My day begins with choosing a cubicle in our unassigned, open-office layout. I was skeptical of the mandated return to the office, but my teammates, gathered in the corner by the windows overlooking the river, chat and laugh as they work. There’re no cubicles by them, so I settle for a spot next to the men’s room.
Like our CEO wrote in his “Daily Wake-Up” email, all of our cubicles can be temples of productivity, but if we want to arrive early enough to find one with a view, maybe we should reconsider having children.
I open my ten-year-old laptop and I’m quickly on-task because we did away with all the clutter of docking stations, dual monitors, and ergonomic keyboards.
A small, simple laptop without any bells, whistles, or extra RAM is actually better. As our CEO mentions in his “Welcome to your day” email, it’s a poor craftsman who complains of his tools.
I take a short break reading an engrossing article in The Truth—the company intranet—describing how Miranda in Finance stayed late to create an Excel spreadsheet.
The CEO’s “Mid-morning Madness” email thanks us for our hard efforts resulting in record profits. I’m sure lucky to work here, especially after the Christmas Eve layoffs reduced the workforce by seven percent.
I hope we don’t rest on our laurels because, if we don’t stay focused, the CEO might be forced to lay more of us off. And that would be our fault, not his.
My team meeting is fun, yet productive, just like they’re supposed to be. Everyone was prepared to share information and answer questions, and the meeting ran smoothly because we use the agenda template the CEO developed six years ago, when he dropped out of college.
I gladly skip my lunch break to meet with teammates from the West Coast. There definitely weren’t any issues with remote connections, sharing screens, or glitchy audio.
The synergy pumps me up for the rest of the day.
This two-hour “learning” session on the importance of anti-monopolistic business practices and ethical conduct really makes me proud to be part of an organization that is fully complying with its court-ordered settlement while admitting no wrongdoing.
I grab lunch from the vending machines and choose a healthy, pre-packaged meal. Soon, I’m soon back to my cubicle near the men’s room to work while I eat.
Like the motivational poster on the wall says, “Working while eating aids digestion.”
As I answer emails missed during meetings, I see one from the CEO, his “Daily Nooner,” which I open with great anticipation because his missives brighten my day.
With perfect timing, he reminds us to always stay focused in meetings, saying, “The bird in my hand is worth two in your bush.”
The CEO’s “How was your day?” email warns us about headwinds in the market, competitive threats, and the need to execute our plans while optimizing operations and growing the business. The next few months will be tough, but I don’t worry because we have the right person leading us.
An associate from H.R. appears on my laptop screen, suggesting I work late to maintain my prescribed weekly productivity levels.
I don’t mind skipping personal activities, such as a cocktail party on a yacht, to work late, and call the housekeeper to have the chef serve dinner to the kids, and to tell the nanny to put the kids to bed. I know that’s what the CEO would do if he had kids or if he ever stayed late.
I’m not worried about burnout or exhaustion because hard work seems to agree with the CEO, who looks better with each passing year.
As I gather my things to leave, I take a moment to reflect on how much I love my job. It never occurs to me to look elsewhere because the culture instilled by management makes it fun to work long hours and compete for accolades, such as articles mentioning our name in The Truth, the company intranet.
There’s more to life than money, is something I truly believe, and I take pride in being an individual contributor for an organization that helps other companies find lower-cost, off-shore workers to increase profit margins. Delivering value to shareholders is what makes America great.
Knowing I can easily be replaced helps me focus and perform. Besides, if I keep up the good work, I may get a two-percent raise next year.
As I climb into bed and turn on my laptop, the CEO’s “Sweet dreams” email arrives. It’s a great reminder that I’m grateful for his visionary leadership, and that he motivates me to work harder than I’ve ever worked before.
Because working hard is what life is all about.