Corporation X. You know it. You probably work there. You started out like most of us do, full of youthful arrogance and promise, with dreams of changing the world with our words, writing the great American novel, city lights, exciting travel. But Corporation X is where most of us end up.
It’s located in a generic office park somewhere out in the boonies, not in some skyscraper downtown overlooking the city skyline as Hollywood movies would have you believe. The building is two stories, maybe three. Every window has a view of the parking lot, or the alley behind the parking lot. There’s a grimy microwave in the break room, with a crudely written sign taped above it that screams, “Your mama doesn’t live here so clean up your mess!” The aroma of stale coffee and disinfectant and hundreds of thousands of frozen meals and household leftovers sticks to your clothes after your lunch break. And despite the time of year or the state of the weather outside, temperatures are kept at a frigid 50 degrees or lower at all times.
It doesn’t matter if Corporation X sells office supplies, bottled water, feminine products, or computer equipment. Maybe they don’t sell anything tangible at all. Because what we all do, is sit in a 5×5 cubicle with our heads down, a blanket wrapped around a shivering, hovered forms, shuffling figures around spreadsheets, dodging calls, answering emails, sneaking to Facebook and Netflix to break the monotony, and waiting for the day to end. It’s amazing that Corporation X has lasted this long, with so little actual work taking place. If they really knew, they’d fire nearly everyone, keep the one or two brownnosers that actually puts in an honest 8+ hours a day. But they don’t know, because you’ve mastered the masquerade. The furrowed brow, the furious typing, the half wave, or nod that says, I’m very busy, can we talk later? The Man never has to know that you’re really posting a rant on your Facebook wall about whomever Shonda killed off last night during Grey’s Anatomy.
If you aren’t careful, Corporation X will steal your soul, like it has stolen so many others. You’ll leave here in 40 years with a dwindling 401K, a plaque with the gold paint already peeling, and a slap on the back from the boss for your trouble, driving yourself home in a daze wondering, is this really it? Or, you’ll do what I’ve decided to do. Rebel. One day I will leave here, but on my own terms, head high, soul intact.