An office party. Women and men of various ages talk about the weather and plumbers. Josie clears her throat. The room falls relatively silent. Her boss continues a muddled story about a fox. Josie stares him down and renders him silent.
Josie: It’s not every day that I get to say goodbye. So I’d like you to do me the courtesy of listening to me speak. I know I was pretty quiet during my time here. But I do have a few words.
She rolls up her sleeves and takes a deep breath.
I’M LEAVING, BITCHES! HA!
I’ve never left anything in my life! I didn’t even leave my mother’s womb, I had to be wrenched out! Finishing school was more like the aftermath of Moses saying ‘Let my people go.’ And graduation? Less hugs and tears, more brandishing my envelope about like a purple heart in the faces of those who didn’t make it out of the trenches. I’ve never left anything. Or more I don’t look at it as leaving. Because they were all steps. Steps on the staircase to greatness. And you don’t quit a staircase, you just reach the top.
But, this place! and you hodge-podge group of- I don’t even know what to call you. Are you actually adults? If you were out after nine o’clock would a police car stop you and ask you where your parents were? I have always wondered why everyone here, you who call yourselves ‘professionals’, cannot do the same simple tasks that, say, ants can. Like gathering food and then heading back to your seat. It sounds like an uncomplicated task, but I’m assuming the twists and turns of the corridor that goes between the rec room and the open plan office are just so disorienting that you have to take a break somewhere in the middle. Or maybe you get distracted by the chipping wallpaper and dated motivational posters and have to take a nap. Or maybe you need to read up on the recipe before making a cup of tea. All I know is: I don’t get it. I don’t get it and at this point, I no longer care. The things I have seen while working here have slowly chipped away at my belief that adult life is so much more ordered and productive than 14 year olds running a student council. Truly, you’re all just kids in suits trying to work out how to get money by putting in the least amount of effort. It’s heartbreaking.
Because you’re not even good at it. You’re pissing money away. Daily croissants? Why? Who eats a croissant every day? This isn’t a bed and breakfast on the costa del jack off. You are not required to provide continental breakfasts to your staff like they’re lads on tour. Every evening, I have to bag up those uneaten French delights and bin them. BIN THEM. Do you know how many people are going hungry right now? Or what a brilliant bit of PR it would be to offer those left overs to people in need? Does anybody here know anything about running a business at all? I feel like the unfertilised eggs chilling in my ovaries could do a better job of understanding and tackling the daily demands of running a fucking small business!
I’m sorry for swearing. I know this was supposed to be a civilised event. That’s why you didn’t even bother to decorate the office, or crack out the vino. Sparkling grape juice, really? Is this a pregnant bride’s bachelorette party? Christ. I’m not even surprised or ashamed or upset. I’ve run out Phukets to give. Although I will say one last thing. I value the experience of being here. You’ve shown me that I should never take for granted my ability to not destroy everything I touch. Holler at me when you’re in administration, there’s some office supplies I’d like to take off your hands. Have a good night.