by Laura Gene
I’ve got the greatest job in the world. Yes, you should be jealous. In a world of job scarcity and uncertainty, I’ve got a good, cushy job. I’ve got my own private quarters, secluded from the metal rumblings on one side of the dividers and the annoying rotating group of passersby on the other that slide in and out, interrupting my solitude. I’ve got it made and I know it. I’m the life of the party. I can make it rain on demand and at will. I make things happen! But I am rather polarizing: people either love me or hate me – the topic of many heated dinner conversations, I’m sure.
No job is perfect however. My boss over-does it from time to time, going a little overboard with purchasing expenditures. I take some responsibility for his actions. After all, I am a bit of an enabler and don’t like confrontation much. But these people, god, they seriously do it to themselves. Fortunately for me, it at least gives me job security.
As the years swipe by, I notice a dramatic increase in workflow; my responsibilities keep growing beyond my original scope of duty because my coworkers keep dropping like flies – well, that and because I’m so damn good at my job. Prompt, eager and always at your service at the drop of a dime. At first, I was only supposed to serve as back-up support for emergencies and stuff. Then I started getting pulled into these other random situations that were supposedly ‘time sensitive’. These situations were not technically part of my job, but I liked to help out when I could. There would be a crunch from time-to-time, usually between billing cycles when they tried to play catch up. I loved the added pressure and chaos during these times. They needed me to make it through, and I needed to feel needed. It was a win-win.
Eventually I was responsible for all procurement throughout the month, no longer confined to ‘crunch time’. They had me buying off-script non-essentials, like a new mobile phone for the boss and a fancy flat screen TV for the office. A little new gadget here, a little sweet treat there. Slowly, these little ‘things’ started piling up. The once laidback job quickly turned into a high-stress, around-the-clock gig. My magnetic strip was ablaze, and I simply burned out.
The guy before me quit. He’s retreated, probably holed up somewhere cursing the day he ever took the job. (Rumor has it, they put him in the freezer.) They forced him into a corner and now he has nowhere to go; he’s been made obsolete with their excessive demands. I saw glimpses of his future in my own.
I know it will just be a matter of time before I too expire, past my prime. Little pieces of myself cast aside in a waste bin somewhere. I don’t want to leave. Things were so good at the beginning. And I know – I know – my boss doesn’t want me to go out this way. Until they get things under control, and stop using and abusing me though, I’ll just become another worn out piece of maxed out plastic replaced by the next shiny new micro-chipped card with a $0 balance.