9/29/2011
Five days

There's this story making the rounds on Facebook today, about a guy who was found dead in his office desk. Apparently he suffered from a heart attack while working and has been dead for five days.

Five days. And nobody even noticed him.

Nobody asked him if he's okay. Nobody wondered if anything was wrong with him. Nobody even noticed that he hasn't changed his clothes, or even his position, for five days.

Of course, the workplace might be the issue. Apparently he's doing some work for medical textbooks. I can only imagine how stressful that is. One room, fifteen cubicles, perhaps twenty people, all of their attention focused on getting those textbooks out on time. Conversations about hard-to-pronounce medical terms and how to nail them on the computer. I get why nobody will notice him. And sure, maybe the guy worked too hard that his heart conked out. Myocardial infarction! And everybody else was too busy getting that term right, to the point that they didn't notice that it's happening in front of them. Or beside them, or something.

The article's angle, after all, was something along the lines of "don't work too hard."

Of course I'd be incensed by that article, partly because it brings back memories of my two-and-a-half year stint in Ortigas where nobody pretty much cared for me. Yeah, that's all behind me now, the thought of forced conversations and let's-not-talk-about-him mindsets. Supposedly. I remember my chair breaking when I sat down one day, and that got their attention, and they even managed to insult me.

"Okay ka lang ba?"

"Obivously, hindi."

No. I'm incensed more by the fact that the article is telling us to not work hard. Sure, I get it. Take some time off. Take a break. Talk to friends. Go out once in a while. Drink seventeen shots of tequila but don't drink two bottles of beer. Or, if you do drink two bottles of beer, approach the nearest girl and force yourself upon her, and try to dodge a sexual assault charge.

What I mean is, the suggestion that we not work so hard has a big implication. It's not just "take a break". It's "you don't need to work that hard to succeed."

Okay. You're saying, but you're just forcing that thought. And sure, maybe I am. But think about it. Working alone won't get you anywhere - it kills you when you do it too much, apparently. No. You have to grease the wheels a bit. Talk to people. Reach out to them. Suck up to them. It's actually more productive when someone distracts you from working. And sure, I definitely get that. You cannot survive by just crunching numbers and not talking to people.

But somewhere along the way, it becomes all about the talking and not the working. When it's all about the people you know, and the people you care about, rather than the things you know, and the things you've done. So, sure, I feel bad for the guy. He worked his ass off only to die - and only to remain unnoticed for five days. Nobody gave a damn until, perhaps, they started smelling some stench in his cubicle. Nobody gave a damn until he forced their hands by having a heart attack - myocardial infarction! - and dying there, staying there. You know. While they all just worked and chatted in between. And left for lunch. And asked if they can take a ride home. And go hang out at the bar. And maybe avoid a sexual assault charge.

Definitely avoid that awkward looking guy because he just doesn't look like your type.

It sucks that life has become a social game. Just a social game.

And your responses...

Post a Comment