Saturday, September 4, 2010
Many of the protagonists in my stories are office drones. You know why? Cuz I’m an office drone. I don’t like it, but there it is. That’s the day job, pays the bills… well, ALMOST pays the bills. It’s a crap situation to be in, the office drone thing, but hey, in this economy what can you do? Go out and snag a job that’s actually fun and rewarding?
There’s a plus side, though: office drone as protagonist is actually a pretty good place to start a story. Anyone who has ever been one knows how desperately soul-crushing a position it can be. You want existential angst, man? You want pointless and frustrating? Look no further.
It’s kinda cathartic to write a story that starts with an office drone who’s soul is already half-crushed by the monotony and blandness of his job, and then throw him into a strange situation and see what transpires. Does he step up to the challenge, or does he go running back to the security of his bland day job? Does anything change? Does he find something to live for? Or die for?
We’re all victims, to one degree or another, of the new “Corporatization” of America and the world. Shareholders make money at the expense of customers and employees and cultures are homogenized and the world becomes smaller and language becomes less specific and mission statements become more real as truth becomes irrelevant and we all become less important in the big scheme of things. That’s the corporate way. And when you’re an office drone, deep in the bowels of the corporate body, it becomes more and more apparent to you how horrifying it is.
What other choice do you have but to write about it, to poke at it? If you have that creative spark in you, even just a little bit, you HAVE to, or otherwise go completely mad.