Monday, July 28, 2008

Other People's Toilets - Part 2

Other People's Toilets – Part 2

photo credit: Adam Rompel

I temped for about four years back in the late '90s/early naughts. Much has been written about the topic of temping by better writers than me so I will leave it to them to tell the big narrative.
I worked a couple of six-month stints at the corporate office of a major banking concern. I was pretty anonymous there. I did heavy lifting, loads of filing, and various other menial, degrading tasks that they still saw fit to pay me $15 an hour for (well, the agency paid me $15. I probably cost about $20 an hour to the company.) It was a stiff, joyless place with people well-ensconced in cubicles, and overly serious about bits of paper going this way and that.
My own cubicle was in a wilderness of empty cubicles so I was seldom seen or heard. I did my work efficiently and quickly and always had time to fart around on the Internet and make little sculptures with my office supplies. (I will say that this company has THE BEST office supplies I've ever experienced. I particularly adore the mollusk-shaped tape-corrector device. A true object d'art). By the end of my tenure, my little space was a testament to man's desire to free his bonds of servitude. It was Dilbert meets Fluxus.

Anyway, I only mention this because on my last day of work I merrily went around the building slapping Avery labels on undersides of desks, sides of urinals, on the insides of light fixtures, under the cushions of ergonomic chairs, etc. On these labels I had printed snotty, smart-ass slogans meant to satirize this degrading, soul less workspace. I found a bunch of these labels while cleaning out my home office and am prepared to ditch them in the bin, but some of them still make me giggle. So I figured I'd consign them to blogspace in perpetuity.

In no particular order:
“Ask yourself:'what have I done to piss GOD off?'”

“Cheer up! In a few years... you'll still be doing the same thing!”

“You'd be surprised where they hide cameras nowadays” (NOTE: this one was stuck on the upper-underside of a urinal.)

“REMEMBER: It's not who wins or loses, but where the hell is my fucking coffee?!?!”

“How's that English degree working out for you?”

“DON'T WORRY! In the next life you will make them summer as you have suffered.”

“RIGHT NOW someone is coveting your parking spot.”

“FREE SPANISH LESSONS! Just ask your custodian!” (NOTE: I realize now that that comments is indeed racist, however, at the time I meant it as a commentary on the segregation of labor by race and class. But in retrospect, I wish I would have given this one more thought.)

“Cheer Up! At Lunchtime you can go kill yourself!”

“The boss thinks you're CUTE”

“Office Tip #33: Take your 15 minute break ten minutes before you go home. That way, they'll have to pay you overtime!”

“All temps are ARMED”

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