Friday, November 02, 2007

Friday afternoon

I stare at my monitor and yawn. My eyes water and I wipe away a tear. I look at the clock – it’s 4:17. I lean back in my chair and stretch, trying to get some blood flow back to my cramped muscles. The allergy medicine I took some hours ago has wrapped me me in a foggy cloud of numbness. I pace up and down the corridors, refilling my mug with endless glasses of water. The mug carries a lingering aftertaste of the coffee it usually holds and I grimace as I sip the water. I have some pending work – three or four urgent tasks to complete. This industry has left its mark – I think in the same language now - pending tasks TBD, EOD, FYA. Acronyms and jargon have overtaken my vocabulary.

I get two phone calls – two more tasks to complete. I really should be getting back to work. I stare at my monitor and start tapping out an email. The phone rings again. And then again – query after query. I look back at my email and find I have forgotten what I wanted to say. I have no will to work. I start at a spot on my arm, scratch it, go back to the cooler to get another glass of water. Someone’s phone goes off and the jarring ringtone breaks the silence around me. I turn on my ipod, plug in my headphones, hoping that the music might inspire me to action. It doesn’t. I rummage in my bag, smear on some lip gloss, suck on a mint.

4:40 – two hours to go before I can leave for the day. I look through the picture windows on the far end of my floor. Even though it is a clear, blue day outside, someone has drawn the shutters across the windows. Thinking back, I realize that I can’t remember when the shutters were last left open. In all the buildings this organization inhabits, regardless of the view outside, the shutters are always drawn. I wonder if there is some unstated organizational policy manadating that, while at work, employees completely shut out the outside world, including wind, weather and everything else that doesn’t pertain to work. Or maybe someone’s just forogtten to draw the shutters for the last year and a half?

It’s 5:33. Time to get a cup of coffee, time to get back to work, one hour before I can leave.

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At 5:10 AM , Blogger Daisy said...

I vote for the last possibility: no one is in charge of drawing the shutters any more. The person responsible finally found a job with windows on the world and maybe even (gasp) fresh air!


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