For eight hours a day, he spends time answering and reading e-mails, responding to some urgent ones, making phone calls, making appointments, and attending meetings that go from morose to gut-wrenching.
For a year, he has worked for this manufacturing company. A creative but an introvert, Smokey has always been lucky to be at the right spot where opportunity opens up and gives him a break. He’s good at spotting these opportunities. Thanks to his wide network of friends, he has found interesting jobs from friends in the “fringes.”
“Coffee?” his office colleague asked him.
“No, I had one at home,” he responded. Besides, the coffee at this popular shop was like a token drink. Every loved it, but hated it. But if you’re working for a big, multiracial company, you didn’t want to be “out” and not be seen as hip. Today’s water cooler conversations have moved to coffee shops or “smoking areas.” Sometimes, business moves there too. So if you’re a smoker, you’re missing out.
The week starts slow. Mondays are spent on alignment meetings, fixing schedules, wading through a sea of e-mail and making sure you’ve got all your pending tasks checked. Smokey is a corporate-animal now. He has learned this the hard way, having been working for smaller companies for years.
His desk, however, hints of his rebellious nature. He has toys on his desk. You don’t see any family photos. He has a stack of books, mostly dealing with pop psychology, music, art, and some obscure “How To” books to show others that he’s also reading such “corporate” favorites. He brings his personal computer to work–just in case he needs to pour some of his creative juices on his secret blog.
He was never an order-taker–at least that’s his own assessment of his capabilities. But he gets ordered around very much of his career. He makes it a point to make his bosses look good. He also goes for bosses who mentors him. But reality always kick in.
“Who am I kidding? Sitting for 8 hours a day, and sometimes pretending to busy is not the way to go achieving your dreams,” he often tells himself.