I hate my job. Every day I’m forced to endure ten hours of labor inside a small, musky office. There’s no air conditioning, so in the summer my office regularly exceeds the scorching temperatures outside, and wearing pants, as required, only exacerbates my already hot body temperature.
I’ve been working here as an insurance broker for five years now. Every morning I drive to my office and park in my designated parking space that’s surrounded by broken flower pots and pieces of litter that haven’t been picked up since I started working there five years ago. The outside of the building looks like a run-down setting for a zombie movie. Atop the building, the business word “Insurance” appears in glowing red lights, except for two of the letters whose light bulbs have blown out. Carelessly scattered shopping carts from the supermarket next door fill most of the parking lot as if no one has ever bothered to gather them all together and place them where they rightfully belong. The rancid stench of an overflowing sewer seeps through the air, although oddly there is no sewer anywhere in sight. Nobody knows where this smell comes from. Upon entering, an annoying sound of an alarm beeps to notify employees that someone has entered the office. My secretary notices me, says good morning, and goes about her work.
Next I enter my dust-filled office to begin the work of the day. It’s not a cubicle, my boss was actually kind enough to give me my own office with a door I can shut if I so desire, however whenever I do shut the door he yells at me. I often think that he gave me this office because no one else was willing to take it. The ceiling has eroding stains of some strange brown substance and the white wallpaper is slowly falling off the walls. I sit behind my desk that doesn’t have any working drawers and glance at the paperwork waiting for me. First I start work on the numerous mistakes made by my co-workers that require my immediate attention, then I focus my attention on processing any insurance applications I have written from the previous day. But before I can do any of that, I have to make an important phone call on behalf of one of my clients.
The phone has been pressed against my ear so long that my ear is full of sweat and beat red. My ear feels as if someone has been standing behind me flicking it repeatedly for an hour straight. Still, I remain on the phone. This is an important call that I simply cannot disconnect from. I’ve been waiting for 45 minutes, and my patience has almost completely deteriorated and what little that is left is holding on for dear life before I burst into flames like the human torch.
A baby has begun crying in the room next to me. As wrong as it is, I envision myself kicking the baby like a football. The field goal is good, and briefly I indulge in a moment of humorous relief. But quickly the nagging of the crying baby waffles its way back into my head. And this phone call…damnit…what’s taking them so long? Tiny beads of sweat slowly begin forming at the top of my forehead, causing me to reach for a napkin on the desk to wipe away the sweat. I move the phone from my right ear to the left in an attempt to remedy the physical irritation, but it’s not long before my left ear begins aching.
A fly has entered the room, and, I assume, finds joy in flying directly in front of my face. I desperately try to kill the fly by swatting at it, but my attempts are about as successful as trying to duplicate the sculpting genius of Michelangelo’s “David”. Defeated, a look of displeasure shapes my face. I must looks as if I drank a cup of sour milk and peed myself at the same time.
The baby in the other room notices me and his cries now turn into laughter. Oddly enough, I’d rather have that little bastard crying at himself instead of laughing at me. The sweat is now pouring down my head. Both of my ears are pulsing in pain. The fly is manipulating my every thought. And just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, a voice finally begins speaking into the phone…
“We’re sorry; your call has been disconnected. Please hang up and try your call again.”
I slam the phone back onto the receiver and instantaneously yell the most vulgar word I can think of. Upon hearing this, my secretary chimes in from the next room, “Jeez Jesse! Calm down! You don’t have to be so angry all the time.”
“I need a cigarette,” is the only reply I can come up with. Only nine more hours left, then I get to ponder what sort of disaster will be waiting for me tomorrow.