Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Pent Umbrage of the Tempy, Part XXI

You used to work in the basement of the building, that area of the building now referred to as " the mail room." (Though the basement of the building has many rooms, on many levels, serving several functions, none of which are these days "sorting mail", but whatever.)

You were the boss on the printing presses. Yep, the printing presses. Those were a big deal back then...Back when? Back not so very long ago. You were boss of the printing presses as recently as 1975.

It seems like a lifetime ago--another world. Another, better, more satisfying world.

You were a master typesetter. You were a skilled crafter, valuable for what you knew and what you could do. And you applied your skill with great gusto--it was what you liked to do.

It was an immersion in a soothing stream of time to be working the presses.

You were also responsible for managing other people on the presses--that was nothing to you. It wasn't a problem, it wasn't a challenge. There was no skill involved. No training. In some ways, you weren't even aware you were doing it. There was a slight differential in your paycheck for it,well appreciated but nothing to get excited about. Nothing to swell your ego. It was a small, and certainly misguided, reward, for virtually nothing. You were a better typesetter. The reward would have been justified if that was what it was for, and in retrospect, if the reward had been for that, the world would have taken a better course.

Now, you don't work the printing presses--the presses are long gone. Now, you don't do much of anything. You "manage". That's not a small differential in your paycheck--it's what your entire paycheck is for. What's worse, (and this is something you suffer from--it is a worser which is endured and agonizing), for about the last ten and a half years, you don't do anything which would give content to the function of "managing." You sit in your windowless, stuffy room about two floors above the street level lobby, and you pine away, in solitude, in enclosure, in inactivity, in, yes, passiveness. You blow your cigar smoke out a sheet metal vent, very carefully, the care of which is a debit on the pleasure. You fiddle with the computer fonts, and though it matters to no one, you have used your care about fonting to master computer programming, and a whole lot more. No one knows this.


Post a Comment

<< Home