COWORKER: I forgot to email my Weekly Report last week.
YOU: Did you get in trouble?
COWORKER: No. I just remembered.
COWORKER: Have you ever gotten a response when you send yours in?
YOU: No. Have you?
COWORKER: No, never.
COWORKER: Someone’s reading these reports right?
COWORKER: Why do we even have to do them?
[YOU shrug again. Resistance flares in your COWORKER’s eyes and it appears that he might throw off the yoke of this seemingly pointless task. The fire dies as quickly as it sparked.]
COWORKER: Guess I better send in that report.
COWORKER: You see that thing Trump tweeted?
[YOU freeze, unsure of what to say.]
COWORKER: Did you see that thing Donald Trump tweeted on Twitter dot com?
[By insisting on having this conversation your COWORKER has placed you in grave danger, for HR considers discussions that are political in nature to be in violation of your workplace’s non-harassment and non-discrimination policies.]
COWORKER: If you didn’t see what Trump tweeted this morning I can tell you—
YOU: Yes, I saw. It was a doozy.
COWORKER: It sure was.
[Footsteps thump behind you. YOU break out into a cold sweat, positive SHARON FROM HR has arrived to discipline your proscribed discourse. YOU turn around to see it is only THAT GUY WHO SPENDS AN INORDINATE AMOUNT OF TIME BRUSHING HIS TEETH IN THE RESTROOM heading to the restroom, toothbrush in hand. YOU are safe for now, but it is only a matter of time before SHARON FROM HR discovers your secret political discussions and reminds YOU that we are all but children in the workplace, forbidden to discuss DONALD TRUMP’s tweets on twitter dot com.]
COWORKER: This job sucks.
COWORKER: Sometimes I really hate it.
YOU: If you are very unhappy you should look for a new job.
COWORKER: It’s just so much work updating my résumé and looking and everything.
YOU: I’m sending you some job listings I’ve come across.
COWORKER: Oh wow.
YOU: Did you see something you like?
COWORKER: No, this Buzzfeed quiz says that I am LISA TURTLE.
YOU: Is that good?
COWORKER: No. I wanted to be A.C. SLATER.
CACOPHONY OF LIFE
[A preposterous amount of noise emanates from your COWORKER’s cubicle. It sounds as if he is alternatively picking up his mouse and keyboard and slamming them back down again.]
YOU: Everything OK over there?
COWORKER: Yeah. It’s just — UUUUUARRGH!
[Your COWORKER’s entire cubicle shakes. If this were not a daily occurrence you would think your COWORKER was transforming into some sort of monster.]
YOU: What are you doing?
COWORKER: Nothing, sorry.
[Your COWORKER stops smashing everything within reach and soon the only thing that can be heard is his long drawn out sighing. Just when you are able to concentrate again, a rapid swishing noise invades your peace. It is THAT GUY WHO SPENDS AN INORDINATE AMOUNT OF TIME BRUSHING HIS TEETH IN THE RESTROOM speed-walking to the restroom, toothbrush in hand. As always, he slams into the restroom door with such force it sounds like he is going to knock it off its hinges. It bangs shut again. YOU are in the eye of the hurricane once again so YOU quickly power through the rest of the task at hand. Buzzfeed informs you that you are LISA TURTLE.]
[YOU place a pod of coffee in the Keurig machine and press the brew button. Hot brown liquid spurts out of the machine’s nozzle. Because YOU have placed your cup just out of reach of the draining coffee, it goes down the drain. When the machine has fizzled out the last bit of coffee YOU select another one and start the process anew. Pod after pod you will drain. It is the smallest act of rebellion, one the higher-ups could not possibly notice or be affected by. It is the only kind YOU are brave enough to undertake. Your COWORKER enters the break room.]
COWORKER: How can you stand that Keurig stuff? I switched to Nespresso years ago.
YOU: It’s all the same to me.
UNDELIVERABLE: THE WEEKLY REPORT
COWORKER: My Weekly Report bounced back.
YOU: So did mine. It says that’s no longer an active email address.
COWORKER: In all the time we have sent these reports in, did you ever get a response?
YOU: No. I never did.
COWORKER: Who do we send these reports to now?
YOU: Maybe we don’t have to do them anymore?
COWORKER: How about until we’re told who to send them to from now on, we just send them to each other, so we can say we sent them to someone if we are ever asked.
YOU: OK. But I don’t have time to read yours.