Something terrible happened yesterday. I mean bad. I high-fived someone. There was no irony, there was no hidden sarcasm. I instigated it. Worse still, I added “well done buddy!” to the cheese-ridden gesture.
Scrolling through the last five emails I had sent, made the hairs on my arms stand up (I am weirdly hirsute). I had underlined, emboldened and exclamation-marked three out of the five. I had sent an email about a case study as “urgent”. It wasn’t. I told a colleague that I was “very keen to support him in his business development endeavors”. I wasn’t.
The lies, the corporate cock-germiness, has infected my very being. I was so busy and harangued by the “big dog” (my awful awful boss) that I signed an email “bw”…..the extra 3.5 seconds to type out “best wishes” were obviously far too precious.
I sent out meeting invitations and warned people there was a three-line whip on attendance….where am I? The Houses of Parliament? Where has this pompous self-importance come from?
The transition into corporate whore has hit me, without me even bloody realising.
In a matter of months I’ve morphed into a polyester-wearing, kitten-heel sporting, PowerPoint creating, lunch-no-later-than-noon-eating office clone. Give me a clipboard and I’ll be a full on fucking parody.
I know every day’s soup offering by rote. Love a leek and potato Wednesday. I know when you order a curry that you hang back and go to beardy man as he gives out huge portions. I know when the stationary will be delivered so I can hoard A5 notebooks. And I know what time the cleaner will restock the paper towels in the ladies’ loos.
I am on the corporate clock.
Always an amazingly good sleeping-in-till-12pm kind of girl, I now wake up at 6.35am on a Saturday. Why?? I am not a mum and have no children to wake me, I don’t even own a pet (because they tend to smell and I’m irresponsible). I don’t attend early morning exercise classes (or any time of day classes for that matter). My inner self has succumbed to the “big dog” and I am becoming all that I hate.
Yes, I still have mini bouts of rebellion. I take my shoes off under the table and deny that they smell. I say “fuck” a lot. I eat at my desk when we have had internal communications sent specifically forbidding us from doing so. I refuse to move seats despite being in a hot desk zone and I corrupt my younger colleague by making him read this very blog. But I’m losing myself.
Its scary. Soon I’ll actually start to care. I won’t continually take the piss out of the Elvis-lookalike. I’ll start wooing suppliers and clap whole-heartedly at conferences.
Working for a corporate is sort of like being in a cult (well, without having sex with creepy bigamists or wearing long flowing robes). It’s so easy to become indoctrinated.
To be fair, I am sure there are plenty of big companies who don’t treat their staff like machines. Who don’t think treating intelligent women like secretaries from the 1960s is ok. But the more I work for other people, the more I am expected to give away hours of my precious life for a contract that means nothing to me, the more I realise that escaping the asylum is the only course of action.
High-fiving, winking and willing the day to go faster is no way to live. Before you know it I’ll be wandering the aisles of Marks & Spencers looking for shiny lady trousers and bemoaning the lack of good quality shoulder pads. EEEEEEEEKKKKK.
Must leave. NOW.