Every weekday, I find myself in the throes of the pink collar menagerie, submitting myself to the array of monotonous tasks before me. I copy. I fax. I process paper work. I answer phone calls. I file. I deal with malfunctioning computing equipment that I want to attack with a sledgehammer. Like many perky young ingenues, I find myself part of the pink collar industry. Only I’m not an ingenue. Nor am I perky. I think I’m young, but the jury’s still out on that verdict as well.
A wise character on a now-dead television show once said, “Monotony is the mind-killer.” And right he was. To the droll of workplace chatter, computer keyboards, and ringing telephones, I rhythmically leaf through sheet after sheet after sheet after sheet of invoices, medical records, bills of lading, and other official-looking things that I question the importance of to the existence of mankind. (Would the ultimate balance of the universe be upset if, by accident, I forgot to process a document or accidentally used it to throw my gum away in? Would the friendly women I work with turn into a harem of flesh-eating she-beasts?)
I can’t simply shut myself off and appreciate the Zen of filing or the predictability of my monotonous assignments. No, no, no. I need to dream up implausible scenarios, possible screenplays for movies or teleplays for sitcoms or hourlong dramedies, based around the women I work with. And suddenly I find myself loitering around inside the psyches of my secretarial co-workers. I imagine caustic jokes that members of this fake pink collar clique on television would crack, mostly sex jokes but jokes about plastic surgery, and even about fine dining. And then I imagine where the sitcom laugh tracks would be placed.
But when the clock hits 4:55 and I skip out of work five minutes early, every single day, I always gasp and awe in wonder for a moment. Just for a moment. There are people whose entire lives are devoted to this monotony and I wonder, how is that fair?Powered by Sidelines