I wake up knowing I will have to conquer yet another digital mountain. So I go to my closet, pull out my gear, and zip up my Patagonia vest. I am ready.
I storm into the lobby at work. A friendly co-worker holds the elevator for me. “Not today, Chuck!” I yell. “I’m wearing a Patagonia vest — I am taking stairs!”
As I scale that concrete stairwell, I have an out-of-body experience. Is that me? Damn right it is: I am a Patagonia vest warrior.
In my manager’s office, I demand she email me the spreadsheets. Kathy looks hesitant, unsure I can handle the task, clearly underestimating me. Then she glances at my vest and sees the rectangular Patagonia logo. She nods, realizing I am going to get the job done. No sooner does her finger hit “send” than I am at my desk ready to annihilate every spreadsheet she throws at me.
After four hours of filtering through annual budget sheets, exhaustion starts to creep in. I take a timeout, and head to the bathroom and dump a Gatorade cooler over my head. “You’re wearing your Patagonia vest," I tell myself in the mirror. "YOU CAN DO THIS!”
I devour a Clif bar and head back to my desk.
I carry on, crushing spreadsheets a mountain a minute. I pause to throw a stapler at Kathy’s office window. “Is this all you got?” I mouth to her. It wasn’t. She sends 75 more. No biggie. My Patagonia vest and I got this — “WE GOT THIS, KATHY.”
At 3:30, my co-worker Ted brings me a coffee. It’s our usual afternoon rendezvous, but I don’t need it today. “What the hell is this?” I ask. “You think I need this coffee?” I throw the cup against the wall. “You think I fucking need this, Ted?!!?"
The ferocious work pace makes me break out in a sweat, and my fingers begin to slip on the keyboard. I unzip my Patagonia vest to let out some steam. That’s when it happens: the zipper jams. Panic quickly sets in. “Emergency! Emergency!” I yell. Sharon from marketing grabs me by my vest and tells me to get ahold of myself. She’s right. I can handle this. I am the Patagonia vest warrior.
I take a deep breath and ask Sharon to lend me her Chapstick. She shuffles around in her bag for a minute (come on, Sharon — get it together!) and finally pulls the tube out, which I use to lube up the zipper. Despite her slowness, it’s not every day you see this kind of comradery on the digital mountain. I will always be grateful to her.
I quickly get back to it, dominating spreadsheet after spreadsheet after spreadsheet — I AM JACKED. Eventually, I conquer them all. In celebration, I lift my desk and lob it out my office window — I AM SO FRICKING JACKED. Both Ted and Sharon refuse my fist bumps, but I don’t care. They can’t comprehend the ways of the warrior.
I climb out my office window and free-solo up to the top of the building where I hoist my I AM THE PATAGONIA VEST WARRIOR! flag. A tear comes to my eye as it waves in the wind. I wouldn’t be here without my vest. I kiss the Patagonia logo before folding my vest and tucking it into my satchel. It had seen enough today. It served its time. I will retire it alongside my other Patagonia vests until I have another digital mountain to climb.