An Internal Monologue as I Navigate My Office’s Open Floorplan – Jarastyle

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An Internal Monologue as I Navigate My Office’s Open Floorplan - Jarastyle

100 ft: Hey, it’s Kevin. Wait… Does Kevin like me?
95 ft: Shit, can he even see me at this distance?
90 ft: Okay, he can definitely see me.
85 ft: He’s too far away for me to initiate contact, right? What even is the appropriate distance to say hi? I mean, I can see him, but if I wanted to say anything, I’d have to raise my voice, but not like yell. It’s definitely too far away, I can tell you that.
80 ft: No, it isn’t.
75 ft: Well, now I’ve made eye contact for far too long.
70 ft: Screw it, I’m just going to wave. Social norms be damned!
65 ft: Shit, he’s definitely not looking at me.
55 ft: No response, did I do something to upset him?
50 ft: Let me think, I did make that comment about male pattern baldness at last year’s Christmas Party. I mean, I didn’t say anything inherently negative about it or him, but he is definitely showing a little spot.
47 ft: That’s not it, now that I think about it, I didn’t give him back the PCB revision he loaned me last month. I mean, I accidentally blew the chip on mine so I needed it to work, but I guess I could have been more transparent about the whole thing.
45 ft: Yeah, but even if that’s the case, that’s not really fair. I mean, he gets paid and I get paid. We both have to be productive to maintain our jobs and really, aren’t we both working towards the same goal? We are on the same team, right?
43 ft: But isn’t it unrealistic to separate the personal from the professional? The capitalist wishes it so. The moment I step inside this office, I’m not a person, but a resource, a tool to accomplish some end. I am the hammer, Kevin is the sickle.
41 ft: When you think about it, though, shouldn’t Kevin and I like each other through our shared interests? Are we not both on the same team, the team of labor, the team of the worker? Our loyalty is not to the company, but to each other and all the other workers of the world. And that is the tragedy, that they have so resolutely isolated us that the personal goals of our individual survival have put us at odds over something so trivial as a missing circuit board. What have we become?
40 ft: Shit, I’m not smiling. Don’t forget to smile. Be warm, be personable, just like Dr. Greene says. Am I smiling? Smile! Good, very natural.
35 ft: Maybe I’m approaching this whole thing incorrectly. I’m one of the few minorities in this supposedly progressive office. I live in a world that I find myself increasingly alienated from. Maybe this is just part of a larger reality I face outside the confines of this harsh fluorescent lighting?
32.5 ft: Quick, stutter-step around the office dog.
32.5 ft: Pretend to be normal. Yes, pet the dog.
32.5 ft: Good girl, Leo, good girl.
32.5 ft: Did they buy it? Whatever I don’t care.
30 ft: I am an intrusion into this ecosystem, into this world, though they won’t admit it. Admit it? They probably aren’t even aware. It’s the dark side of human nature, a dark side that lies dormant and is propagated by even the most well-intentioned individuals. There truly is no rest for the wicked…
29 ft: Oh shit, he smiled back! It’s probably not that then.
27.5 ft: You know what it is? It’s me. I’m the problem. I’ve hardened myself against the very thought of human connection to the point where I build walls that people can see, can feel, can sense with their innate intuition. I protect myself, and lose myself in the process.
25 ft: But that’s not fair to me. Any social relationship is a two-way street, a give and take, an elaborate dance between two people who must avoid any misstep to prevent the whole thing from falling apart.
22.5 ft: “Oh hey Pyotr, yes, I expect to have that ticket in code review by end-of-day tomorrow.”
22.5 ft: “Yeah, my drive-in was okay. It’s kinda crazy how mild rain just causes traffic to skyrocket. People are just bad at driving.”
22.5 ft: “Alright, haha, yeah see you at the 3 o’clock meeting.”
9 ft: I’m a wretch, a miserable cretin.
8 ft: Dr. Greene lied to me about people’s inherent value.
7 ft: Sister Nancy was correct about original sin.
6 ft: My mother was right…
5 ft: I’m ugly
4 ft: I’m a weird social freak, forever doomed to being an outcast.
3 ft: I’m not even human.
2 ft: I hate everyone.
1 ft: I hate myse…
0 ft: “Oh hey Kevin, how’s it going?”
-1 ft: That wasn’t too bad.
-2 ft: God, please answer me, why am I like this?
-3 ft: Well, at least I made it to the break room. I can get that coffee I need to function. Maybe the caffeine will straighten me out, smooth my nerves a bit.
-50 ft: Alright, time to head back to the ol’ desk.
100 ft: Oh shit, can Kathy see me?



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