Rollin’ with the homies.
For the last few years, I tried slogging through graduate school. And, well, for various reasons, I just can’t be educated. So now I’m back at regular-ass jobs again, and being out of the ivory tower can sometimes be fun, in that bizarre “I’m living inThe Office” kind of way. Not that graduate school wasn’t replete with idiot bosses, nauseating ass-kissers, freaks (though not usually the fundamentalist sort), jerks, failed attempts at romance, and the typical melange of dipshittery that we call “humanity” when we’re in polite company. However, working in an actual corporate setting somehow ratchets up the Dunder Mifflin a few notches. All the characters are there–the idiot boss who bullies his/her subordinates, but doesn’t see him/herself as the jerk he/she really is; Dwight (there’s always a Dwight); a Jim-like slacker who’s too tragically hip for the entire affair; assorted fruitcakes; young people with surprisingly reactionary views; and, of course, a jaded temporary worker who can see all of this and who prays he doesn’t get sucked into accepting this situation as normal (ahem).
So how does this relate to the above scene?
This place (and forgive my lack of specificity, but I have a powerful need to continue eating, so until something else comes along, this is what’s paying the grocery bill) hired quite a few temps a couple of weeks ago, of whom I was/am one. But the anticipated work volume has yet to fully materialize. So our own Michael Scott has decided to start sending some of the temps home early. I haven’t been one of them. Now, I need the money, so I don’t mind staying. But I don’t like that other people are getting jerked around when they were told that they’d have a forty-hour-a-week gig.
The other day, on one of those silly-ass “breaks” that the much-maligned labor movement helped secure, I was talking to another employee–not a temp, but someone who’s only worked there for a relatively short while; it is worth noting that this woman is at least ten years younger than I am. I was telling her about this bullshit of people getting sent home early (the permanent staff haven’t been leaving–they bring books to read, or find other creative ways to waste time and get paid for it), and she looked at me and said, in this world-weary way, that I just needed to look out for myself. To which I replied, without even thinking, “And that’s why the rich pricks keep running away with all the money for themselves.”
She looked at me like I’d just suggested we have a lovely dinner of puppy tenderloin in bearnaise sauce.
Ah, well. I’ll keep struggling, Comrades.