I was sitting in my beige cubicle staring at my low radiation screen eating dried apricots and trying to hack my way into MSN Messenger, since the communists disabled it in an effort to increase employee productivity. I discovered that I was blocked in every possible way, including 3rd party web clients who support MSN. I felt so disconnected and bored… What would I do? Surely not work…
Finally (and ironically) I discovered a German version of MSN Messenger that I could use! Voila, I was in! I patted myself on the back and began to survey the German characters that were rampant in this version.
Speedball Says: Hey – there you are. Where’ve you been?
Lingo Says: Hey – Just hacking my way through cyberspace trying to outsmart big brother.
Speedball Says: Ohh the communists?
Lingo Says: Yes! They’ve disabled my messenger communications in all forms. I think Hitler was involved.
Speedball Says: Ha ha… Why don’t you just leave and come back here. At least you can take lunch, work with people more like you and not have to deal with communism.
Lingo Says: Yeah… I know. I should. You’re right.
Just as I was about to translate “only the strong will prevail” into German, my 23 year old boss swung by to flex her little virgin managerial muscles, using phrases like “I’m gonna need you to” and “you’ll have to head up”. It was cute. I appeased her by saying “okay boss… I’ll get right on that”. She was the boss’s daughter, so she got to order people around and micromanage me and a few others. She was anal retentive and had something to prove. I think my resume scared her a bit.
Just as I was about to start one of those “get to know your friends” emails, I saw a meeting request come in. “Oh no… not another PROCESS meeting”. These meetings were dictatorship to the 3rd degree and usually set out to tell you how you should be doing something (doing things your own way is frowned upon even if it means better results). They usually achieved their goal of demoralizing and stripping the employees of all of their worth, experience, and opinions. Opinions were not welcomed by the communists, they preferred that people keep their opinions restricted to their personal lives after 5 o-clock, so not to infect the office with innovation and charisma.
Lunch time came and went. Nobody ever left their desk, out of fear of what the dictators would do or say. I chose to not be the only lunch go-er and usually ate at my desk while surfing the net for better jobs or researching meaningless trivia to keep my brain stimulated.
At 3 o-clock every day everyone was forced to play hacky sack to make the office appear to be a “fun easy going” environment. People came with their game faces on, their artificial resent filled smiles and their water cooler conversation starters and we played hacky sack in a circle, for exactly fifteen minutes.
One afternoon I wondered… “What would happen if I DIDN’T go to play hacky sack”. So I didn’t… I stayed at my desk and quietly listened for footsteps behind me, and like clockwork, at exactly 3:05PM my boss appeared behind me and said “did you lose track of time?”.
“No… uhh, actually I thought I’d give this one a miss boss”
“Just don’t feel like it”
“Well… I think you should reconsider. It might not reflect well upon you with upper management.”
“Yeah, I’ve thought about it… and I’m good”
She stormed away like the Wicked Witch of the East; I could almost hear the Wizard of Oz tune play as she scurried off in a huff. I was shocked that I actually got away with not playing hacky sack. But just as quickly as that thought entered my brain I felt a cold dark cloud come over my body, and I turned around to find my boss and the two senior directors standing there staring at me with concern.
“So, Jenny tells me that you’re not up for hacky sack today” Bob said
I blushed and said “well, yeah I was just having an off day that’s all”
“Well, we’re just about to get the festivities underway, so it’s not too late” Said Rick
Jenny smiled at the two of them and shot me a dagger glare that said “you better be there bitch, I don’t need you making me look bad.”
I stood up and the three of them gave me a forced smile as they headed down the hall to the communal area where the rest of the group was waiting to play communist hacky sack. I followed them to the group and joined the circle of doom where I tried like hell to stretch the corners of my mouth to resemble a smile.
But fuck, I couldn’t. This sucked dirty balls and I wasn’t into it. So I did what any crafty self-respecting non-conformist would do and ran to the bathroom covering my mouth.
I returned to the group moments later and said “sorry guys, something turned my stomach. I had better go home.”
And that’s what I did. And for the rest of the afternoon I researched Communist countries and gasped at the stark similarities between their governing and the way my company was being run.
The next day at work I showed up with a Red armband and stole the hacky sack so I could draw a thick black swastika on it… Jenny unfortunately caught me doing this, and took great satisfaction in firing me. It was her big shining moment to look like a big decision maker in front of the balding upper management.
I tried to act upset about it, but I couldn’t help but smile while she delivered her junior mint speech. I kept picturing her standing on a stage wearing a party dress with a spotlight on her, while every senior manager sat naked in the audience with a hard on.