A man reflects on his use of time.
|I look busy.
I’m so busy looking busy that I have no time for work.
When I got up this morning I set about doing the typical morning stuff: I sit down and read. I watch TV. I drink coffee and think about eating breakfast but decide against it due to logistics. So I sit. I sit and think about breakfast. I sit and think about ironing my clothes. I sit and think about taking out the garbage: it’s Wednesday, after all. At some point, I realized that I had to go to work and that I hadn’t eaten yet. I realize too that I haven’t ironed my clothes and that the trash hasn’t been taken out. I hear the grinding clang outside that indicated that the garbage truck would be leaving me behind (again).
Bathrobe and grey boxer-briefs, I run outside.
I run back in and grab the garbage… and run outside.
I run back inside sans garbage can.
I look at the clock. Shit. Where does the time go?
What am I wearing today? Grey slacks. Nope, wore those yesterday… hmmm. Olive slacks; haven’t worn those in two days, people will have forgotten by now. I run up the stairs to my bedroom. No slacks. Where the hell are my slacks? I begin shoveling through my dirty clothes pile like a giant, pasty mole. There they are. Gotta iron ‘em, though. No time to iron slacks AND a shirt.. I’ll steam 'em. I rev up the shower, super hot, and close the door with my slacks hanging on the shower rod; nice and close to the shower stream. Not too close, though. Not this time. I look for a shirt. A brown one. Does brown go with olive? Accepting that brown may or may not go with olive; I plug in the iron.
I hastily grab the ironing board and try the trick where I hold the bottom of the thing aimed at the floor and sort of … whip… the ironing board. In my head the legs fall neatly into place and I am proud. There is applause. In practice I rattle it four times and bend over to wrestle with the fuckin’… fucker and, not bothering to set it down, I try to simultaneously lock the legs with one hand, while holding it where it should be with the other. Thank god I don’t do anything dangerous for a living.
The shirt manages to get ironed. There is a crease pressed into it running from the neck to mid-back that I won’t notice until after lunch when the cute Asian chick in underwriting points it out saying “My lord, you’re a bachelor aren’t you.” It will be a statement. I toss the shirt on in the same way that Dracula whips his cape to be mysterious as I trundle up the stairs to fetch my slacks. They’re wet. Again. In the crotch. Again. I put them on anyway, telling myself they’ll be dry by the time I get to work; I’ll just put the heater on high. I will be wrong and they will have rewrinkled.
The next bit is a blur.
I somehow end up at work. I’m not certain how. I don’t remember the drive but I do remember being preoccupied with nineteen year old Swedish twins, or at least the idea of them. I open my office. It is small and white. I have a phone and a computer and a tiny, tiny refrigerator containing diet soda and cigarettes. I do not like my office. Did I mention that it is white?
I don’t really know what I do here. Nobody does. My title is Human Resources Manager. I give out applications, collect them, categorize them and send particular ones to District Managers who are looking for a particular kind of employee. This takes about two hours per day. The rest of the time I try to look busy. I am afraid they will take away my shitty office if I do not look busy.
Most days I spend so much time looking busy that I don’t do my two hours of actual work. This is good. It means that once per week I have a day's worth of running around and talking (loudly) about how busy I am. This is good for PR and for keeping my shitty, white office.
I will persist in this lie until I am promoted to Regional Human Resource Manger. Unbeknownst to me, it will be next Thursday.