Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Working in an Office

(Type of Employment)

Disaffected Office Drone DI says:

Shockingly, most of my friends work in an office. This is shocking because I consider most of them to be intelligent, enlightened, talented people. Not unlike myself. Even more shocking, is that I work in an office too. What the fuck happened?

I hate offices. I hate getting the bus / train / tube / tandem to my place of work, with everyone else, all identically dressed in black, grey or navy blue. No-one speaks, no-one smiles. We are miserable.

When we get off our vehicle of despair, we enter our offices mentally picturing the moment in 8 hours time when we will be leaving them. If the office has a nice receptionist, they will say hello and we are compelled to smile and say hello, when in fact we both want to commit suicide at that particular moment in time.

If we are particularly unlucky, we will work in an open-plan cubical/screen divided grey prison with no natural light or fresh air under flickering yellow strip lights which occasionally interact with the frequency of our computer screens causing the development of epilepsy / bi-polar disorder or the effect of sedation.

We stare at our computer screens, 75cm away from our noses, all day, stopping only to have a wee, make a cup of tea, photocopy some meaningless drivel (followed by a tense few moments un-jamming the photocopier), or horror of ultimate horrors, we may have to go to a meeting. The meeting is a particular division of Hell inexplicably overlooked by Dante. I could go on for hours, but I really only need mention phenomena such as buzzwords, taking the Minutes, Powerpoint presentations and the urge to, again, commit suicide by sticking a sharpened pencil into the nostril and hammering it into the (by now numb) brain.

Lunchtime sees people fleeing madly in all directions from the office, desperately trying to squeeze what they’d normally spend all day doing (i.e. having a life) into an hour, or sometimes only about 20 minutes. Chaos descends as office workers confusedly go jogging, run to the pub, return clothes to shops they only bought from yesterday, make frenzied phone calls to organise a mortgage or frantically book flights to anywhere that isn’t an office. The result is a kind of sad anarchy of the soul, which is the highpoint of the working day.

At 3.30pm precisely it is indisputably the worst moment of each day in the office. We are full and drowsy from lunch and have been back at our desks for two hours. Home time is aeons away, glittering like a mirage in the distance. Here is where the serious clock-watching begins. We check out the BBC website, some travel sites and leave a few messages on a message board. Only 15 minutes passes. Someone comes over with some paper and we feign interest / knowledge / a pulse. Eventually time as we know it becomes meaningless and stops altogether leaving us in a vacuum of dribbling tedium until we’re released at home time, blinking in the sunlight , helpless, clueless and lobotomised.

As I say, it’s shocking that I and my friends do this. What’s really sad is the total waste of talent and humanity: barely anyone I know enjoys their job. And those that say they do, I don’t believe for a moment. I’m leaving my job soon to go and have diarroeah in India. I can only urge you to do the same, before it’s too late.


(The .5 is for free use of internet / photocopier and the bit of paper you get at the end of the month that says they’ve paid you.)

Yes, true believers, it's DISAFFECTED OFFICE DRONE WEEK! Coming up: Rants, bitches and gripes from bored-shitless office workers all over the world! Are YOU clock-watching right now? Of course you are, why else would you be reading this? Why not stop daydreaming about handing in your notice / taking an industrial stapler to your boss's face / getting your leg over with that cutie who sits by the photocopier, and do something constructive instead? Send your very own ranting bitchy gripes to feedback@urtheory.co.uk, or just post them on the messageboard .


  1. In a touching there's-hope-for-us-all afternote to this review, Disaffected Office Drone Di has now indeed managed to cast off the shackles and is off in a couple of weeks to Bangalore to climb mountains, ride elephants and do all sorts of exciting and socially useful things. Which just goes to show. Something.

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