My company is very hot on employee wellbeing initiatives. You know the kind of thing: one afternoon there will be a laughter workshop; the next a lunchtime yoga session; there are mindfulness weeks; and procrastination seminars. The latest initiative has been a writing assignment, called “A Day in My Shoes”.
The idea behind “A Day in My Shoes” is that employees are encouraged to write a short essay about their working day. The finished essays – not meant to be longer than a couple of hundred words – are then shared on a communal noticeboard, so that someone in Finance can read about what someone in HR is doing; and someone in HR can read about what someone in Despatch is doing; and someone in Despatch can read about what someone in Wellbeing is doing. Coming up with ideas like “A Day in My Shoes” presumably.
It is a worthy concept: the better we understand one another the better we get along.
With that sentiment in mind, below is my own submission, from my position in office cubicle limbo:
A Day in My Shoes
All alone in this stinking, Hellish darkness. Trampled upon, unappreciated, unloved. I gasp, but there is nothing to breathe but a thick miasma of cloying stagnation; I look out, but there is nothing to see except the familiar bleak horizon. The sensation of crushing claustrophobia is pervasive. I feel a welling bead of sweat: it travels down my cuff, balling, gathering weight and momentum. I experience a momentary panic. I want to scream, but there is no one to hear me. No one to care.
You may think me worthless? Would prefer me to toe the line? Perhaps consider me past my best; out of step, redundant and down at heel? You may be right, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t still have dreams. In my imagination, I can taste the sweet tang of pure, uncorrupted air; can picture a world bathed in brilliant sunlight; buoyant, optimistic and hopeful. Somewhere out there is a better place than this: I know it in my soul/sole. That one thought alone makes me carry on.
And still the foetid atmosphere of oppression surrounds me.
There is no escape from this prison: Heaven knows I’ve tried.
By My Socks.
© Simon Turner-Tree
Simon Turner-Tree enjoys his little joke. Even if no one else does.
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