There was a day last week I was in one of those countless meetings I get invited to but whose agenda are far beyond my pay grade and for which I usually have nothing to contribute. Frequently, I’ll sit (linger) in such meetings while listening to the participants speak freely and comfortably for they appear to have a preexisting vibe that I was excluded from wearing. I feel uncomfortable and foreign in such situations. I listen, sometimes I laugh in unison with important (dictated by the person uttering) comic statements just to fake some kinship, but it’s all phony. Holden Caulfield would shit his pants. I’m an excellent faker. People like me learn to fake it early. We are experts with practice. We act one way while totally thinking and living another. We are good at poker faces and make the best moles. So there I was, faking it again during another insufferable meeting. Every one was talking and pretending to be productive when in fact most meetings are just lame attempts at institutionalized and pardoned socializing. The object of the game is to make it appear you are working while disguising the fact you are taking a 1/2 hour or 1 hour break and chewing the fat with other overpaid members of the employee rolls.
I was one of the first to the meeting in question. I sat at one end of the table. At the other end sat the “conductors” with their company-issued laptops which were synced in to the network IP address in order to display their output on the room’s large screen (for meeting purposes). I took my cell phone out of my pocket and laid it on the table. I carry it around on vibrate because we just need to be in touch 24/7. This is how it is now! We can’t leave the world behind, ever, can we? Gradually, the rest of the meeting’s participants filtered in and the show got underway. A few minutes in, I noticed most of the folks on my end of the table were fiddling around with their Blackberry’s/smart phones, shuffling objects around on their fancy touch screens. I looked down at my forlorn phone that sat on the tabletop. I was the only person in the room without a fancy phone.
It looked so overpowered and I didn’t notice if anyone saw it. It looked very comically inappropriate there in light of the high-tech shenanigans going on in the room. People reading their emails, sending emails, being important. Blackberry’s are lame. I can never understand why anyone needs to be tethered to their job to such an excruciating degree. Forget that crap. I’ve somehow carved out a small niche whereby I can exist amid this so-called professional clusterfuck without caving in to a stupid Blackberry. No job will follow me, ever. People walk around at work, typing away seriously on their little touchpads, responding, replying, reading, accepting, while on the go! They sit in silence while they study the inner life of their phone screens. My phone is just a simple relic that is the “gift” byproduct of my obscure wireless carrier’s plan marketed to no-frills old people who still remember when phones were only for talking and listening. I’m an old person before my time. If I had my way, I would have no cellphone. I rather admire those oldsters who don’t have one. My father is one of those people. He has no cellphone even though my mom bought him one which he graciously never carries.
This is my phone. Admire her dim beauty, her archaic functionality.
I can’t check in to buzzing locations on Facebook and I can’t Yelp shit on it.
C’mon, it doesn’t get any better than this! Living the life, baby.