All the Best, Susan


An envelope arrived at my desk today.

No, this envelope was not ambulatory. More precisely – it arrived by way of a shadowy figure in my peripheral vision, not unlike the way in which I imagine the fuzz will one day show up to hold me accountable for my movements on White-Collar Purgatory. (They’ll arrive three-abreast, resplendent in their dark suits and black sunglasses, holding big lasery-looking weapons. No, wait – now I’m just thinking about Men In Black. Never mind.)

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An Open Letter to Coffee


Dear Coffee,

Um, hey. It’s me. Gosh – if you’re actually reading this, I don’t really know where to begin. Forgive me for being a little starstruck.

I don’t know if you know this, but you’re… kind of a big deal. I mean, to millions of office dwellers, you’re the only thing separating white-collar purgatory from white-collar hell. And beyond these cubicle walls, your cultural impact can’t really be overstated. Your presence is felt from the farthest reaches of gustatory enthusiasm (arguably one step shy of wine, in terms of popular mechanisms by which the snooty demonstrate their refinement) to the most accessible of pop-culture references.

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Selling Out


If the title of this post conjures up images of Tickle-Me Elmo, Furby or any other consumer craze for which people have had “the crotch yanked out of [their] brand-new jeans“, I think that’s a good start. Granted, I have no interest in causing personal injury, nor is this blog of much comfort as a cuddle buddy (trust me – I’ve tried). But while we don’t actually need to leave a wasteland of trampled mullets in our wake, that’s the kind of energy we’re after here. Ideally, I’d like to know that if the survival of this website depended on at least one of its followers administering a People’s Elbow in a crowded Walmart in December, you would all wake up the next morning to a steaming heap of new WCP content. Not asking you to do that now, but think about it – just in case…

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Introducing…the Coworker


The Coworker.

*pause for visceral response*

The list of potential Jeopardy! questions to which “What is a Coworker?” would make you hundreds of dollars richer* is endless:

Someone who might sneak a bite of the cured meat stick you left in the communal fridge.

Nobody is more likely to make you seethe silently than THIS skyscraper cohabitant.

You don’t give a shit about her daughter’s dance class, but you DO like chocolate-covered almonds.

(I’ll take ‘Characters Who Make You Contemplate Seppuku‘ for $600, Alex!)

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Scenes from the Elevator


Her: Good morning, how are you?!

Him: *wearily* Too early to tell… *pause* Well, at least it’s Thursday, right?

Her: *cheerily* I have tomorrow off, so it’s a great day!

Him: Would you shut up already?

*end scene*

[Editor’s note: research recently fabricated by the author suggests that a version of this conversation happens approximately 11.8 million times daily across the globe, with the degree of optimism observed – in tone and content – varying in direct proportion to the current day of the week. Fridays tend toward cosmic liberation. Mondays are a tether to Beelzebub’s hearth.]



At the outset, nearly a fortnight ago, I speculated that a half-dozen posts might be enough for my ramblings of futility to be outpaced by the futility of my ramblings. I’m here to report that I’ve blown that mark out of the water: still standing, 10 entries in! Such a monumental achievement deserves proper acknowledgment; after all, no self-respecting corporate citizen misses an opportunity to exaggerate the magnitude of an accomplishment.

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Ode to the Cake Day


Upon a Tuesday afternoon
Of otherwise no note:
A ray of sun, a joyful boon –
The sweetest antidote!

Hello, Matilda! Greetings, Lance!
I wish I’d see you more.
It feels as though a vast expanse
Divides this seventh floor.

And how could I forget (my word!)
The moment’s honoree?
Annette, I hope your forty-third
Is full of festive glee!

At last, the cake; the luscious fix
For which we gather here.
A slice for all; no cruel tricks
To prompt a yearning tear.

A sigh, a smile, a little bit
Of bliss amid the bleak.
But do we have to do this shit
Like, every fucking week?


The Anatomy of a Middle Manager


The poster on his wall is tastefully sized but well placed, so as to immediately catch the  eye of whoever enters the office that houses it. Its visual appeal and syntactical clumsiness distract from the fact that it offers no substantive advice for actually achieving the success that it assures you is within reach. It’s hung next to a series of framed documents: a Bachelor’s degree, professional credentials, and a certificate awarded at the conclusion of a one-day workshop on time management. If you look closely, you will notice that these proudly displayed artifacts collectively comprise the series of acronyms found in their owner’s email signature, after his name and a couple of lines above the italicized quote imploring you to “seize the day”.

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A Phone Call from God


With relatively little in my workweek requiring my full intellectual investment, I have a fair bit of capacity left over for wandering thoughts… Say, for example, the kind of capacity that might yield an online diary of musings about office life. Related to that, I spend a good portion of my excess mental energy – as a defense mechanism, maybe – trying to deconstruct what, specifically, about my work environment that I find baffling. In speaking with others who’ve never slogged through white-collar obscurity, I often find it difficult to articulate the types of things you see here that make you want to forward your calls and retire to a simple life, subsisting off as much packaged ham as you can slam into your face before supermarket security takes you down in aisle 3.

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