I sit alone in the office, slouching in my chair. The lighting is dim at the back of the room, yet bright at the front, due to a fuse. I can’t change it, I can’t change this. There are four other desks up here, but all are vacated, computer towers still blinking.
Having the upper floors of the office to myself open up a number of potential work perks. I can smoke while I work, I can talk (to myself) while I work, even sleep while I work. However that one works. There are never any complaints from below, it doesn’t really matter, as long as I get something done. And the work is never ending, yet never too much, a bizarre paradox. It keeps me busy, it keeps me peaceful.
Though I still have a fear inside when I think I hear someone climbing up the stairs. If someone was to climb up the stairs, my ideal working environment would be shattered, for I am used to working alone. I’m not a team player, despite what I said in the initial interviews. The peace lets me focus.
Though it wasn’t always so empty, once Shannon sat behind me, Laurence sat in front, and there was Cliff on the edge of his seat at the other end of the room. Even managing director Paul Hardcastle (Not the DJ, much to my dismay) would sit and order Tupperware for his extravagant microwave lunches, other days he would be on the phone to his many wives. At least I think they were his wives.
But Shannon’s gone, Laurence’s gone, Cliff jumped off a… you know, and even Paul is no longer present. I was expected a promotion, but I continue in the same role of typing up script after script. Where did they all go?
At home my girlfriend would complain to my wallet, wondering why it was so empty despite the hours I pulled. Life was expensive and I often wondering how hard I’d have to work for the routine to make sense, and unlock adverts promises. A smile, a new Mini, time to create, a trip to Africa. At school they say hard work pays off, but I’m always left short changed.
And one day there was change.
While I was typing away, I heard footsteps. My spine tingled and a rocked in anticipation. Someone was coming. And that someone, was a small man in a business suit, wearing thick rimmed glasses. He looked like a hard worker, maybe a new worker to join me up here. I began to sweat.
‘What are you still doing here?’ he griped, brushing his hand over a dust filled desk (I never thought to keep the vacant lots clean).
‘What do you mean, I’m a prized worker they leave alone, I haven’t left like the rest.’
He began to laugh. I don’t like laughter when I don’t understand the reason.
‘They haven’t left, they all transferred to a new building.’
I couldn’t take this guy, his laughter, his size. Even though I’m not a general hater of the small, just this one.’
‘But I wasn’t told, don’t you lie to me!’
‘Maybe they just forgot to tell you?’ he shrugged and made for the exit, ‘This place is going to be grounded. You best scream.’
And then it all made sense. I watched the flickering ceiling lights as I smoked. Then carried on typing to earn adverts promises.
It was raining today, just like any other day.