Friday, May 6, 2022

Microstory 1880: Promovere

I don’t wanna talk about my work. People are always asking me about it, like isn’t that so sad? I can’t go to a party, or the bar, without having to discuss it. Like, it’s the first thing they ask. I just think that’s so sad. It’s my 25th anniversary there. Same place, different jobs, but it’s just nothing. Really, I’m not going to talk about it. And you know, my boss is such an asshole. He’s always giving me these looks, like, I know what you’re thinking, buddy. He’s one of those guys who thinks the world of himself, and everyone wants to be like him. That smug look on his face when something right happens, and he gets the chance to take credit for it, whether he had anything to do with it, or not. Oh, I just want to rip it off his face. But I’m not going to talk about work. That’s a promise I’m making to myself. My job does not define me. My final thoughts can’t be of the 45 hours a week I spend in hell. Man, 25 years. That’s not how long I was in the workforce, just here, which only makes it all the more depressing. They gave me a certificate, isn’t that nice? My boss handed it to me so delicately, like I was to cherish it. Others proudly pin theirs to their cubicles. They legitimately seem to love what they do. I don’t want to die, but at least I won’t ever have to come back here. No, this isn’t about work. This is about my whole life, and that is only a small part. Is it small, though? I mean, at the bare minimum, it represents a quarter of my time, and that’s not counting all the time I spent stressing about it. I remember the day I was promoted to exempt status. This is it, I thought to myself. I’ve made it. Sure, more promotions would be great, but a salary is a benchmark of success that they can never take away. Nope, stop. Stop that.

Stop talking about your meaningless job. Everything’s meaningless, though. Your life, that was meaningless too, though maybe a little less meaningless, because at least you had the chance to help people. Did you help anyone, though? When you really get down to it, were you a generous and good person, or was that just always something you aspired to be, but you were too busy with your terrible job that you hated? I said, stop talking about your job! Hobbies. Surely you had hobbies. Knitting? Why is knitting the first hobby you think of when you think of hobbies? How is that the default? Because I’m a woman? Because I’m older now? I’m not an old woman. Plenty of younger women like to do arts and crafts, don’t be an ageist. A what? An ageist; you know what that word means, because you’re talking to yourself. I guess that’s true, I guess I just normally hear it in the form of ageism, or maybe age discrimination. Whatever. Yeah, whatever to you Wow, you really light up a room with your attitude, don’t you? Oh, ha-ha-ha. They say, it’s not the fire that kills you, it’s the smoke, but it’s the pointlessness of it all. I didn’t do anything with my life. I could have taken control, but I just kept tripping down the steps. Most people go up the stairs of life, but I went right down, and not to say I was never privileged. I recognize my privilege, I really just mean it always felt more like falling, because I didn’t control it. That’s what a promotion is, isn’t it? You don’t apply for it, it’s given to you. Sure, you probably did something to earn it, but you couldn’t take it. You can go get a new job, but you can’t be the agent of a promotion, unless you’re promoting someone else. But does that feel any better, giving other people promotions? I think not. And look at you now, you’re stuck in the break room with everybody else, and you’re gonna die with everybody else, except that it’ll happen to you first.

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