You have always felt a pressing need, almost a compulsion to think before you act, look before you leap and aim before you shoot. There are no points for improvisation, much less for spontaneity. It does not sound like happy camping but that is the way the world goes around. At least the part that makes money anyway.
And these are only ordinary Mondays. Special days require an even greater effort at formality. You thought with the appraisal filed away, such days were gone along with best and worst they had to offer. But you had conveniently forgotten that while in employment there is always next year to plan for, to yearn for and earn for.
And this begins with goal setting. You may continue to be as misguided and random in your personal life as possible. But during office hours, everything is planned to manicured perfection. It has taken you five hours already to draft five areas that will serve as your goals. You have weighed your words more painstakingly than a miserly jeweler. You have redone your script more times than a reclusive author with a drug problem. And you are still not sure.
The sun is about to set now. It is almost time for your alter-ego, Non-Formal Man to moonlight.
You would really like to let go, let your hair down, put your windows down and your speakers up. But you can’t. Not as a slave. Not during office hours. Not under video surveillance. Not yet.
You have got to get this out of the way. A check with Head Slave’s Sec reveals that he will be leaving in half an hour only to return after a week.
It is now or never. With one last spell check, you are about to hit print when you realize you missed one section altogether:
Personal Goals: ________________________________________________________
You stare at it for some time. Then you tilt your head and stare at it some more. Could this be a joke? Personal? Here? In the galley? Why would they possibly want to know the awfully pedestrian goals of your suburban existence?
These are tough questions. Given the paucity of time, you scribble out the first thing that comes to your mind and head for the HS’ den.
He has almost made it through the printout without as much as a batted eyelid or raised eyebrow. All the obsessing over the wordsmiting seems to have been worth it. Then, HS suddenly stops right at the end and looks up at you in bewilderment. You return the favor.
He reads out:
‘My personal goals are to put the punching bag I bought last X’mas to good use and stay off the carbs.’
And he bursts out laughing. A hideous all absorbing guffaw the likes of which you have never heard before. On several occasions he tries to explain: ‘When we say personal goals we mean…’ but he is too cracked up to finish the sentence.
To think all the obsessive compulsion lead to that blonde moment is in the least bit, bemusing, if not an outright daze. There is a little blonde in all of us. She refuses to go down no matter how hard we try to wise up. And we are all the more human for it.