White Collar Office Blues

So I’ve gone corporate.
And it’s a weird world out there.
Not a job but a lifestyle, a never-ending toothpaste commercial.
By far the best lifestyle I ever had by the way.

So smile, and don’t you dare not show those pearly whites.
Smile. Nobody here is afraid of wrinkles because they’re all so very young with great skin, the product of a lifetime of balanced nutrition and regular attendance at the gym.

It’s like college in American movies and the thing that makes this place magic is also what eats away at it.
27 year-olds stressed out because time is running out, wishing they could go back to being 19 and do things right this time.
35 year-old looking around and feeling alone.

Smile you’re one of the lucky ones,
Unless you’re feeling trapped.

Don’t you fucking dare not smile!
No place here for the un-perfect.
The atmosphere grows thick with internal monologues just left hanging there, for everyone to taste and ignore:
Did I speak enough at the meeting? did they see what a special snowflake I am?
Did I speak too much? Did I sound too negative? That would be the worst thing to be.
Am I giving all I can give? Everything? Everything everything? Surely there’s more left in me, I need to find it and give it now!
I need another chocolate bar.
Someone saw me overeating; they can all see I’m an emotional eater, that I’m not strong enough.
Why did they have lunch without me today, should I make more of an effort to show I’m a cool person to work with?
What if they find out I don’t really know SQL?

They have kayaking gear and carefully curated personalities.
They’re so lucky to be here, so privileged and special.
They’re so lucky to touch the aura of all that amazingness.
It’s glorious, that pink bubble of gum.

Nothing else in the world matters more.

That was not even a joke.

It’s the Willy Wonka factory. Any day now they’ll see I’m a fraud and drown me in the chocolate river.
I don’t want to be called out.

But, somewhere inside my head there’s a song.
A red banner and a raised fist.
The need to shout, revolt and break things.

The key is to believe that bubble gum can mend everything.
Work in progress.


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