The End Of Our Elaborate Plans
WHEREIN THE AUTHOR GETS LAID OFF WITHOUT GETTING LAID/ AND SCREAMS I BEEN IN THIS PRISON FIFTEEN YEARS
Two days left before the office shuts down for good. After 80 years the firm where I work will be shuddered and left to history, though no one in the future will look back on this place with any genuine fondnesss. I will only look back and think of it being the second company I’ve ever worked for that shut down. I worked here 15 years, “Staff negro used to thankless tasks” my job title.
Thanksgiving week the staff was assembled for a conference. Those on vacation already had to call in. No bonuses this year. No parachutes of any color. No thank you. No tears from white men in ties. Just: the door. We left the room as one leaves a wake. Hands in pockets, mournful. There was no Christmas to be had anywhere; my only time when having no family was a benefit.
Others have redeployed to new jobs and I wished them all swift failure. Many seemed to start new jobs in the midst of mercury retrograde which is usually a bad idea. I myself will start a new gig next week though it feels more like an arranged marriage than anything I’m anxious to celebrate or even relieved by. I don’t know what’s wrong. I was looking for a job and then I found a job and now heaven knows I’m miserable now.
I walked through the offices last night, on assignment to assist with the movers, who needed no help as it turned out. Over the remaining weeks, I had already looted though there wasn’t much booty of value. To the people who compulsively leave change in their desk drawers, I salute you. I saved orchids, notebooks and a lamp. Weeks ago I led an informal poetry writing workshop and took a overnight bag of legal pads and pens for the writers… who didn’t need them as someone else bought cooler journals.
The office was fascinatingly empty and silent. As if a rapture had occurred. Leaving this place a post-apocalyptic deserted office. Last night as the movers took book carts of files and huge tubs of office supplies down to idling trucks, I felt a need to steal something but there was nothing I wanted. It was all barely used and useless. I looked longingly on the unclaimed orchids and zz plants and shrugged, having no space for them anyway much less a desire to carry anything home.
Interesting tension running through me. I wanted to feel a lot of things and couldn’t. I had no reason to host any anger or resentment. Ultimately, I was grateful for being here 15 years. I was grateful for being left alone and allowed a lot of freedom. I was grateful to be ignored and not needed much of the time. I was grateful few people talked to me and I often took 2 hour lunches. I was grateful to work here with so little stress. There had been some, A LOT in fact, don’t get me wrong. But ultimately… As Denzel said in The Hurricane (1999): Its’ very important to transcend places that hold us.