So you’ve decided to become a corporate drone.
Congratulations, you bright, overly-enthusiastic soon-to-be white-collar you, in about four decades from now we’ll have been largely successful in zapping all of that fervor right out of your every last precious little brain cell, at which point we will generously reward you with a shiny gold-plated watch in exchange for the 93,600 hours of sweat, tears and blood that you’ll have shed from now until the time you retire.
If you work extra hard and sacrifice a satisfactory percentage of Little Johnny’s childhood by working overtime in the name of making us even more money than the disgusting amounts we already have, we might even engrave it. (FYI, rookie drone, it’s a fact that 36% of Americans work an average of 5.6 hours per day during the weekEND.) Anyway, don’t get too excited about the engraving; sometimes we just make stuff up if we think it’ll help to suck you in. As the infamous Stanislaw Lem once said, “Cannibals prefer those who have no spines.”
I’m sure you can barely sleep at night, anticipating all of the fun you’re going to have fending off daily nervous breakdowns during 7am rush hour traffic. (The U.S. Department of Labor quoted an average of .73 hours per day spent commuting among Americans; that means you will drive a total of almost 8 full days each year. Did you get that?
That’s more than one entire week of your life you’ll be spending just driving to and from work this year alone, and five days short of an entire year you will have spent driving to and from work over the course of your working life.)
After that zen-filled, pleasure-packed experience each day, you’ll arrive to the office just in time to find that some Jersey asshole with spiky, gelled black hair just drank the last of the coffee, before you sit down to 76 new messages in your inbox, 70 of which complain about the vending machine being on the fritz. Thank our lucky stars that handy disclaimer at the bottom exists:
This e-mail and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended solely for the use of the named recipients only. If you have received this e-mail in error do not open or copy it but return it to us.
If word got out that our people weren’t getting their daily Kit Kat fix, it’d be total chaos.
Anyway, if all goes well, you’ll stare at your computer screen until approximately 5pm, at which point you will commence drinking heavily toward your impending alcoholism that will surely result. That is, if you don’t develop a severe case of presenteeism first: The practice of working ridiculously long hours.
Sound good? Okay, great. If you’ll just sign here, here, here and here on the dotted line, we can get started as early as today in ruining your life and any hopes you ever had for it.
Oh, and one more thing–we will be withholding Social Security, Medicare, federal, state & local taxes from each paycheck…and maybe a little extra if payroll is having a bad day. But don’t worry…all of us Americans have to fork over at least 15%.
It’s just the way the world works, you cute, adorable little rookie drone, you.
Oh, how I just want to pinch those naive little unjaded cheeks of yours!
Now, let’s have a mini-training session and go over some of the must-know rules beforehand.
1. When in doubt, wear black.
If you aren’t sure if something will be appropriate, wear black. If you’re feeling particularly fat that day, wear black. If you have to impress someone, wear black. Black is also the color of choice for days in which you plan to stab someone in the back; the blood stains will be undetectable, and you can just go about your day smiling your Crest-White Strip enhanced smile. Remember: Fake it ’til you make it!
2. If you get bored wearing black, wear grey. If you have business meetings, you’ll still blend in just perfectly fine. But do us all a favor and make sure the greys match, will you? There’s nothing worse than someone with mismatched greys. We certainly don’t need any originality around here, thanks.
3. One exception: On Fridays, if you’re feeling rambunctious, feel free go nuts with some pinstripes. But by golly, in the name of Uncle S, don’t tell anyone I told you, because it’s purely an unspoken rule. Friday is like a holiday for us; we look more forward to Friday night happy hour with our co-drones than we do Thanksgiving dinner with our families. Just do us all a favor and steer clear of that wacky argyle crap. We don’t need any seizures around here.
4. No flip flops. Ever. Save ’em for your 336 hours of yearly glory when you’ll be free to frolic around in a fit of glee in some sand somewhere (even though I will, in all likelihood, still require you to be available via email). I don’t want to see your filthy, ingrown toenails here in the office.
5. As an entry-level drone, I am your master.
Accept it with pleasure. Do not complain. Make more coffee since Jersey asshole drank the rest.
6. You will stay refined to your cubicle for the vast majority of the day.
If you leave your assigned space, you will either be going to the bathroom or getting me more coffee. Kindly submit a written request for anything beyond that. Thanks in advance.
7. You should probably have your mom pack your lunch, for two reasons:
(a) You’re going to have to type me up a myriad of pointless, futile reports that are completely counterproductive. Finishing them all is kind of like trying to put socks on an octopus; furthermore, no one is ever going to read them, but you have to do them anyway because everyone will pretend that they are important and, well, it’s company protocol, after all, and you probably won’t have time to leave to go get food because you’ll be so busy jumping through superfluous hoops that I mandate. Remember: I say jump you say how high. I recommend you watch this video every morning during your only break and practice singing along. This will ensure a smooth transition.
(b) You should take advantage of your mom while you still live with her since I don’t pay you enough to live like a normal human being on your own. Sorry about that. Just think of it as paying your dues, kid!
That should be about it, for now. You really aren’t expected to contribute much of anything in terms of intelligence; you’re more or less just here as a small, little insignificant cog in the machine and if you so much as even think of doing something foolish, like, say, try and call for clarification on something when I’m busy golfing at the country club, I will not hesitate to replace you.
You are dispensable, drone. Your role is not to be creative, it is not to be compelling, it is not to show off your individuality, it is not to produce great ideas, it is not for you to feel good about, in the least. Do that during your spare time. Your role is to help make us money.
Everything is a business, drone, and everything is about money. Don’t you forget that. The minute you stop making me money by being anything but what I’ve outlined above, is the minute you are no longer valued.
So, now that we’ve had that feel-good talk, are you ready to sign? Here, here’s a pen for you.