Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Ants

The Australian office worker first lost her epic cubicle, down the drain went her privacy, the spot she put her kid’s painting. The partitions got smaller and smaller, the chairs got closer and closer. We became like ants, look alike, always busy, typing, emailing, talking, thinking, moving around for the Queen. Finally they removed partitions, and placed everyone around long tables, made everyone sit next to each other, and back to back. No personal space, no personal seat, when you come to work, sit wherever you find. Then some smart employee, shrieked “Eureka!”, it wasn’t necessary to keep one chair per one employee. After all, not all ants are present at all times, some are sick, some are on holidays, thought the smart employee. They removed more chairs, and placed remaining chairs closer and tighter. In case more ants come to work unexpectedly, they built “hot seats”, fancy name for a punishment, folded trays that come out of walls, so that ants can email, talk and think while standing, until a chair becomes available, around the big long table. The employee who shrieked “Eureka!” got “Ant of the Year” award from the Queen and received a movie ticket for The Ants.        

In this satirical short story I criticised the modern capitalistic workplace how inhumanely the modern office is designed, and how pathetic our lives have become.

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