Every Friday I go into work hoping it won’t happen. I pray I won’t have to hear those words, or an iteration of those words, such as the hideous “TGIF” or the most dreaded of all, “Happy Fri-yay." Happy Fri-yay, indeed. Hoping is in vain; I’m often subjected to as many as three to four well wishes an hour on any given Friday, more if I must repeatedly do battle in the form of cursed small talk with that demonically perky temp from Accounting. On the worst days, I escape to a bathroom stall, but even there I cannot elude the dreaded invocation, “Happy Friday” bouncing off the tiled walls in a mockery of all I hold dear. Why should such good cheer rankle me? For that, we have to go back, way back, to 2015.
I was a happy graduate with a newly minted degree in theatre arts and $50,000 in debt. No matter, I would pay off my bills in good time, believing I was a blessed enough to become a decently compensated working artist, or even perhaps believing — yes, I will admit it! — that money grew on trees. In a manner of speaking, I thought paying my loans would be as easy as plucking legal tender from surrounding arboreal structures. But lo, my deferment period ended, and, in another manner of speaking, I was up shit creek without a paddle. O, how the fury of Sallie Mae rained down on me! And verily, I was forced to take a job at this corporate place where the pay is decent and the benefits are good, but where my encyclopedic knowledge of Christopher Marlowe is totally disregarded!
Here, at this corporate place, I toil for eight hours a day (maybe less if a holiday weekend is near) while enduring constant quips about the days of the week. A shuddersome sampling: “Monday is canceled,” “Tuesday: at least it’s not Monday,” “Happy Hump Day!” “Merry Friday Eve!” and the worst of all, “Happy Friday.” O, call me an uptight killjoy unable to tolerate innocent social overtures meant to increase healthy commiseration if you must! But do these phrases not smack of gallingly empty lives? Should we not do more with our precious time than spend it waiting for the last day of the week? Is it not apparent I should be starring in Doctor Faustus at London’s Barbican Theatre rather than opening emails with a reclining Tweety Bird inside who says, “I tawt I taw the weekend coming. Merry Wednesday!”?
Every time you say “Happy Friday,” it sends me down a depression spiral. I picture my sad corporate future and its attendant creative lifelessness. I see myself at the age of sixty, well-compensated and with ample insurance, still being made aware Monday is the day after Sunday. So please, I beg of you, let us consider some alternate phrases to replace “Happy Friday” in an effort to start a revolution and end this nonsense once and for all. I propose, “Well wishes on this day, the gateway to forty-eight hours off,” or, "I wish to acknowledge the end of the work week we just spent in proximity to each other, so may I suggest enjoying some anticipatory thoughts of the weekend today, but not too many, since we are here to work, after all”?
I think you will find these changes suitable. If not, at least we’ll all know Friday is never too far away.