This hit me during one of the more physically undignified poses that I’m routinely forced to strike during a typical workday. I was squatting like an ape over a large filing cabinet with a clutch of time clock reports, lunch violations, vacation request forms, the patchwork quilt of modern office tedium, when suddenly I became aware that I was having to mentally sing the alphabet song to myself between every shuffle and file. The file that I was holding began with an “L”. I had to start the song right from the top, at “A”. Then, at some point in the “F” neighborhood, I got lost. I had to start over. I wish I were making this up. I spend at least a quarter of the day, every day, on this activity. You’d think that after that kind of grinding repetition I would be able to work that cabinet with the sightless finesse of Stevie Wonder doing a standing #1 in a public bathroom stall. No. They might as well hire a six-year-old to do it the way I do. At least the song would be fresher in his memory. Slinking back to my desk, I took stock of all the other mundane facets of the job that I exhibit a total lack of aptitude for. I drop messages, I forget supply re-orders. I stick a payroll stub in the copier, the phone rings, and some unlucky fuck doesn’t get his check that week.
After 15 minutes of frantic searching five days later, the stub is discovered still in the copier. I once made this Russian delivery guy so late picking up a package from us that his Turkish dispatcher cut off one of his thumbs. Back before I had this kind of job, when I was steadily failing to get one in interview after interview, I used to piss and moan about how unfair it was that I kept getting passed up for bitches who are so bubbly it’s contributing to global warming. Now I finally get that they’re exactly the candidates you’d want for this type of shit . They spent all of high school training for this job just by remembering friends’ birthdays and talking on the telephone. My skill-building regimen in high school was basically alternating bouts of video games and manually induced orgasms. I’m not likely to find a market for those skills anywhere, not unless I’m willing to shave my balls and move to Thailand. I guess for now I’ll just keep showing up, and leave my diploma right where it is: on my bathroom wall just above the toilet.
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