At your run of the mill office job, not all coworkers are miserable, only like 87%. Cherish the 13% you don’t want to die in an office fire, especially that 11% made up of the three to seven people you would actually consider sleeping with. To be fair, it’s not like you wish death on that 87% so much as you’re just indifferent as to whether or not they burn alive in agony. You’re not a terrible person; you’re just not a good one either.
The 87%, the vast majority of your coworkers, are more likely than not walking piles of uselessness in terms of your own life. You don’t work directly with them, you are not friends with them, they are not sexually attractive to you, and they are not even your age (or within ten years of your age). It almost seems as if they are there simply to fill your peripherals. That might sound sociopathic, but an office has a way of doing that to a person, which is nice because it helps you justify stealing slices of pizza from the break room fridge.
I feel nothing!
Few things are more depressing than the interactions between yourself and these people. They happen everyday, multiple times a day. In fact, sometimes the quality of your day depends on how well you can avoid these interactions. They are the very definition of superficial, and if you’re anything like me, a little bit of you dies inside every time you have one. Maybe that’s how you become the people you’re currently seeking to avoid as much as possible? So many little bits of your once vibrant soul have withered away and died from those interactions that you eventually become the hollow, peripheral, half-human making useless small talk to some other mid-20-something. It’s the circle of not having a life.
In this way, working at a fast food restaurant or as a maximum-security federal prison guard is completely preferable to working in a corporate park. At least at those jobs people are real with you. When they say things like “I will CUT YOU motherfucker!” they mean it. When someone at your office says, “Have a nice day,” they don’t actually care if you do or not. They’re just saying it to fill the silence. Call me crazy but I value sincerity, even if it’s at the end of a sharpened toothbrush.
I can’t stand talking to people just to talk, and the office environment is rampant with that bullshit. From break room interactions to meetings to God forbid bathroom conversations. Unless I’m pissing on your shoes, there is no need to talk to me while I’m at the urinal. Unless the bathroom has literally exploded into flames and I haven’t noticed because I’m taking a nap in the handicapped stall, there is NO NEED AT ALL to talk to me while we’re both (in theory) dropping deuces. Even then a simple knock will do, no need to make our escape from certain death awkward.
Maybe I’m just an asshole, but every time someone made small talk with me at my old jobs, I always wondered, “Why are you talking to me!?!” Were they trying to be nice? Don’t bother, you’re a 49-year-old obese man who stopped drinking 25 years ago. We have nothing in common. You could give me a free sub sandwich and I’d still avoid you at all costs, unless I saw you carrying another extra sub sandwich at a different time, in which case we’re boys. Maybe they were trying to impress me? I hope that wasn’t the case. Clearly I’m not impressive, I work at the same place they do.
If there was something interesting to talk about, sure, let’s have it. “Did you hear Diane the receptionist had a miscarriage? Yup, she was riding in a carriage through the park and the cobblestone road was way too bumpy.” Irony and dead babies? I’m game to listen to that story, no matter who’s telling it. However, stories about kids, half joking complaints about home life, and anything about the weather that isn’t “OH FUCK THERE’S A TORNADO IN THE PARKING LOT AND IT JUST GAVE DIANE ANOTHER MISCARRIAGE!” are completely unwelcome.
Besides from actual work and terrible paychecks, the unwelcome interactions of daily office life might be the worst part of a corporate existence. Please don’t talk to me 87% of my coworkers, you’re not interesting and/or I don’t want to have sex with you. Come back when you have gossip or free food, preferably both.