Time for a brief, kind, and gentle work story. Instead of bashing, berating, and flagellating, I’d like to mention subject “X.”
See, the company I worked for once bought out a smaller company because we were globally voracious and greedy and gluttonous. That’s the nature of the modern corporation.
So we bought out this smaller firm and of course we absorbed all the secretly unwilling employees who had been enjoying their small mom and pop existence.
Most people preternaturally prefer the mom and pop existence when it comes to their own personal work life. It’s a very selfish drive, because these same people then turn around and lust after the corporate, Walmart-ized price structure of globalism. Inexpensive luxuries come at a price but most people do not realize nor care that the ability to buy 500 rolls of paper towels for $3.99 comes with a hefty price tag on the back end. We don’t think of the back end unless it’s toilet paper we are buying at a super discount. Who wants to pay top price for Charmin when there is a brood of 6 loud, shitting people at home?
So we inherited a few hundred resentful employees and with good reason. Some acted like children, some were quietly resentful but did their job, and some were genuinely nice because they realized the deepest human truth, which is that each soul you come in contact with on a daily basis is not the ingrained splinter remnant of the big bad corporate machine, but a singular human who lives his own miniscule existence above all. Such people are able to displace all resentment or disgust anywhere but on those who were not responsible for their plight.
Subject X was gracious.
Subject X was a class act. Amiable, intelligent…two character occurrences which naturally differentiated him from everyone I have to work with. A middle-aged, over the hill breath of fresh air. He came by to shake hands and offered a hug which kinda freaked me out in the context of my jaded, artificial showbiz environs. The only time people hug there is at happy hour or strange random socially unforeseen situations (OHHHHHHH MYYYYYYYYYYYY GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOODDDDDDDDD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) when they peck cheeks. Strange people don’t walk into your office as they leave forever and offer scant embraces. It was weird, but it happened. X sent an email to his closest acquaintances and direct co-workers and thanked every one for their help, and assistance. I would have derived much more succor from this if he hadn’t also included my manager. However, this goodbye was primarily a political move (a parcel of the “burn no bridges” toolset) in case he decided his new life didn’t fit right.
A needy man is not a man.
In fact, he alluded once to returning back to “real life” once he discovered he didn’t like the new life. I asked him, “Is this [show biz/entertainment] really “life?” He laughed and said it was in the respect he was used to it and knew it.
This is when it occurred to me, a strange horrible truth that robbed my sleep.
There is no life we truly know. There is not.
We can never know life other than what is reflected back to us in the knowledge of others.
Our own knowledge is fake and self-enclosed. If a person grew up in a shell and never knew anyone else, what could we infer of their existence?
Doesn’t this describe each one of us? We don’t now anyone except ourselves. We don’t know what we are even portraying. We are masques.
I believe he understood
Intrinsically, there is nothing that differentiates you, me, him, except a dose of self-knowledge.
Without self-knowledge, you are just Them. This is why I mock those who express individuality through tattoos, i-Phones, blogs, pimped rides…you’re all living out a misplaced individualism through extraneous motifs.
The only way to fully be you is through estrangement.
Never share an emotion. Be an island.
You are an illusion. Your definition is only a meaningless dictionary entry.