I Love My Job; I Hate My Job

I Love My Job; I Hate My Job

By Elizabeth Harper

fantasy world pink and purple paisley hearts and stars and flowers

dolls and children and excitement and joy and love in abundance too much in abundance where can it all go this is what people are like before they are destroyed by life and education and bad parenting and institutional authority and medical atrocities and war

flirting and dancing and joking around and pretty colors and birthday cake in the breakroom and baby showers and a Christmas box with dolls and toys and games every year and the employee party with dancing and karaoke and raffle prizes

I would be happy but there are security cameras watching me all the time

leave your wallet and your cell phone in your locker take it all out at the end of the day unzip your purse so security can check it

money money money we've got to make more money so we can hold our jobs so we can make our goal so we can get the bosses off our backs so we don't have to worry

No, ma'am, you can't use your husband's boyfriend's lover's cousin's uncle's father's boss's mother's partner's credit card if it doesn't have your name or your signature on it. And I don't personally care if you are committing credit card fraud. I'm all for credit card fraud. I think it's a very efficient way of redistributing wealth. In fact I think everybody should just drop their credit cards in a giant candy dish when they walk in the door of a store and people should just pick them out randomly when they go to pay. If it's declined just pick another one. Keep on pitching till you win. But nobody's asking for my opinion. I'm not calling the shots. I just don't want to get caught not following the rules. So you stole your soon to be ex-husband's credit cards so you could get him back but good? Good for you. I wish you all the luck in the world and I hope Gucci Coach Louis Vuitton Chanel Bulgari Tiffany let you charge up a storm. I still got to cover my ass.

No, sir, I don't see why carrying a red shopping bag would threaten your gender identity. You'll be the envy of every man who sees you. Think of all the poor, lonely, single men who don't have little girls to buy presents for, no one to look at them with feelings of unconditional love and adoration. They would pay any amount of money to get a female person to feel that way about them, to look at them that way, but no amount of money will buy that. You have someone who thinks you are the greatest person in the world, and where are you? You're on a business trip worrying about carrying a red shopping bag with you when you go out drinking and carousing. You left her back home to deal with school and homework and that bitch of a wife her mother. The least you can do is bring her back a book or a present for her doll who is her only comfort when you leave to go off to do your oh so important whatever it is.

Sir, or mam, it's fine with me if you don't want to give your phone number when I ask for it during a cash transaction. In fact, I think you should refuse to give it to me. Even though it's for our internal marketing research and we will not sell it, who knows what the government might force us to do in the case of a quote unquote "emergency" or increasing big brother individual surveillance just for the fun and/or money of it. I used to just skip asking for it even though I'm required to do so, but then they threatened my job over it, and every review and coaching session they tell me I have to capture more phone numbers, more customer information. But refuse. I think you should. Just don't get snippy with me. I don't care what your damn # is.

When my feelings are hurt I buy myself a present go visit the Soupbox guys cry in my ice cream on my lunch break drink heavily when I get off work for the day

Then I have to get some dinner take a shower make sure my clothes are clean pack everything I need to get ready for the next day I have to go to work and smile smile pretty why aren't you smiling I smile and people don't smile back I speak to them and they ignore me they ask questions when I'm in the middle of doing something get mad if I don't answer fast enough

But I'm happy happy happy happy happy I have a job I'm so grateful that I have a job have a job because what would I do if I didn't have a job I would be poor desperate homeless out of luck down on my luck worried anxious free


This was originally written for a show curated by Elizabeth Harper for the Rec Room series, which used to happen at the Black Rock bar in Chicago, on July 7, 2010.

Here's the description of that show:
Ah, the world of work. Yes, you're told you should be grateful for the job you have, and you know you should be. And it's nice to have an answer when potential pickups and future in-laws ask, "So, what do you do?" And your coworkers are sometimes entertaining. But then there are rules to obey, dress codes to follow, busy work that seems totally unnecessary, corporate culture, a bizarre language that's a combination of psychobabble and business speak, Foucauldian disciplines, self-monitoring, competition, hierarchy, and the strain of leading a double life. This rec room show will feature poems, songs, skits, stories, performance art, etc. about jobs, compromises, and ambivalence.

I Believe… [Poor People Remind Us the System is Screwed]

I Believe… [Poor People Remind Us the System is Screwed]

The Wrong Side of the Rainbow

The Wrong Side of the Rainbow