The Job

Office tasks I perform to the best of my ability. Forget about fame. Forget about fortune. Whether you're a dog collector, a janitor, trumpet player for Scottish indie-pop sensation Belle & Sebastian, or CEO of the world's largest note card manufacturer, doing your job passionately is the optimum way to leave your mark upon this earth. Being one of the few employees occupying the thirtieth floor determined to earn a kudos-peppered annual review and my primary duty assisting people use the piece of machinery without which they could not function, means I have incalculable friends.

Friends I despise.

If they had an infinitesimal idea the enormity of my contempt; if they knew how much access to their personal data I possess, all would feel ill at ease each time they read across my office door, "MURPH, INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY."

But nobody thinks twice before sharing secrets with friends and relatives via emails from the account I set up for them.

Confiding in me is second nature. I'm a good listener. Not because I care. Because I'm always on the lookout for information I can use to my advantage.

My favorite line from a song to which I easily relate is, "I'm almost a tall guy, and fairly good looking, so people they trust me, but sometimes they’re wrong."--Jude Christodal.

Mr. Patel asking yours truly to obtain the photographs needed to prove his innocence, while keeping my lips shut tight, is a perfect example. I suppose it goes without saying that I unquestioningly obliged his odd request.

Mr. Patel is oblivious to the fact I am the sole reason his fidelity is on trial. Prior to his recent and unexpected rise to the position of second-in-command, resulting in a lottery jackpot like increase in pay, the native New Delhian had limited success with the ladies. But, wouldn't you know it, once almost everyone on the thirtieth floor answered to the man, his initial petition for a date with an underling was met with a gleeful response. In fact, a whopping twenty-eight exclamation points followed, "I would love to have dinner with you, Daniel." I should know, my curious eyes were first to gaze upon the reply.

While I was servicing his computer as a board meeting transpired down the hall, I discreetly sprayed the suit jacket of Mr. Patel with a travel bottle of perfume somehow inspired by the music of a platinum blonde pop star. To ensure the fragrance was detectable to the beautiful stay-at-home mother of four hand-fed lap dogs, I directly applied an additional dab later in the afternoon; seems one of the programs I installed didn't download properly and my appearance in Daniel's office always prompts a visit to the executive washroom.

His machine running flawlessly, "I shouldn't be required to study this door for confirmation I'm stepping into the correct office," Mr. Patel reminded me as I politely waited for his reentry.

I nodded as if I understood everything.

Such a remark typically hits me like a punch to the gut. At my desk, harsh rebuke stinging, my top and bottom teeth would press against each other. Shuddering, I'd peel away thick strands of his jet black hair that had accumulated on my blouse and skirt. These actions I'd perform while devising a plan for immediate revenge. What can I say, I'm a multitasker. Emotional pain unbearable, I'd beat myself about the chest without fear I was making it flatter.

But already in the works was a scheme to replace my target's euphoric existence with one that had him muttering, "What the hell went wrong?"

Besides, my blood can't justifiably boil. I purposely failed to execute my duties. And Mr. Patel always returns from the executive washroom in a huff, I think because the visits remind him a personal commode does not adjoin his office. High class problems.

You may think I'm afraid Mr. Patel will put two and two together. Do not fret, my friends, for, in the corporate world, common sense is the exception.

Mr. Patel's lone superior, the CEO, rarely graces the thirtieth floor. He's too old and rich to care. He lets his faithful and loyal president, the aforementioned bespectacled beanpole, run the day-to-day operations of the company.

I will credit Mr. Patel for two things: a tireless work ethic and attention to detail.

Attention to detail is a pet peeve not only of Mr. Patel, but also of me.

"Nurse, did I say inject the patient with twenty milligrams? Oops, I meant to say . . ."

Odds are that a variation of the preceding revelation will be the last words I hear.

I have little in common with the majority of my peers. They certainly don't share my commitment to excellence. It would take two or three of me to keep most companies running smoothly. Murph goes it alone.

The laziness I witness on a daily basis makes me wonder how America prospers. It makes me wonder why skyscrapers don't constantly come crashing to the ground, and why airplanes don't fall from the clouds with such frequency our government is forced to erect enormous signs alerting We The People to stare skyward every seven seconds. I'm surprised "Fifty Killed by Falling Fuselage" isn't a headline with which we're sadly all too familiar.

I suppose constantly air bound aircraft are constructed by the likes of Mr. Patel; his type builds perennially standing skyscrapers.

A twin must exist. I can't be the only moral go-getter.

Is it ethical to make a wife incorrectly believe castoffs of her husband's quickly dissolving back-heavy mane are the bane of area hotel maids, you ask, already having judged?

If he started it, it's not merely ethical, it's mandatory.