Wednesday, February 16, 2011
WORKING OURSELVES TO DEATH
Here in New York, the big fear is that you'll die alone in a messy, filthy apartment and no one finds you until you become a foul stench that annoys the neighbors enough to call in the Super.
The patron saints of this nightmare are the infamous "Collyer Brothers", two hoarders who were literally killed by their over-stuffed house. (That's their repulsive abode in the photo above.) They're also the main reason I throw out/donate half the stuff in my apartment every Spring.
But yesterday I read a story out of L.A. that was even more depressing. According to KTLA news, a woman named Rebecca Wells died in her cubicle at the L.A. County Department of Internal Services...and no one found her until the next day. According to one co-worker, "She was always working. Always working."
See, this is proof that your grandfather was wrong. A little hard work WILL actually kill you.
The theory is that everyone left for the weekend and didn't notice that she was slumped over, dead in her cubicle. I don't know what the time frame was exactly. Because the last time anyone saw her alive was at 9am on Friday morning.
So am I to believe that no one shouted, "Have a great weekend, Becky!" or "You wanna join us for happy hour at the place around the corner?"
I can't tell you how sad this story makes me.
But this is modern life. People working in dismal cubicles, not getting anywhere, never making enough money to stop working so hard, not making connections with their coworkers...and no one even notices if you die.
Yet we're repeatedly told, "In this economy, you should be happy to have a job."
Fuck that overused line. Fuck it right up the ass without any lube.
I can't stand the egregious bullshit people are forced to put up with because, "In this economy_____________ "(fill in the blank.)
If anything comes from wallowing through the sticky aftermath of excess greed and lack of foresight, I hope it's that we dismantle the whole fucking system. Because it's starting to look a lot like the Collyer Brothers house.
And it's killing us.
There's got to be a better way.