The Sixth Estate
Friday, August 05, 2005

A Day At The Rat Race

Hear me more plainly.
I have in equal balance justly weigh'd
What wrongs our arms may do, what wrongs we suffer,
And find our griefs heavier than our offences.


"Don't let the name throw you Jimmy, it's not really a floor. It's more a steel grating that allows material to sluice through so it can be collected and exported."

"This train is now out of service.", the loud speaker announces as we come to a gentle stop inside Union Station. I lift my eyes from the book I'm reading and look around the car, Half asleep people, dazed and confused people who just woke up, people with sunglasses and ipods, working people ready for the day. As I wait for the doors of the train to open I look at the man standing next to me. He's about 70 years old, and wearing the same thing I am. White short-sleeve business shirt and black khakis. He seems happy, but I know he's been doing the same job most of his life. 50 years with a company and then they take you out back with shotgun in hand.

It's 8:30 am. The cogs of the business world started turning hours ago, I am playing catch up. Over-priced croissant and ice-cold juice in hand I step into my office, also known as the copy room. Faxes and mail need to be delivered, and without my skilled hands the copiers might not have enough paper to last the hour. 5 pm is as far away as it's going to be today, and that is a depressing point I make to myself every weekday at about this time.

I'm glad my co-workers seem to enjoy what they're doing. But as a summer student at this company, I am tasked with the most menial of duties, so I'd be lying if I said I enjoyed my job. It is money in the bank after all, so what do I have to complain about? The people I work with are great and in general it's an enjoyable place to work.

My real fear seems to be the thought of becoming like the man on the train. I can't stand spending the entire summer inside... This beautiful, inordinately hot summer. Even if I did continue this job and begin my climb up the corporate ladder... The prospect of having to do that just seems dumb to me. Has LIVING in this society of ours become so purposeless? You get a job so you can make money. You use your money to provide for yourself and increase your standard of living. You get promoted and you make more money, raising your standard of living again. You work your ass of in this job for years and years so you can retire. Maybe you did well for yourself and your family, and maybe you didn't... But now you can retire and eventually die! Oh joy! Was your life worth it?!

The whole rat race ethos: the bullshit, the politics, the repetition, the clawing at any chance for advancement. It sickens me. I just can't see myself doing that, I don't want any part of it. And I know that if I'm not careful I'll find myself right in the thick of it.

I feel like a douchebag for writing all this angsty bullshit, "I am not a number!" etc. Someone will probably say "Well, that's what they all say Will." Well fuck 'em, I'll be damned if I don't try and break the mould.

It's just a summer job, but now I have a perspective on the business world. I've seen the bottom and I have no interest in the 'supposed' top.

These days on the internet, after someone types something like this they often say "Get a blog!". Well here it is. At least I know what I'm writing is angsty bullshit, unlike say, every user of livejournal.

Here's something to brighten the mood, a proper version of the Tom Yum Goong trailer. Tony Jaa's follow up to Ong Bak, Tom Yum Goong is a full-contact, insane acrobatic, no wires Thai martial arts flick.
Behold the Tom Yum Goong trailer.

Can't wait.

- Will


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