For three years I remained a temp or, should I say, impermanent. To those for whom I worked I was as insignificant as the tasks they assigned. And when those tasks were done, I was less than insignificant—I was gone. More than any other class of employee my presence was explained and defined by the job. I repeatedly lived the abridged fate of every office prole. I sustained the lie of my indispensability until I was dispensed with.
Archive for November, 2005
Awhile ago I was flipping through the New Yorker and saw an interesting cartoon: two men in uniform, guns trained on a pedestrian, behind them a van with “Fashion Security” on the side. The caption read, “Sir! Sir! Kindly remove the bolo tie and set it on the ground—nice and slow!” I find this significant on a couple of levels. First, it has political resonance at a time when civil and personal liberties are threatened by the most incompetent demagogues ever to hold power in Empirica. Second, it takes a personal idea of bad taste and makes it a public danger, thereby exaggerating a fact about taste—that it has less to do with personal liberty than public authority.