurf and Painter Smurf - the ones who have no hope of ever smurfing Smurfette in the Smurf.
The point is: Some Smurfs are what they do and some Smurfs do who they are. And that’s the reason everything isn’t Smurfy for most of us Smurfs. Most of us aren’t Model/Actor Smurf, we’re Fiscal Report Smurf. We’re Food Prep Smurf… We’re Brainstorm Smurf.
“Hey guys, lets get together and brainstorm around this problem.”
Is there a more hateful phrase in our lexicon?
I’d rather be invited to a prison rape than to another Brainstorm. I’d rather be led by the hand into a quiet corner of Tier 5 by some 3-strike-lifers with shanks than to be ushered into the ‘Opus room’ for an ‘opportunity’ to ‘add value’ to a clients business with a ‘360 holistic approach to the media landscape’ led by some sebaceous middle management bot holding on to the white board marker like Gollum holding the One Ring.
The greatest trick the boss classes ever pulled on us is Middle Management.
You now have all the responsibility and none of the power – sound good? All you need to do is snitch on your brothers and sisters, keep track of their whereabouts and make sure Glenn isn’t wasting post-it-notes. And if you do that – we’ll give you a different colored uniform. For that uniform you’ll be in on the weekend, work til 9pm, eat lunch at your desk, have to have a relationship with a workmate and watch summer after summer pass by your window while the rest of us look at you with pity in our hearts... or is that envy?
The problem we have as a bunch of Western World work monkeys is that we are completely superficial. We want the title and the money – the work is unimportant because the work is so unimportant. No company has any more money to actually make anything come out of the end of this binary driven sausage machine. They only have enough money to keep the sick machine working. We all get paid to work but no one is getting paid to finish – the work is the outcome no longer the process. So then everything we do is for business card status or for ‘numb me quick’ money. We are little translucent beings inside a slab of person-meat looking out the eye-holes with two levers in front of us - one says FEAR and one says MONEY. And we yank away at these two little levers making the meat-slab dance-for-dollar or draw an arrow on a white board or agree with what we don’t care about until the cognitive dissonance we face euthanizes our minds. Until we are left sitting in that meeting room with a mouth filled of half chewed meeting-biscuit as the speech about 'brand strategy' coming out of that other persons' face vagina seems more and more abstract. Until the words are sounding like a retarded choir singing Micheal Jackson's, Thriller. Pointless. It’s just an endless storm of average. There’s no ‘I’ team but there’s a ‘Me’ in Meh.
None of the jobs we have now even existed 10 years ago, you ‘Freelance Social Media Content Editor Creationalist Ideator Chieftain’. Here’s a hint: if you type your job description into your computer and spell check identifies a word that isn’t a word – that angry little squiggly line under that made up nonsense word means that no one better call bullshit, or this whole house of cards will tumble down faster than a clothing factory in Bangladesh.
“But I love my work.”
Here’s a question Mrs. “I love my work”… Here’s a query Mr. “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life…” Say you win the lotto this Saturday and you suddenly have 213 million dollars in the bank – are you strapping on you stupid ‘team work’ face and heading into the ol’ office for some blue sky thinking and some project planning and fiscal AIDS?
What a shock.
Well, I am going to work - but it’s not what you think.
Bridge Burning Week is the week after I win the lotto, so I go into work anyway. Where I go the meetings and look at the arse-clowns I share the stale air with and smile knowing I could buy and sell each one of these loathsome clients and turn them into the protein rich vegetable manure they so rightly deserve to be.
Stir people’s coffee with my penis.
Mimic every ‘challenge’ clients present me in a high pitched German accent.
Say, “Sorry, Sandra – can I stop you there?...” and then just leave the room.
Use the word FUCK as every word in every email all week.
Fuck, Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck? Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck, fuck fuck fuck.
Fuck fuck fuck fuck. Fuck!
Do my time sheets accurately.
9-10:30am – Crouched in toilet stalls with unnoticed tears of rage rolling down face talking myself out of making tomorrow a Bring Gun To Work Day and banging holes in the walls with head.
Anyone outside the stall will have thought they heard someone tearfully trying to tame a horse – “Sshhhhh Shhhhhh. Woah now. That’s okay. Okay big fellah… easy now. Eeeeeaaaasy now.” BANG! CRACK! CRUNCH!
The rest of the hours on the time sheet would just have PowerPoint written in the columns.
PowerPoint. It’s neither powerful or makes a point. It should be called ShitLister, HereComeTheLies, or PleasePleaseGiveUsMoney. I sometimes imagine the meeting where the software designers sold PowerPoint (to reincarnated Hitler?) but this was before PowerPoint. How did they manage to sell it? I imagine they all just took a shit in a bucket and mixed the shit up with a bit of urine got nude and spread it all over the walls like a dirty protest. Mashing handfuls of feces on glass bricks and powder blue paint and then saying – “Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you PowerPoint. This will ruin everything.” I hope the developer is hidden away in Costa Rican crack den with his head in his hands like Openheimer when he realized the evil he wrought on the world. “What have I done? What… have… I… done?”
What did he do? He did his stupid job.
(Image via Shutterstock)