Cubicle Death #3

So, every morning first thing at work, I check my boss’s email and read all of it.  I delete all the crap that I know he won’t be bothered to read and compile the rest and pretty much just give him a run down of what it says.  This man averages about 200-300 emails a day, and he doesn’t really have time to sit down and read any of them.  He is in meetings all day long, with barely time to piss. 

I get to work this morning and happen to read an email stating that it was very urgent that this person get in contact with my boss.  A lot of people write “it’s very urgent” and it turns out to be some bullshit.  But for some reason, I really did get a sense of urgency.  My boss is out of town at this conference all week, so I called him and told him about the email.  So to make a long story short, it turns out the guy was trying to let him know about the death of a colleague.

My boss’s colleague was found dead this morning in the hallway at our building.  Whoever found him, saw him laying in the hallway, went to check his pulse, no pulse.  Called EMTs, but he was already dead.  I don’t know what the cause of death was, but I am sure it’s not foul play.  Then I don’t even know how long the man was laying there dead.  He was found really early in the morning.  A lot of people at my job get to work at some insane hours.  I arrive at 650 every morning and already almost all of the parking lots are full.  By 730, you are out of luck.  You either have to park in a garage 2 miles away or brave the gravel lot with its rocks and rills and deep pits. 

That man could have been laying there all weekend for all we know.  The thing is, so many of the executives work such long, miserable hours.  We have three email systems depending on the level of security.  One email system you can access from home, the other two you have to do in the building, so when I see emails from the high level system at 930 at night, 130 in the morning, 430 in the morning, I’m wondering what the fuck these people are doing.  Do they have families?  Do they have a life?  Is work so important that you are in your office at 430 in the morning, sending someone an email?

My boss frequently works 10-12 hour days, comes in on the weekend sometimes.  His boss works 12-14 hour days and puts in 8 on the weekend.  These people are crazy.  They have shit called working lunches, where they grab something quick to eat and keep talking about business.  They have a personal cellphone, a government cellphone, government pagers, 3 email systems and a fucking video phone, like some shit out of 007.  And all they do is talk about work.  My boss is so stressed sometimes, I think his head is about to pop off.  His boss is so stressed that I swear I can see the blood clots forming in his arteries to trigger a heart attack.

These are people who come to work even if the government is closed.  They work on Christmas.  They work on their own birthdays, on their childrens’ birthdays, their husbands’ and wives’ birthdays.  They bury their elderly parents and then come to work after the funeral.  I saw on someone’s calendar:  1030-1230 Funeral; 1245-1400 Meeting with John.  What?  How do you go to a funeral and then come to work and talk about business like nothing has even happened?  They don’t really have a sense of work/life balance.  It’s all work. 

I’ll be damned if I drop dead at my job.  I don’t know what happened to that man.  He could have had a heart attack.  It might have been a serious illness.  He could have choked on something and had no one to help him.  But the thing about it is, he died at work.  That is fucking miserable.  Instead of the comfort of your own home, or a hospital where you might could get saved, he was at work where other people are too busy to notice a dead man laying in the hallway. 

I know if you want to get ahead in life, you have to be on your game.  You really have to be a go-getter, but sometimes you have to wonder what is more important.  Yeah, I know how hard it is to eat these days, but I can’t imagine how a dollar will help you if you are laying dead in the hallway of your job.  I say I am about money, and I really am.  I do work hard for it, and I’m out to prove myself, but I ain’t about to break my neck over it.  I want to be able to enjoy everything I am earning.

At the end of last year, there was a woman in my section that had 100 hours of use or lose leave.  That means that hoe had 340 hours of leave.  You can only carry 240 hours at a time and the rest goes into use or lose.  If she is accuring annual leave at the rate of 8 hours per pay period (I think she has been there for 15+ years), that means she has not taken a day off in 42 pay periods, that is almost two years.  Are you crazy?  If she is accuring at 6 hours a pay period, she hasn’t taken a day off in 56 pay periods or more than 2 years. 

I had to track that information and I told her that there was no way possible she would be able to use the 100 hours before the time ran out and she was just like, “Oh well.”  What…. ?  I don’t think so.  You slaved away at this job for more than 15 years to earn 8 hours of vacation every pay period, and you are just like “Oh well.”  These people are crazy.

And what do you get for it in the end?  Not a goddamn thing.  A cheap plaque thanking you for your service after you retire.  A weak ass pension check.  And a mass email telling everyone that you are retired and now someone has to pick up where you left off.  That ain’t shit.  It certainly ain’t worth dying for.

Materialistic as I am, I am more vain than anything.  I am not working myself into wrinkles or


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