Ron is a great guy to work with and I rely on him to brighten my day with his high spirits and sharp wit. I’d call him a morning person but I think maybe he’s a twenty-four-seven person. I suspect he actually likes what he’s doing and who he is. I’d give anything for that outlook today.
As I’m cramming my oversized handbag into the undersized drawer designed for pencils, Ron swivels his chair to face my desk. He speaks to my rear end which may have some impact on his mood. “Tomorrow is payday and I am so glad. I’m tempted to resign because this place is driving me mental, but knowing that I’ll earn my scrap tomorrow, helps me soldier on.”
I smile to myself, maybe Mr. Sunshine suffers like the rest of us after all.
“Okay, I’ll bite. Something not right in your world?” I say this as I remove my backside from Ron’s field of vision and place it in its ergonomically designed chair. Maybe I’m not such a horrible friend after all. I still have the capacity to notice a friend in need when I see one.
“What do you mean ‘not right’?” he squawks. “What’s right? I work for two of the dumbest men in IT at a company designed to support the greed of the capitalist world, my daily tasks are mind-numbing and I suspect that in twenty years I’ll be working at this same desk, looking at this same computer and probably sitting in this same chair. At the risk of repeating myself, what’s right?”
I try to rise to the challenge, but you have to admit, it is a rather large challenge. “Possibly accurate, but that’s not the same as true. You’ve withheld part of the story which is the salary you will draw to have your mind numbed over the next twenty years until you see the light and demand a desk by the window.”
“Great, that’s a big help.” Ron sweeps his arm expansively across the half-empty sea of cubicles. “And I thought I had nothing to look forward to here. But I see I missed out on a nice silver lining; another day, another dollar, another chance at a desk with a view.”
“That’s the spirit. With thinking like that, We Shall Overcome. Hell, we might even make a career of it.”
Ron holds up one hand to stop my taunts and wraps his other arm around his waist with great melodrama. “Stop right there. I can’t stomach listening to your career aspirations this early in the morning. When you are a mighty, powerful, boss of some international conglomerate, you can hire me and give me an office with a huge window overlooking the harbor, a fantastic salary package and some work that doesn’t actually put me to sleep. Then I’ll let you go on about careers all you want. Until then, I’ll keep bitching about my bosses, dreading my daily grind, and fantasizing about a life less ordinary.”
It’s obvious that Ron isn’t as upbeat as I imagined. Maybe it’s all relative. Lately he seemed upbeat compared to me, which made him seem totally glass-half-full. Anyway, who wants to sit next to an eternal optimist all day? I find it comforting that Ron agrees with me that this company and the jobs within it are not anyone’s idea of a dream–actually, it is a balm to my troubled soul. Maybe my impatience and sometimes-doubt about my career-path aren’t that unusual. Maybe I’m not the only one wanting more from the universe and wanting it now. Suddenly all is right with my world again. Like I said, I love working with Ron. And I like my job. Soon, maybe not soon enough, but soon anyway, DK will be behind me and I’ll be facing the challenge of my next assignment, my next customer, my next step on my career ladder.