You know the place, you walk past it every day as you go from job to café to bar to home to job (ad et ceterum …)
It has that strangely cheap ” pay the graphic designer nothing, we’ve got to get the place up and running, we’ve got an audience and investors ” sign over top of an entrance which once lead to a video movie rental store.
Now long gone in the cinesweep of online video, the vacant socket is now filled with something that provides equal amounts of menu variety – a temporary labour office. Don’t get me wrong, the office isn’t temporary, the term is merely used as an adjunct to distinguish the office as having no political connections. It’s a commercial outfit with a mandate to fulfill the employment slots divulged by commercial operators treading the waters of a turbulent economy.
Some think that breaching the threshold of one of these offices will lead to conspiratorial glances on the street – intimations of preference to be ostracized for left leaning agendas. Or perhaps worse, a desperate attempt to escape the electronic tattoo of corporate branding.
Some of us like the place – it’s almost a second home. Some days they have doughnuts, they always have coffee – a couple blocks away you have the other place and they usually make a fresh pot four or five hours into the day, not bad with a little aspartame and whitener.
The talk around the labour pit is often the same – even from country to country – “I hear Xmog is hiring, good money there and they’re implementing ventilation technology with North American patents so you don’t feel like you’re being outsourced.” “You ever work for DeckSmart – putting together backyard patios can give you a woody, and they pay good cabbage, too.” “Can I buy a smoke? I’m trying to quit – well actually I never have enough money to buy a whole package and unlike some corporations the convenience stores don’t do financing over the course of 36 months. That’d be kinda stupid, wouldn’t it – by the time the term ended you coulda smoked a couple dozen cartons…”
So you have to pit, you have the dispatcher – fine clerics themselves, seeking to promulgate provisional players to the foundation of a wobblingly destitute social sector. Playing the game of survival sport as if they were coach, fan and team owner – chewing gum to relieve the tension of the hours between smoke breaks, neurotically laying out job tickets with their mental armada of industrial integers as template hoping for that one day they will hear the swish of success as the work week arcs towards an end not hindered by frictive force nor fickle fiction – “this time don’t let any thing bounce around – I want a 90 degree angle straight down the pipe, Skywalker!”
Like a lost circle of hell, the workday rounds the bend to collide with – what? this one isn’t over yet? But we were having such fun and you wanted more? More metal and mental grinding, the fission of heirs splitting from your family tree as thumbs twiddle and nervous nods resign to fallen reconnaissance missions – or was that renaissance positions? Weren’t we sent by the king? Or was that just an elapsed emporer?
You sit beside them in waiting for a break – there is such a cast here – there are ex-teenage filmstars, booted militiamen from puppet governments, cover models from aging copies of Soldier of Fortune, even graphic designers who lost their mind when AI computing began to splinter the creative teams behind reality TV shows way back in ’97.
All in all, one hears again and again at these places – nothing wrong with turning and honest dime, even when it’s for a brief time …