Monday, November 16, 2009

I Have Seen Hell. It is a Cube.

As many of you know, in the real world I am a web designer/expert running my own business. And since business is not exactly eating up my time and aiding in the paying of the bills, I spent today interviewing for what looks to be a "real" job. I haven't worked in an office proper for about 2 1/2 years.

The interview itself was fine; I didn't know all the techy answers, but no one ever does. I seem to have wowed them with my knowledge and ability to elucidate my experience and skills.

And then it turned weird. I took the tour.

We walked through a very large facility of over 400 employees. It would be the largest company I ever worked for. Cubes everywhere. Cube-y's Cube-y's everywhere, but not a thought to think. I just kept spouting um-hmmm's and okay's as we walked through and more cubes and more cubes with signs above them and every job I've had since college flashed through my mind. Small cube farms, large cube farms, policy binders on shelves, the guy with all his personal crap in his cube, sanctimonious bosses spouting bullshit teamwork rhetoric, team playing, posters of SUCCESS and clever phrases and the HR tourguide lady occasionally glanced at me with a micro emotion of a sneer, behind the look was the true face of a demon and I was getting a tour of my hell.

I was sweating, my stomach sinking, my breathing quickening, and I felt like I was on acid, speeding towards the edge of a panic attack. I kept it together through the rest of it but breathed like I hadn't in a week as soon as I walked out the door. But it lingered - as dusk fell and I drove home, I recalled the temperature and the dimming light and the driving as past lives and jobs and the commute home and the knot in my stomach would not disappear but even tightened and floated around this surreal world that was the second half of my day. I was so wrapped in emotion and fear-control that I got on the highway the wrong way and didn't realize it for 10 miles. It is truly only now, only after a couple beers, that I'm starting to seriously calm.

And writing this helps.

Worst thing is: if I'm offered the position, I really have to take it. Financially, I don't have much choice. Good news is I have a week until they decide and 10 days after that to drum up as much business as possible.

I have never been more motivated in my life.

Positive thoughts and prayers welcome. I'm running the Tommy Boy stretch from here on out.

I have seen hell. It is a cube. A whole series of cubes. With managers' offices along the walls and a common kitchen area with a microwave and fridge. I only pray I need never return but as a visitor.


Liberality said...

It sure does sound like hell! Good luck and best wishes :)

Ricky Shambles said...

Thanks for your well-wishing. I appreciate it. I'll update the blog with the real-life stuff as it applies.

Freida Bee, MD said...

oh no. I understand, though. Good luck... on not getting the job/ getting the job?

Ricky Shambles said...

Update: Did not get the job. Sad/worried about finances while at the same time pleased/relieved for the cause of my sanity. We'll figure it out. We always do.