“Did you ever wish that sometimes you could freeze-frame a single moment in your day, look at it and say: ‘This is not my life!’    – uttered by Robin Williams in the movie, Mrs. Doubtfire.

It’s incredible what a bad economy, need of a paycheck and morbid fear of being without health insurance will make a person put up with.

Not to mention sitting in an environment from 9 to 5 each day very much like the one pictured above. Staring into a corner at a computer monitor for eight soul-sucking hours.

Certainly not good feng shui, according to my friend, Roberta. And she’s right. Sitting with my back to the entryway of this claustrophobic arrangement of cubicles leaves me vulnerable to attack.

My work mates (maybe mates is not a good word choice) talk about me when I depart our cubicular enclave (nicknamed “The Cave” for its lack of air, windows and evolved humankind) for the netherworld of the mailroom or solace of the copier.

I’m not paranoid. I know they talk about me by the pitying look I get, upon my return, from the guy who sits next to me, my only office friend, who, quite possibly is also the biggest gossip in the place. Also, because he has told me they talk about me.

But I don’t hold it against him. He’s just being self-protective. A nervous wreck, he knows they talk about him, too.

At times, I have overheard the two women across from me whispering about me while I’m still seated at my desk!

She’s overworked, I hear them say, but condescendingly so, as if it’s my fault for putting up with it.

You see, they have perfected the art of doing as little as possible for as long as possible and spend about 40% of their workday shopping for junk and reading online tabloids, while surreptitiously extending their lunch hour to 90 minutes.

“Work!” as Maynard G. Krebs used to yelp on the Dobie Gillis Show.

So, today, my boss — god, I hate the word, boss, and all it infers, as if this person has the right to, you know, boss me around on a whim — comes strolling into our cubicle cluster carrying a fat file under his arm. He brings it over to Gossip #1 and asks her if she wrote the post-it note attached to it.

And she says, No. Maybe Sue [me] wrote it. I swivel around on my chair, glance at it and say, Yes, I wrote it. And then he says, Oh, your handwriting isn’t usually this neat so I couldn’t tell.

WTF? I can always depend on him to not say something good, loudly.

And to top things off, I’ve been out of turpentine for a week, forgot to buy it last weekend, have not been at the easel because I can’t clean my brushes, and will be ready to choke someone tomorrow if they say one more thing about me, behind or in front of my back.


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