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The office life

Chapter Text

 

Rey should not turn the volume all the way up. 

 

It’s not good for her ears, and with her headphones she also doesn’t realize it when the small movements of her head make her chair squeak to the rhythm of the music -although when that happens she can count on Sanchez to come and wordlessly yank on the cord. 

 

If she doesn’t make a conscious effort to just mouth them, she often catches herself muttering along the very repetitive lyrics of the late 90’s-early 2000’s European house music she’s particularly fond of. Which means her colleagues have to put up with her whisper-singing that she can’t waaaait for the week! end! to! begin! - since they all work in the same open space, save for the manager, of course, who has an actual office down the hall. 

 

Rey’s job title is operation analyst . It means she’s in charge of technical support -for sixteen employees total, manager included. She’s not in any danger of getting overwhelmed. 

 

Even so, her mission in life is to do as little as possible without getting fired.

 

The forty-something year old man she replaced a year and a half ago, was let go by people higher up for taking too much sick leave -due to pretty debilitating depressive episodes, she was told. Rey’s never been absent once. But she’ll be damn if she actually makes an effort.

 

And it’s no secret around the office either. Most of her coworkers have identified her as a self-indulging half-asser within the two months following the end of her trial period. 

 

She can’t imagine anyone working here for a reason other than that they couldn’t get a job anywhere else. But she could be wrong. Some people are alienated to this system enough that they believe they’re playing an important role no matter what they do for a living , her inner emo teen self scoffs.

 

She takes twice as long as she should to complete a task, no matter what task, because she takes many breaks. Doodling, checking twitter, eating, checking reddit, making herself a coffee, or clicking on one suggested youtube video after the other until she forgets what she was looking for in the first place.

 

When she’s not at her desk, which happens more often than not, she’s hiding in the break room, the copy room, the bathroom -or the stairs.

 

The office life turns you into a parody of yourself. You might not like it, but you’ll always end up being labeled as one archetype or another. Rey has her own index cards about her coworkers.

 

Susmita Warsi, for instance, is always cold, no matter what the room’s temperature is. Her face is permanently schooled in a blasé expression. She will silently hold a grudge without ever confronting anyone about it. Has a much higher IQ than average. Will tell you she’s too old for this shit, despite being twenty-nine. 

 

…Or Jordan Taylor, thirty-one. Always late. Clumsy as fuck. Has been in trouble for accidentally damaging company’s property. Is often enthusiastic about things that aren’t worth being excited about, like team-building exercises. Misunderstands directives fifty percent of the time. Means well. 

 

They are the two top sellers of the office, and Rey mainly hangs with them. But she’s not complicated. She’ll chat with anyone if it means she’ll get paid doing it. 

 

...anyone with the exception of Solo, of course -because Solo is painfully awkward and secretive, and not in an endearing way. Talking about turning into a parody of yourself. 

 

He’s an accountant -every office needs at least one of those- and he’s very dedicated to his job, god knows why. It doesn’t seem like his identity is defined by anything else other than his work, which is preoccupying, as everyone knows how accountants generally have colorful personalities to begin with. 

 

Solo comes into work not one minute early, not one minute late, and leaves the same way at five.

 

He wears a white dress shirt, and a navy blue or black tie with dark slacks every. Single. Day -not that she should judge, since herself usually wears the same type of plain, ugly skirt and blouse the company dress code forces her to wear. He’s tall, stiff, and overall just graceless, because he doesn’t seem to have ever learned how to deal with how large his frame is. She’s never seen him without his thermos; and he always eats at his perfectly clean and organized desk, away from the kitchen or the break room.

 

A furtive nod of his head is how he says hello. Then for the rest of the day he’ll typically hide behind his hair and avoid eye contact at all cost. 

 

Her colleagues have repeatedly tried to include him, but she’s never seen him show up for anything outside of the office. Some who have worked with him for years don’t know shit about his private life. 

 

The only time she can remember him ever talking to her, is when the update of a software on his computer went wrong, six months ago. He lets her sit in his chair, then, and very quietly thanks her once she's done. “...thank you, Jones.”

 

So he’s polite. He politely ignores people, and politely avoids them. 

 

Either way, Solo shares the same fate as the rest of them: stuck in a dead-end job in a very small branch of what used to be the top cardboard boxes manufacturer of 1992 in the state: BBox Inc

 

Thirty years later, BBox is barely worth anything. Here at the office, the manager herself, Deborah, is very relaxed, because there’s nothing anyone can do about it. Everyone is low-key aware of the whole situation, and of how precarious the future of the branch is. 

 

Not that Rey personally gives a shit. At least she hasn’t wasted ten years in this building like Solo has.  

 

Who she works for, and who she works with ultimately doesn’t matter to her. Those people aren’t meant to stay in her life, and they aren’t a family substitute. 

 

None of them would bat an eye if she disappeared from their lives.