Introducing…the Coworker

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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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Ode to the Cake Day

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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

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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

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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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