He sat at his computer, which was slotted into a row of sleek modern desks, and wondered if the people around him thought the same thoughts as he did. What am I doing here? Who do I want to be? Why am I here? He couldn’t give you an answer to those questions but he could tell you that he certainly did not want to be sat here, staring at a computer screen for 8 hours a day, doing a thankless task. He was sure no-one around him was passionate about their jobs, how could they be processing invoices? The daily target was forever ahead of the workers who sat there in their seats, waiting to be reached and only ever glimpsed during the last 30 minutes or so of the shift. The rules and regulations for dealing with the invoices changed every day yet no-one was keeping a record. If one were kept it would highlight the gentle flowing sands of the companies that had merged, moved or stopped trading, obeying no reason or rule.
Every now and again a gentle exasperated grunt could be heard from his left as Jonathan came across another angry supplier email, a confused scrawl of mis-tallied hours or a digital trail that led nowhere and everywhere across his G drive. The person to his right remained stoical in nature, possibly focusing on that first taste of the cold air he would take as he walked free from his shift and into the dark crisp night.
He tried to remind himself that everybody experienced this, that most people were just passing through, waiting to be clutched by the claws of academia again, or to take that better paid and more challenging job. Yet each time he looked at his boss, invigorating for his leadership but looking decidedly lost in himself, he felt that this was not the arena for him. This was not the path that he had hoped to take in life, where every day felt like a month, and every month felt like a year.
The targets remained unreached, the chair was left empty, and the computer was turned off. Yet this is not the end, it is only the beginning.